POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL WEEK 15 NOTEBOOK
CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES EDITION (December 5-6)
MEDIA CREDENTIAL APPLICATION: sportssystems.com/bahamasbowl (DEADLINE: December 12)
PASSPORT STAMPED (BOWL ELIGIBLE): Bowling Green (7-5), Central Michigan (7-5), Louisiana Tech (8-4), Marshall (11-1), Middle Tennessee (6-6), Northern Illinois (10-2), Ohio (6-6), Old Dominion (6-6; conditional), Rice (7-5), Toledo (8-4), UAB (6-6), UTEP (7-5), WKU (7-5), Western Michigan (8-4).
MAC TITLE GAME: The Marathon MAC Championship Game in Detroit’s Ford Field on Friday, Dec. 5 at 7 pm ET (ESPN2) will feature East Division co-champion Northern Illinois (10-2, 7-1 MAC) against West Division champion Bowling Green (7-5, 5-3 MAC). The Huskies tied with Toledo for the Wast Division title, and Northern Illinois advanced to the title game for the fifth-consecutive season and the second under head coach Rod Carey (22-5 overall/Northern Illinois in two seasons) on head-to-head results as the Huskies beat the Rockets 27-24 on Nov. 11. Northern Illinois and Bowling Green will meet in the MAC title game for the second-consecutive season. Last year, the Falcons beat the Huskies 47-27 to end Northern Illinois’ bid for a perfect season and a BCS at-large bid. Bowling Green is led by head coach Dino Babers (26-12 overall in three seasons; 7-5 at Bowling Green in one season). The Falcons lead the all-time series 11-7, but the Huskies have won three of the last four meetings.
C-USA TITLE GAME: The Conference USA Championship Game in Huntington, W.Va’s Joan C. Edwards Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 6 at Noon ET (ESPN2), will feature West Division champion Louisiana Tech (8-4, 7-1 C-USA) at Marshall (11-1, 7-1 C-USA). The Bulldogs qualified for the C-USA title game for the first time in LA Tech’s second season in the conference after a 76-31 victory over Rice on Nov. 29. The Herd is in the C-USA Championship Game for the second-consecutive season under head coach Doc Holliday (38-25 overall/Marshall in five seasons). Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz (100-83 overall in 15 seasons; 12-12 at LA Tech in two seasons) is the first coach in C-USA history to take two schools to the championship game as he coached East Carolina to consecutive titles in 2008 and 2009. The teams have only met once before: a 42-0 Louisiana Tech victory in 1942.
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: 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 15 SCHEDULE
Saturday, December 6
Conference USA Championship Game
(Joan C. Edwards Stadium; Huntington, W.Va.)
Louisiana Tech at Marshall
Noon ET (ESPN2)
Friday, December 5
Marathon MAC Championship Game
(Ford Field; Detroit, Mich.)
Northern Illinois vs. Bowling Green
7:00 pm ET (ESPN2)
WEEK 14 RESULTS
Friday, November 28
* WKU 67, Marshall 66 (OT)
Saturday, November 29
* Old Dominion 31, Florida Atlantic 28
* Louisiana Tech 76, Rice 31
* UTSA 34, North Texas 27
* UAB 45, Southern Miss 24
* UTEP 24, Middle Tennessee 21
Tuesday, November 25
* Ohio 24, Miami 21
Friday, November 28
* Northern Illinois 31, Western Michigan 21
* Toledo 52, Eastern Michigan 16
* Ball State 41, Bowling Green 24
* Buffalo 41, UMass 21
* Kent State 27, Akron 24
* – conference games
WEEK 14 INDIVIDUAL HONORS
QB Brandon Doughty, WKU: The senior completed 34-of-50 passes for 491 yards, a school-record eight TDs and the game-winning 2-point conversion toss in the 67-66 overtime victory at Marshall for C-USA Offensive Player of the Week honors.
DB Wesley Miller, UTEP: The senior tied his career high with 11 tackles and had an interception in a 24-21 victory over Middle Tennessee for C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors.
KR J.J. Nelson, UAB: The senior returned a kickoff 99 yards for a TD, had 159 yards in kickoff returns, 25 punt-return yards, 204 all-purpose yards and caught three passes for 52 yards and a TD in a 45-24 win at Southern Miss for C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week recognition.
RB Anthone Taylor, Buffalo: The junior rushed 36 times for a career-high 237 yards and two TDs and caught three passes for 31 yards in a 41-21 win over UMass for MAC East Division Offensive Player of the Week honors.
DB Quinten Rollins, Miami: The senior had six tackles and two interceptions, including one for a score, in a loss against Ohio for MAC East Division Defensive Player of the Week honors.
KR Clint Stephens, Bowling Green: The freshman returned six kickoffs for 162 yards, including a 96-yard return for a TD, in a loss to Ball State for MAC East Division Special Teams Player of the Week recognition.
RB Jahwan Edwards, Ball State: The senior rushed for a season-high 165 yards and two TDs in a 41-24 victory at Bowling Green for MAC West Division Offensive Player of the Week honors.
DB Dechane Durante, Northern Illinois: The senior collected eight tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery in a 31-21 win at Western Michigan for MAC West Division Defensive Player of the Week honors.
PR Corey Jones, Toledo: The sophomore returned a punt 50 yards in a 52-16 win at Eastern Michigan for MAC West Division Special Teams Player of the Week recognition.
POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL MEDIA PREDICTIONS
ESPN.com (Brett McMurphy) – Dec. 2: UAB vs. Western Michigan
ESPN.com (Mark Schlabach) – Dec. 2: Middle Tennessee vs. Toledo
USA Today (Erick Smith) – Dec. 3: WKU vs. Toledo
NationalFootballPost.com (Dave Miller) – Dec. 3: Rice vs. Bowling Green
SI.com (Zac Ellis) – Dec. 2: Rice vs. Central Michigan
NFL.com (Mike Huguenin) – Dec. 2: Louisiana Tech vs. Toledo
Athlon Sports (Steven Lassan) – Dec. 2: WKU vs. Western Michigan
FOXSports.com (Stuart Mandel) – Dec. 2: WKU vs. Bowling Green
The Sporting News (Bill Bender) – Dec. 1: Louisiana Tech vs. Western Michigan
CBSSports.com (Jerry Palm) – Nov. 30: Louisiana Tech vs. Western Michigan
Phil Steele Magazine (Phil Steele) – Nov. 30: Louisiana Tech vs. Central Michigan
Orlando Sentinel (Brant Parsons) – Nov. 30: Marshall vs. Bowling Green
SB Nation (Jason Kirk) – Nov. 30: Marshall vs. Western Michigan
CollegeFootballNews.com (Pete Fiutak) – Nov. 30: WKU vs. Northern Illinois
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.