On Sunday, following the reveal of the final College Football Playoff rankings, the entire slate of bowl games for December and January were also made public. Turns out, the state of Michigan will be sending three teams bowling in the coming weeks.
Bowl games for Michigan and Michigan State can be seen here. The other bowl game recipient from the mitten is Central Michigan, who finished the year 8-4 and winners of five straight to close out the season. The Chippewas will close out their 2017 season out west in Boise, Idaho.
— CMU Football (@CMU_Football) December 3, 2017
— FamousID Potato Bowl (@IDPotatoBowl) December 3, 2017
Central Michigan finished in a tie for second in the MAC West Division this year. Statistically speaking, the Chippewas didn’t really jump off the chart in some of the major categories. But among the areas of the game that ultimately aided them down the stretch included their conference-best pass defense, as did their second-best turnover margin.
The bowl bid for CMU is their 11th in program history, which is the fourth-most among MAC schools. It’s also the fourth consecutive bowl game, the second time they’ve done that (2006-09). With this newest bowl assignment, nine of their 11 bowl appearances have come since 2006.
The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, home of the famed blue turf in Boise, extends an invite to a MAC school after not doing so in 2016, following a stretch of seven games for MAC teams playing a bowl game in Boise. Amazingly, it will be the eighth different MAC team to play in the Potato Bowl; the first time for Central Michigan, obviously. The league is 3-4 all-time in this particular bowl game.
A little bit on their opponent: Wyoming (7-5). The Cowboys are going bowling for a second straight season, first time they’ve done that as a program since 1987-88. Overall, it’ll be the 15th bowl game ever for Wyoming, in what will likely serve as a virtual home game for the Pokes.
As for Western Michigan (6-6), despite reaching the required number of victories to become bowl-eligible, they will not participate in the postseason. In fact, they are one of three FBS teams — along with Texas-San Antonio and Buffalo, another MAC program — to become bowl-eligible and not be invited.
The absence will snap a streak of three consecutive bowl games for the Broncos.