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North Coast Bias: MAC Bowl Projections (11.18.12)

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Projecting the 2012/13 MAC Bowl Matchups.

Bowl Season could have the NIU Huskies vs Florida State Seminoles in the Orange Bowl.
Bowl Season could have the NIU Huskies vs Florida State Seminoles in the Orange Bowl.
Mike Ehrmann

The MAC currently has SIX bowl eligible teams with one team in contention for eligibility. The latest North Coast Bias projections have a total of 69 bowl eligible teams for the 70 available spots, with the MAC ending up with seven bowl eligible teams.

There's only one change to the MAC lineup from last week's projections, but it is a big one; projections include a 1-loss MAC Champ in the Orange Bowl.

North Coast Bias is steadfast in the belief that a 1-loss MAC Champ (NIU or Kent State) should be ranked higher than any other non-AQ Champion and a 1-loss Big East team (currently projected to be Rutgers), by virtue of Kent State's decisive win over Rutgers and the #4 MAC team's win over the Big East #3 (Toledo over Cincinnati).

Projections also have Wisconsin winning the Big Ten Championship game, for the second year in a row, against a team that it lost to on the road during the regular season.

Whether a 1-loss MAC Champ is actually ranked at or above the requisite #16 and ahead of one or both of these conference champions remains to be seen. But if they are not, it's reasonable to conclude that it is due in part to deliberate actions taken to prevent it from happening.

The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl still projects to have an opponent from the Sun Belt Conference, with the other primary bowls featuring opponents as contracted.

Of the five disclosed secondary agreements, the New Mexico Bowl, Independence Bowl, and Heart of Dallas Bowl are projected not to host a MAC team with the other two secondary bowls projected to have MAC teams.

In addition, NCB is projecting the New Orleans Bowl to host a MAC team as at-large selection.

The BCS Bowl is listed first, followed by the three Primary Bowls, the five Secondary Bowls, and finally by the projected At-Large Bowl.

BOWL PROJECTIONS

Bowl Game Location Date MAC Opponent
Orange Bowl Miami, FL Jan. 1, 2013 NIU Florida State
Little Caesars Bowl Detroit, MI Dec. 26, 2012 Bowling Green Middle Tennessee
GoDaddy.com Bowl Mobile, AL Jan. 6, 2013 Kent State UL-Lafayette
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Boise, ID Dec. 15, 2012 Ball State Utah State
New Mexico Bowl Albuquerque, NM Dec. 15, 2012 N/A N/A
Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg, FL Dec. 21, 2012 Toledo East Carolina
Independence Bowl Shreveport, LA Dec. 28, 2012 N/A N/A
Heart of Dallas Bowl Dallas, TX Jan. 1, 2013 N/A N/A
BBVA Compass Bowl Birmingham, AL Jan. 5, 2013 Ohio UL-Monroe
New Orleans Bowl New Orleans, LA Dec. 22, 2012 C. Michigan Arkansas State