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MAC may have more Bowl Games in 2006

For the past five years, the MAC has had two bowl options, the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, and the Motor City Bowl in Detroit. For 2006, that may change for the better. Three new applications will be presented for bowl certification approval later this month.

The first bowl of these possible new bowls will be located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on the campus of New Mexico University. This contest will be a representative from the Mountain West Conference versus a WAC opponent.



The International Bowl is slated to be in Toronto, Canada, and will be the 3rd pick from the MAC to face a member of the Big East Conference, most likely their #5 team. This potential bowl was considered last year but ultimately did not pass certification. The main reason for the failure is that it was believed there would not be enough bowl eligible teams for the 2005 season since most schools played an 11-game schedule. The MAC and International Bowl were asked to represent again in 2006.

With the 12-game schedules now in effect going forward for I-A teams and any victory counting towards bowl eligibility (which includes wins over I-AA teams), the possibility of up to 65 bowl eligible teams (with at least a 6-6 record) now comes into play. Another plus for a MAC affiliated bowl in Toronto is having ESPN as a bowl partner. MAC Commissioner Rick Chryst added “having ESPN as a partner for this bowl package is new for the application – we are hopeful that this will help push this bowl into certification.” If the game is approved for certification, the game will be played at the Toronto SkyDome.

There is a back up plan for the MAC in case the International Bowl does not get approved. The third bowl looking for approval will be located in Birmingham, Alabama. This bowl will match a team from Conference USA to play against a team from either the MAC or the Big East. If the Toronto Bowl fails to get approved, a MAC team would become the first pick in Birmingham to face a C-USA opponent. ESPN will be a bowl partner for all three new bowl certifications.

Chryst further stated “the Big East has been very active with us in Toronto and we are excited about a possible bowl alliance with them.” When questioned if the MAC could somehow land two new bowls and have agreements with both Toronto and Birmingham, Chryst stated “we are not taking anything for granted after going through this process in the past – but it is an exciting process to be part of and we are certainly hopeful.”

After seeing several bowl worthy MAC teams get snubbed by the current structure over the past few years, MAC fans everywhere share that same hope and look forward to positive news when the bowl certification process is completed at the end of April.

 

Current MAC Bowls

  • GMAC: MAC vs. Conference USA
  • Motor City: MAC vs. Big Ten

Possible Bowls Added in 2006 for the MAC

  • International Bowl: MAC vs. Big East
  • Birmingham Bowl: MAC vs. Conference USA

 

Officiating
There is talk at the NCAA level of possibly doing away with conference affiliated football crews during non-conference games and going to a more regionalized assignment approach, similar to what is done for college basketball. This is a proposal that will de discussed over the summer by the I-A conferences and the NCAA alike.

 

MAC Expansion
Recently, Western Kentucky University unveiled major renovation plans for their football stadium. When asked if WKU is on the short list for MAC expansion now that Temple will be joining the league in 2007, MAC Commission Rick Chryst said “for the past year we have really been focused internally in an effort to strengthen our league – we will reengage the membership process at some point but I really can’t say when – we have a few new presidents in the league and decisions such as that are done at the presidential level.”

 

by Nick Gerogosian

 

> Ohio Sports Time blog - MAC football may finally get what it deserves: more recognition & more bowl games


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