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NIU/MAC Bowl Projections Roundup: Week 12

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Basically, nobody has any clue who is going where in terms of MAC-affiliated Bowl games.  We could be going to DC, New Mexico or even Detroit against Notre Dame!  Would the Golden Domers ever accept an invitation to the Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl?  Bruce Feldman seems to think so, and he doesn't even have the Ohio Bobcats going bowling.  One ESPN pundit even has us in Boise against our old friends Idaho *shudders*.

Friday is a very important day for Bowl jockeying for position:

Temple Owls (9-2, 7-0) @ Ohio Bobcats (8-3, 6-1) - 10 AM CST on ESPNU

Northern Illinois Huskies (7-4, 5-2) @ Central Michigan Chippewas (9-2, 7-0) - 12 PM on ESPN 360

Toledo Rockets (5-6, 3-4) @ Bowling Green Falcons (6-5, 5-2) - 1 PM on ESPNU

Temple vs Ohio will be for the MAC East spot in the MAC Championship.  The ideal situation would for Temple to win that, so Ohio stays at only 8 wins.

Toledo takes on Bowling Green in the most significant game of the day to NIU fans.  If Toledo manages to beat Bowling Green, then the Falcons stay at only 6 wins and can't leapfrog the Huskies in bowl selection.  There would be four 7+ win MAC teams going bowling in 3 MAC-affiliated bowl games and one fighting for an at-large.

The most important thing for Northern Illinois to do this weekend is just beat a CMU team that doesn't have anything to play for.  That all but guarantees a bowl spot and puts us ahead of Bowling Green in terms of attractiveness.  8-wins will also match Ohio if they lose to Temple on Friday.

Here is the order of selection for the four three games associated with the MAC:

1. GMAC Bowl (Mobile)
2. Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl (Detroit)
3. International Bowl (Toronto)
4. EagleBank Bowl (DC, Backup)

[Note by Mike Breese, 11/23/09 12:12 AM CST ] John Sahly confirmed that the MAC has ZERO affiliation with the EagleBank Bowl this year.

HOWEVER, the team that wins the MAC may opt out of their bowl game if they so may choose.  Buffalo did this last year as they went to the International Bowl.  CMU may choose to stay in Detroit to cut costs and to face a bigger opponent than they would in Mobile.

IF Bowling Green beats Toledo AND NIU loses to CMU then both 7-win teams will be fighting for an at-large spot at bowl games that couldn't be filled by another conference (ie New Mexico, Boise).  I believe that our marquee win over Purdue will turn a lot of heads in the selection process.

Click through to see all the predictions.

CFN:

EagleBank Bowl
December 30th, Washington DC, 4:30 pm ESPN
ACC No. 8 vs. Army or C-USA
Projection:
Northern Illinois* vs. East Carolina

*No ACC team projected available

GMAC Bowl
January 6, Mobile AL 7 pm ESPN
ACC vs. MAC
Projection:
Middle Tennessee* vs. Temple
*No ACC team projected available

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
December 26th, Detroit MI, 5 pm, ESPN
Big Ten No. 7 vs. MAC
Projection:
Notre Dame* vs. Central Michigan
*No Big Ten team projected available

International Bowl
January 2, Toronto, Canada, Noon, ESPN2
Big East vs. MAC No. 4 or 5
Projection:
Rutgers vs. Ohio

CBS:

New Mexico Bowl: Northern Illinois* vs. Nevada

*No MWC team projected available

GMAC Bowl: Temple vs. MTSU*

Pizza Bowl: Central Michigan vs. Notre Dame*

International Bowl: UConn vs. Ohio

EagleBank Bowl: UCF* vs. Bowling Green*

ESPN's Mark Schlabach

Roady's Humanitarian: Northern Illinois vs. Idaho

GMAC: Notre Dame* vs. Central Michigan

Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl: Temple vs. Middle Tennessee State*

International: Rutgers vs. Ohio

EagleBank Bowl: Bowling Green* vs. Southern Miss

ESPN's Bruce Feldman

Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl: Northern Illinois vs. Notre Dame*

GMAC: Southern Methodist* vs. Central Michigan

International: West Virginia vs. Temple

ESPN's Graham Watson

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl: Northern Illinois vs. Big Ten

GMAC Bowl: Central Michigan vs. ACC

International Bowl: Temple vs. Big East

EagleBank Bowl: Ohio vs. C-USA

Saturday Sound Offs:

EagleBank Bowl: Northern Illinois* vs. Marshall*

GMAC Bowl: Temple vs. Middle Tennessee State*

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl: Central Michigan vs. Notre Dame*

International Bowl: Rutgers vs. Ohio

SI's Stewart Mandel:

Eagle Bank: Northern Illinois (ACC*) vs. Marshall (C-USA)

GMAC: Temple (MAC) vs. Middle Tennessee (ACC*)

Little Caesars: Central Michigan (MAC) vs. Notre Dame (Big Ten No. 7*)

International: Rutgers (Big East) vs. Ohio (MAC)

Humanitarian: Bowling Green (MWC*) vs. Idaho (WAC)

Phil Steele:

EagleBank: Marshall vs. Northern Illinois*

GMAC: Middle Tenn* vs. Ohio

Pizza: Notre Dame* vs. Central Michigan

International: UConn vs. Temple

Sporting News' Dave Curtis

Humanitarian Bowl: Northern Illinois** vs. Idaho

GMAC Bowl: Boise State** vs. Central Michigan

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl: Louisiana-Monroe** vs. Temple

International Bowl: Rutgers vs. Bowling Green

Eagle Bank Bowl: Ohio** vs. Marshall**

What bowl do you want to go to?