POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL WEEK 14 NOTEBOOK
MEDIA CREDENTIAL APPLICATION: sportssystems.com/bahamasbowl (DEADLINE: December 12)
PASSPORT STAMPED (BOWL ELIGIBLE): Bowling Green (7-4), Central Michigan (7-5), Louisiana Tech (7-4), Marshall (11-0), Middle Tennessee (6-5), Northern Illinois (9-2), Rice (7-4), Toledo (7-4), UTEP (6-5), WKU (6-5), Western Michigan (8-3). AT CUSTOMS (ONE WIN SHY): Akron (5-6), Ohio (5-6), Old Dominion (5-6; conditional), UAB (5-6).
MAC THIS WEEK: The MAC has one game Tuesday, and the rest of the final week slate is Friday, one week prior to the Marathon MAC Championship Game in Detroit on Friday, Dec. 5. Tuesday, Ohio (5-6, 3-4 MAC) needs a victory for bowl-eligible status as the Bobcats travel to Miami (2-9, 2-5 MAC). Friday, the East title could be decided as Northern Illinois (9-2, 6-1 MAC) goes to Western Michigan (8-3, 6-1 MAC). A Northern Illinois victory gives them the title. A Western Michigan victory would give WMU the title only if Toledo (7-4, 6-1 MAC) loses at Eastern Michigan (2-9, 1-6 MAC). Toledo wins the East with a victory and a NIU loss. Akron (5-6, 3-4 MAC) can gain bowl eligibility with a victory at Kent State (1-9, 0-6 MAC). The other Friday games are Ball State (4-7, 3-4 MAC) at West champ Bowling Green (7-4, 5-2 MAC) and Buffalo (4-6, 2-4 MAC) visits UMass (3-8, 3-4 MAC).
C-USA THIS WEEK: Friday, WKU (6-5, 3-4 C-USA), which earned bowl eligibility last Satuday, heads to East champion and No. 19 AP/No. 20 USA Today Marshall (11-0, 7-0 C-USA). Saturday, one week before the Conference USA Championship Game on Saturday, Dec. 6 (site TBD), the West title will be decided in a winner-take-all game as Rice (7-4, 5-2 C-USA) goes to Louisiana Tech (7-4, 6-1 C-USA). UAB (5-6, 3-4 C-USA) can reach bowl eligibility with a victory at Southern Miss (3-8, 1-6 C-USA). Old Dominion (5-6, 3-4 C-USA) can reach conditional bowl eligibility with a win at Florida Atlantic (3-8, 2-5 C-USA). The Monarchs, in the second year of transition from the FCS level to the FBS, would qualify for a bowl bid only if there are less than 76 total FBS bowl-eligible teams. Also Saturday, newly bowl-eligible Middle Tennessee (6-5, 5-2 C-USA) travels to UTEP (6-5. 4-3 C-USA) and North Texas (4-7, 2-5 C-USA) is at UTSA (3-8, 2-5 C-USA).
BOWL STREAKS: in C-USA, Rice is looking to participate in their third-consecutive bowl game, while Marshall (2013 Military) and Middle Tennessee (2013 Armed Forces) are each hoping for its second-straight bid. Last bowls for others in contention: Louisiana Tech (2011 Poinsettia), UAB (2004 Hawai’i), WKU (2012 Little Caesars) and UTEP (2010 New Mexico). Old Dominion is trying for its first FBS bid. In the MAC, Northern Illinois is seeking its seventh-straight bowl invite, Ohio is looking for its sixth-consecutive bid and Bowling Green is searching for its third-straight bid. Last bowls for others in contention: Akron (2005 Motor City), Central Michigan (2012 Little Caesars), Toledo (2012 Famous Idaho Potato) and Western Michigan (2011 Little Caesars).
