CLEVELAND, Ohio –The Mid-American Conference (MAC) announced five programs will participate in a bowl game this season as invitations were extended Sunday afternoon. The five MAC bowl invitations marks the seventh time in MAC history to have five or more programs receive a bowl invitation (2004, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014) in a single-season. The MAC record is seven bowl invitations, which was established in the 2012 bowl season.
Northern Illinois (Boca Raton Bowl), Toledo (GoDaddy Bowl), Western Michigan (Famous Idaho Potato Bowl), Bowling Green (Raycom Media Camellia Bowl) and Central Michigan (Popeyes Bahamas Bowl) will represent the MAC in bowl games this season.
The only MAC program that was bowl eligible to not receive a bowl invitation was Ohio University. The Bobcats were one of five programs in FBS to reach bowl eligibility and not receive an invitation as FBS had 81 teams bowl eligible for 76 bowl spots.
In the previous three bowl seasons, the MAC has a record of 6-11 in 17 bowl games – 2013 (0-5); 2012 (2-5); 2011 (4-1) – as ten different MAC programs have appeared in a bowl game in that span.
2014 MAC Bowl Schedule:
► Western Michigan vs. TBA (Mountain West Opponent), Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Dec. 20
► Bowling Green vs. South Alabama, Raycom Media Camellia Bowl, Dec. 20
► Northern Illinois vs. Marshall, Boca Raton Bowl, Dec. 23
► Central Michigan vs. TBA (Conference USA Opponent), Popeyes Bahamas Bowl, Dec. 24
► Toledo vs. Arkansas State, GoDaddy Bowl, Jan. 4
The complete MAC bowl schedule is as follows: All times are Eastern.
Western Michigan (8-4, 6-2) vs. TBA (Mountain West Conference)
Note: Western Michigan celebrated a turnaround year for the program with an 8-4 overall record, 6-2 in the MAC. The Broncos finished 1-11 the previous season and this year were in contention for the MAC West title entering the final weekend of the regular season. Western Michigan’s 6-2 league record was third in the tough MAC West Division. Second-year head coach P.J. Fleck will be leading the program to its first bowl since the 2011 season. Overall, Western Michigan has appeared in a bowl game for the fourth time in the last nine years and the third time in the last seven years. The Broncos will be searching for the program’s first ever bowl victory.
Bowling Green (7-6, 5-3) vs. South Alabama (6-6, 5-3, Sun Belt Conference)
Note: Bowling Green ended the season with a 7-6 overall record, 5-3 in the MAC, and won the program’s second consecutive MAC East Division title. This marked the first time for a MAC East program to win consecutive East Division Titles since Miami in 2003-04. Bowling Green suffered a 51-17 loss to Northern Illinois in the 2014 Marathon MAC Football Championship Game. First-year head coach Dino Babers will lead the Falcons who will be making their third consecutive bowl appearance (2013 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl; 2012 Military Bowl). Bowling Green will be making its 12th bowl appearance as a member of the MAC (4-7 record in bowl games).
Northern Illinois (11-2, 7-1) vs. Marshall (12-1, 7-1, Conference USA)
Note: Northern Illinois won the 2014 Marathon MAC Football Championship game for the third time in five years with a 51-17 win over Bowling Green last Friday. The Huskies finished the season with an 11-2 overall record, their fifth consecutive season with 10 or more wins. Northern Illinois has set a MAC record for consecutive bowl invitations with seven (2013 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl; 2013 Discover Orange Bowl; 2012 GoDaddy.com Bowl; 2010 uDrove Humanitarian Bowl; 2010 International Bowl; 2008 Independence Bowl). Northern Illinois will be making its 10th bowl appearance as a member of the MAC (4-5 record in bowl games).
Central Michigan (7-5, 5-3) vs. TBA (Conference USA)
Central Michigan wrapped up the 2014 season with a 7-5 overall record, 5-3 in the MAC. The Chippewas finished in a fourth-place finish in the tough MAC West Division and ended the year by winning three of their last four games and five of their last seven contests. Fifth-year head coach Dan Enos will be making his second bowl appearance with the program in the last three years. In 2012, Central Michigan defeated Western Kentucky, 24-21, in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. Overall, this will be the sixth bowl appearance in the last nine years for the Central Michigan football program.
Toledo (8-4, 7-1) vs. Arkansas State (7-5, 5-3, Sun Belt Conference)
Note: Toledo completed the regular season as MAC West Division Co-Champions with an 8-4 overall record, 7-1 in the MAC West. Toledo lost the tiebreaker to Northern Illinois for the opportunity to play in the 2014 Marathon MAC Football Championship Game. Third-year head coach Matt Campbell will be making his second bowl appearance in the last three years (2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl) and the program will be making its fourth bowl appearance in the last five seasons. Toledo will be making its Conference leading 14th bowl appearance in program history (9-4 record in bowl games).