Northern Illinois opens MAC bowl play
While the bowl season kicked off earlier today, the MAC has a few hours to wait before they join the bowl party. With a record number of bowl games being played this year and traditional powerhouses USC and Texas not bowling, one would expect the MAC to benefit, but that was not the case. Instead Temple at 8-4 and Western Michigan at 6-6 were the lone bowl eligible schools in the Division I-A/FBS to not receive bowl bids this season.
But while two MAC schools were left home, the Northern Illinois Huskies assured themselves of a bowl game when they won the MAC West despite losing to Miami in the MAC Championship Game. NIU accepted a bid to be the MAC representative in the uDrove Humanitarian Bowl and face Fresno State tonight at 5:30 pm ET. The Humanitarian Bowl, a staple in Boise, Idaho, since 1997, has been good to the WAC as the conference has gone 7-6 in 13 games with in-state schools Boise State and Idaho going 5-1. Meanwhile the Bulldogs of Fresno State have appeared in the Humanitarian Bowl two times previously going 2-0 in those games in defeating Virginia in 2004 and Georgia Tech in 2007.
The 2010 Humanitarian Bowl preview says this will be a game of tempo with NIU looking for a fast-paced game and MAC fans hope they get what they want. Northern Illinois (10-3) from the MAC and Fresno State (8-4) of the WAC will kickoff at 5:30 pm ET on ESPN.