Six MAC Teams Going Bowling This Season

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The Ohio Bobcats are on their way back to Alabama for their bowl game this year, but five other Mid-American Conference teams are playing an extra game as well. Here’s a run-through of what you need to know before bowl season starts.

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl: Appalachian State (9-3) vs. Toledo (9-3)

When: Dec. 17, 5:30 p.m., ESPN

Where: Cramton Bowl, Montgomery, Ala.

Ohio is headed back to ‘Bama and Appalachian State is, too. The App State Mountaineers played in this game last year against the Bobcats and won thanks to a last-second field goal. Both of these teams are 9-3 this year and the Rockets had a chance to make the MAC Championship Game at the end of their regular season. App State running back Jalin Moore leads the Mountaineers in rushing this year with 1,367 yards and scored 10 rushing touchdowns. The Rockets’ back is no slouch either. Kareem Hunt ran for 1,355 yards and scored nine total times this season. Toledo quarterback Logan Woodside has the fourth-most passing yards in the country with 3,882. He threw 43 touchdowns to only nine interceptions. Ohio beat the Rockets 31-26 on Oct. 27. It was Ohio’s first win in the series since 1988 and their first win in Toledo since 1967.

Miami Beach Bowl: Central Michigan (6-6) vs. Tulsa (9-3)

When: Dec. 19, 2:30 p.m., ESPN

Where: Marlins Park, Miami

Central Michigan is going bowling thanks in part to a win that never should have happened in their opening game of the season against Oklahoma State, where the Chippewas scored on a Hail Mary that was snapped after the clock expired. Here they are though and they get to play a Tulsa team that maybe shuld be 10-2 instead of 9-3. The Golden Hurricane came back from 14 points down to Houston on Oct. 15 to tie the game in the fourth quarter but a fumble returned by Houston for a touchdown gave Tulsa the loss. On Nov. 15, Ohio lost to CMU on the road, 27-20.

Popeyes Bahamas Bowl: Eastern Michigan (7-5) vs. Old Dominion (9-3)

When: Dec. 23, 1 p.m., ESPN

Where: Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, Nassau, Bahamas

The Eastern Michigan Eagles have come a long way in just a few years, as there were talks of the school dropping football altogether. Now, the Eagles are in their first bowl game since 1987. Old Dominion though, has never been to a bowl game before since moving from the FCS in 2014. Eastern quarterback Brogan Roback finished his regular season with 2,394 passing yards and 16 touchdowns in only seven complete games. The Eagles beat Ohio 27-20 on Oct. 15 in Athens.

Dollar General Bowl: Ohio (8-5) vs. Troy (9-3)

When: Dec. 23, 8 p.m., ESPN

Where: Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Ala.

For a full preview of this game, head here.

St. Petersburg Bowl: Miami (6-6) vs. Mississippi State (5-7)

When: Dec. 26, 11 a.m., ESPN

Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Fla.

How many people thought that the RedHawks would be in a bowl game after they started their season 0-6? Six straight wins, including wins against both Eastern and Central Michigan, for Miami clinched their spot against one of the two teams with a 5-7 record playing in bowls. North Texas is the other sub-.500 team in a bowl. Quarterback Gus Ragland started the final six games of the season for Miami and threw 15 touchdowns with zero interceptions. Mississippi State has one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country. In his first year as a starter, sophomore Nick Fitzgerald threw for 2,287 yards and rushed for 1,243. Fiztgerald threw 21 touchdowns and ran for 14 more. Ohio and Miami met in the opening game of the MAC season and Ohio won 17-7.

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: No. 15 Western Michigan (13-0) vs. No. 8 Wisconsin (10-3)

When: Jan. 2, 1 p.m., ESPN

Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

Here is the big one. After pulling off an undefeated regular season and win in the MAC Championship, Western Michigan is playing in the Cotton Bowl because they are the highest-ranked conference champion from the “Group of Five” conferences (MAC, American, Conference USA, Sun Belt and Mountain West) and therefore got an at-large bid. As one of only two undefeated teams in the FBS, Alabama is the other, the Broncos will have their hands full against the Badgers. Wisconsin is coming off a loss to Penn State in the Big Ten Championship but held a 28-7 lead at halftime. Running back Corey Celment led the Badgers with 1,304 rushing yards with 14 rushing scores. Both Alex Hornibrook and Bart Houston took snaps at quarterback for Wisconsin but only combined for 2,329 yards, 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Western’s quarterback, Zach Terrell, blows those stats out of the water with 32 touchdowns, three interceptions and 3, 376 passing yards. The Broncos also have Corey Davis, who some project as a first round pick in the NFL Draft, at wide receiver and running back Jarvion Franklin. Davis holds the record for most career receiving yards by a receiver in FBS history and this season caught 91 balls for 1,427 yards and 18 touchdowns. Wisconsin gave up 384 yards and four touchdowns through the air against Penn State.