After further review, I wanted to revisit some of the bowl scenarios for the Mid-American Conference and the Sun Belt Conference.
Here is what I initially had for these conferences yesterday:
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
SUN BELT CONFERENCE
New Orleans Bowl: Troy vs. C-USA
St. Petersburg Bowl: Middle Tennessee vs. C-USA
But after talking to some folks and looking at some of the possible scenarios out there, I wanted to correct a few things.
In the Mid-American Conference, Bowling Green should get the nod for a MAC guarantee over Northern Illinois. The Falcons have won their last four, while the Huskies lost their last two -- the most important games of their season. The Falcons also have a better conference record at 6-2. Northern Illinois is 5-3.
So, I think Bowling Green could land in either the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl or the EagleBank Bowl. It’s really going to depend on location, matchup and the schools will have some say in it as well. Right now, Marshall is probably going to play in the EagleBank Bowl, though that depends on the outcome of the Army-Navy game on Dec. 12. If Army wins, then it gets the automatic bid to the EagleBank Bowl and Marshall likely will not play in a bowl.
Northern Illinois is the only 7-5 at-large team as of right now, but its postseason is still kind of up in the air with a week of crucial games remaining. The two at-large bowl choices likely available will be the GMAC or Humanitarian Bowl, which brings me to the Sun Belt.
Middle Tennessee finished the season 9-3. There is no way this team gets left out of a bowl game with that record. There have been rumors floating around for a couple weeks that the MAC and Sun Belt would like to pit its champions against each other in the GMAC bowl. If that comes to fruition, Troy would play the winner of Central Michigan-Ohio in the GMAC and Middle Tennessee would play in the New Orleans Bowl.
It’s a convoluted situation that could get worse if Hawaii beats Wisconsin this weekend and earns its guaranteed spot in the Hawaii bowl. That would leave Fresno State (7-4 with Illinois remaining) in the at-large pool. Depending on the outcome of Fresno State’s game against Illinois, the Bulldogs might be more attractive than a Northern Illinois team that slid at the end of the season. If this happens, the Humanitarian Bowl won't be an option since it's already a WAC guaranteed tie-in. So then, we could be looking at Troy in the New Orleans Bowl, a WAC team in the GMAC, Middle Tennessee in the Humanitarian and NIU out.
Is your head spinning yet?
So there are a lot of plates still up in the air and a lot of unknown destinations. I know a lot of teams will be glued to their televisions for the outcome of games. A lot of deserving teams might be out of the bowl race, but that’s not much different than any other year.