POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL WEEK 11 NOTEBOOK
#MACtion EDITION (November 4-5)
PASSPORT STAMPED (BOWL ELIGIBLE): Central Michigan (6-4), Louisiana Tech (6-3). Marshall (8-0), Northern Illinois (6-2), Western Michigan (5-3). AT CUSTOMS (ONE WIN SHY): Bowling Green (5-3), Middle Tennessee (5-4), Rice (5-3), Toledo (5-3), UAB (5-4), UTEP (5-3).
THIS WEEK: The MAC’s November mid-week schedule of MACtion begins with two games each on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday night, both road teams have a chance to clinch bowl eligibility as East Division leader Bowling Green (5-3, 3-1 MAC) visits Akron (4-4, 2-2 MAC), and West Division leader Toledo (5-3, 4-0 MAC) goes to Kent State (1-7. 0-4 MAC). Wednesday night, Buffalo (3-5, 1-3 MAC) is at Ohio (4-5, 1-3 MAC) in a key East Division battle, and Northern Illinois (6-2, 3-1 MAC) will try to keep pace in the West as they travel to Muncie to play Ball State (3-5, 2-2 MAC). The MAC has no Saturday games this week.
All six Conference USA games are Saturday. No. 22 USA Today/No. 23 AP and East Division leaders Marshall (8-0, 4-0 C-USA) will try to keep its perfect season alive at Southern Miss (3-6, 1-4 C-USA). West Division leader Louisiana Tech (6-3, 5-0 C-USA) goes to Birmingham to play UAB (5-4, 3-2 C-USA). The Bulldogs have won four straight, and the Blazers need one victory for bowl eligibility. Rice (5-3, 3-1 C-USA), the hottest team in C-USA with a five-game win streak, hosts UTSA (2-6, 1-3 C-USA). UTEP (5-3, 3-1 C-USA), one win shy of bowl eligibility, goes to WKU (3-5, 1-4 C-USA). FIU (3-6, 2-3 C-USA) heads to Old Dominion (3-6, 1-4 C-USA) and Florida Atlantic (3-6, 2-3 C-USA) plays at North Texas (2-6, 0-4 C-USA).
FRANKLIN MINT: Western Michigan freshman RB Jarvion Franklin has 1,330 yards rushing this year, the second-most season rushing yards by a freshman in MAC history, trailing the 1,361 by former Temple RB Bernard Pierce in 2009. Franklin leads the nation in both rushing TDs (22) and scoring (132 pts.; 14.7 ppg).
TOSSING IT AROUND: Conference USA is second in FBS in quarterbacks with 20 or more TD passes with four (Pac-12 has 6): WKU’s Brandon Doughty is tied for fourth with 25, Old Dominion’s Taylor Heinicke is tied for eighth with 23, Louisiana Tech’s Cody Sokol is 12th with 22 and Marshall’s Rakeem Cato is tied for 18th with 20.
#PASSPORTTOKICKOFF: #PassportToKickoff is not only our hashtag, but a reminder that all U.S. citizens must have a valid passport to travel to the Bahamas & the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl. For passport info: passports.state.gov.
WEEK 11 SCHEDULE
Saturday, November 8
* Louisiana Tech at UAB (ASN)
* UTSA at Rice (FSN)
* FIU at Old Dominion (ASN)
* UTEP at WKU
* Florida Atlantic at North Texas (FCS)
* Marshall at Southern Miss (ASN)
Tuesday, November 4
* Bowling Green at Akron (ESPN2)
* Toledo at Kent State (ESPNU)
Wednesday, November 5
* Buffalo at Ohio (ESPNU)
* Northern Illinois at Ball State (ESPN2)
(TV/digital network in parenthesis)
* – conference games
WEEK 10 RESULTS
Saturday, November 1
* Rice 31, FIU 17
* Louisiana Tech 59, WKU 10
BYU 27, Middle Tennessee 7
* UAB 31, Florida Atlantic 28
Vanderbilt 42, Old Dominion 28
* UTEP 35, Southern Miss 14
Saturday, November 1
* Central Michigan 38, Eastern Michigan 7
* Western Michigan 41, Miami 10
* – conference games
WEEK 10 INDIVIDUAL HONORS
QB Cody Sokol, Louisiana Tech: The senior completed 30-of-42 passes for 335 yards and five TDs and ran for a TD in a 59-10 win over WKU for C-USA Offensive Player of the Week honors.
DE Zach Patt, Rice: The senior was credited with a school-record five sacks, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in a 31-17 win at FIU for C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors.
KR Autrey Golden, UTEP: The junior returned a kickoff for a TD for the fifth time in his career, a 98-yard return in the third quarter, in a 35-14 victory over Southern Miss for C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week recognition.
The MAC will announce its Players of the Week on Thursday, November 6, taking into account the games played Nov. 1 and 4-5. The league will then return to a Monday announcement of the MAC Players of the Week on November 17.
POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL MEDIA PREDICTIONS
ESPN.com (Brett McMurphy) – Nov. 2: Louisiana Tech vs. Western Michigan
ESPN.com (Mark Schlabach) – Nov. 2: Marshall vs. Northern Illinois
SI.com (Zac Ellis) – Nov. 4: Middle Tennessee vs. Akron
NFL.com (Mike Huguenin) – Nov. 4: UAB vs. Bowling Green
FOXSports.com (Stuart Mandel) – Nov. 4: Louisiana Tech vs. Bowling Green
Athlon Sports (Steven Lassan) – Nov. 4: Middle Tennessee vs. Western Michigan
The Sporting News (Bill Bender) – Nov. 3: Rice vs. Western Michigan
Phil Steele Magazine – Nov. 3: Louisiana Tech vs. Northern Illinois
NationalFootballPost.com (Dave Miller) – Nov. 3: Middle Tennessee vs. Western Michigan
Brant Parsons (Orlando Sentinel) – Nov. 2: UTEP vs. Bowling Green
SB Nation (Jason Kirk) – Nov. 2: Marshall vs. Toledo
CBSSports.com (Jerry Palm) – Nov. 2: Middle Tennessee vs. Western Michigan
CollegeFootballNews.com (Pete Fiutak) – Nov. 2: Middle Tennessee vs. Toledo
USA Today (Erick Smith) – Oct. 29: Middle Tennessee vs. Toledo
POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL PARTICIPANT SELECTION The highest-ranked conference champion by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee from the American Athletic, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West or Sun Belt will play annually in one of the College Football Playoff bowls (VIZIO Fiesta, Cotton & Chick-fil-A Peach bowls for the 2014 season) if it is not selected for the Playoff Semifinals.
C-USA’s champion will select which bowl it would like to attend, and the remainder of the selections will follow after that, with no particular set order of bowls. C-USA has 2014 tie-ins with the Popeyes Bahamas, Boca Raton, Gildan New Mexico, Hawai’i and Heart of Dallas bowls, with a secondary tie-in with the Duck Commander Independence Bowl (if either ACC or SEC does not have enough eligible teams).
The GoDaddy Bowl has first choice of a MAC bowl-eligible team, and the remainder of the selections will follow after that, with no particular set order of bowls. The MAC has 2014 tie-ins with Popeyes Bahamas, Boca Raton, Famous Idaho Potato, GoDaddy and Raycom Media Camellia bowls, with secondary tie-ins with the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (if Navy is not bowl-eligible), ESPN owned-and-operated bowls (such as Gildan New Mexico, Bitcoin St. Petersburg or Birmingham bowls) and the Quick Lane Bowl (if either ACC or Big Ten does not have enough eligible teams).
The participants for the 2014 Popeyes Bahamas Bowl will be announced Sunday, December 7.