#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 14 SCHEDULE
Friday, November 28
* WKU at Marshall (FS1)
Saturday, November 29
* Old Dominion at Florida Atlantic (ASN)
* Rice at Louisiana Tech (CBSSN)
* North Texas at UTSA (FSN)
* UAB at Southern Miss (ASN)
* Middle Tennessee at UTEP (ASN)
Tuesday, November 25
* Ohio at Miami (ESPN2)
Friday, November 28
* Northern Illinois at Western Michigan (ESPNU)
* Toledo at Eastern Michigan (ESPN3)
* Ball State at Bowling Green (ESPN3)
* Buffalo at UMass (ESPN3)
* Akron at Kent State (ESPN3)
(TV/digital network in parentheses)
* – conference games
WEEK 13 RESULTS
Friday, November 21
* Rice 31, UTEP 13
Saturday, November 22
* Marshall 23, UAB 18
* WKU 45, UTSA 7
* Old Dominion 30, LA Tech 27
* North Texas 17, FIU 14
* Middle Tennessee 35, Florida Atlantic 34
Tuesday, November 18
* Akron 30, UMass 6
* Northern Illinois 21, Ohio 14
Wednesday, November 19
* Toledo 27, Bowling Green 20
Friday, November 21
* Kent State at Buffalo; cancelled-snow
Saturday, November 22
* Western Michigan 32, Central Michigan 20
* Ball State 45, Eastern Michigan 30
* – conference games
WEEK 13 INDIVIDUAL HONORS
RB Reggie Whatley, Middle Tennessee: The junior rushed for a career-high 190 yards and three TDs, totalled 136 kickoff return yards and had 321 all-purpose yards in a 35-34 win over Florida Atlantic for C-USA Offensive Player of the Week honors.
LB Neville Hewitt, Marshall: The senior had a team-high 17 tackles, including two for loss, a half-sack and helped thwart a 2-point conversion try in a 23-18 win at UAB for C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors.
PR Richard Leonard, FIU: The junior returned a punt 74 yards for a touchdown in a loss at North Texas for C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week recognition.
RB A.J. Ouellette, Ohio: The freshman rushed for 127 yards and a TD on 25 carries and caught four passes for nine yards and another score in a loss to Northern Illinois for MAC East Division Offensive Player of the Week honors.
LB Gabe Martin, Bowling Green: The senior had a game-high 12 tackles, tied his career high with 2.5 tackles for loss and blocked a field goal in a loss at Toledo for MAC East Division Defensive Player of the Week honors.
K Robert Stein, Akron: The junior kicked three field goals and three PATs in a 30-6 win over UMass for MAC East Division Special Teams Player of the Week recognition.
RB Kareem Hunt, Toledo: The sophomore rushed for a career-high 265 yards and two TDs on 30 carries in a 27-20 victory over Bowling Green for MAC West Division Offensive Player of the Week honors.
DB Donald Celiscar, Western Michigan: The senior had six tackles, four pass breakups and an interception in a 32-20 win at Central Michigan for MAC West Division Defensive Player of the Week honors.
P Tyler Wedel, Northern Illinois: The senior punted six times for a 42.8-yard average and had three punts land inside the 20 in a 21-14 win at Ohio for MAC West Division Special Teams Player of the Week recognition.
POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL MEDIA PREDICTIONS
ESPN.com (Brett McMurphy) – Nov. 18: Rice vs. Western Michigan
ESPN.com (Mark Schlabach) – Nov. 18: Marshall vs. Northern Illinois
SI.com (Zac Ellis) – Nov. 25: Middle Tennessee vs. Central Michigan
NFL.com (Mike Huguenin) – Nov. 25: Middle Tennessee vs. Western Michigan
Athlon Sports (Steven Lassan) – Nov. 25: Middle Tennessee vs. Western Michigan
FOXSports.com (Stuart Mandel) – Nov. 25: Louisiana Tech vs. Bowling Green
Phil Steele Magazine (Phil Steele) – Nov. 24: Louisiana Tech vs. Central Michigan
The Sporting News (Bill Bender) – Nov. 24: Middle Tenneessee vs. Western Michigan
Orlando Sentinel (Brant Parsons) – Nov. 23: WKU vs. Bowling Green
SB Nation (Jason Kirk) – Nov. 23: Marshall vs. Toledo
CBSSports.com (Jerry Palm) – Nov. 23: Middle Tennessee vs. Western Michigan
CollegeFootballNews.com (Pete Fiutak) – Nov. 23: WKU vs. Northern Illinois
NationalFootballPost.com (Dave Miller) – Nov. 20: Middle Tennessee vs. Western Michigan USA Today (Erick Smith) – Nov. 19: 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 Zaxby’s 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.