BOWL PREVIEWS: Motor City Bowl
This bowl is perhaps the one where quality of play matches up nicely with the reputation of its host city, seen as a one-time big city now in decline, where dreams are more likely to die than to live. Unless, of course, you're a misogynistic white kid who knows how to rap.
When this is what your kids aspire to be ... not good.
Ah, the Motor City Bowl, played at Ford Field, which might literally be the cleanest building in the city. And the nicest, if only it didn't look sort of like a car factory. Which might, of course, be the point; who knows?
Bowl: The Motor City Bowl
Location: Detroit, Michigan. Which is only the Motor City if you don't count the outsourcing over the last 10 years.
When: Dec. 26, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Purported reason for existence: To match a MAC team with a Big Ten team.
Real reason for existence: To match a MAC team with whoever is left over. In this case, a Sun Belt co-champion.
Teams: Central Michigan v. Middle Tennessee State
Interest level: Ford Focus. It'll get you where you want to go, but don't go bragging about it.
Useful. And that's about it.
Key player for Central Michigan: QB Dan LeFevour, who has thrown 25 TD passes and run for six more scores. A high-scoring game will likely be a good one for the Chippewas.
Key player for Middle Tennessee: The need to keep this game under control will make defensive lineman Erik Walden -- he of the 9.5 sacks -- all the more important to the Blue Raiders' attempts to keep LeFevour from getting the Central Michigan offense cranked up.
Winner: Central Michigan. I like Rick Stockstill, and think there are good things in MTSU's future with him at the helm. But the Chippewas shouldn't have any trouble putting up enough points to finish off the Blue Raiders.