December 23, 2008

Independence Bowl -- Northern Illinois (6-6) vs. Louisiana Tech (7-5) (Independence Stadium Shreveport December 28, 2008 8:15pm ESPN)

Tie Ins: Big 12 #7 vs SEC #8 (Or WAC & the third choice of Sun Belt teams if no Big 12 or SEC team available)

Dan: Northern Illinois -1.5

We head back to the crappy non-BCS conference bowl games for the Independence Bowl. A 6-6 MAC team against a 7-5 WAC team hold no interest for me. But when in doubt, I’ll go with the MAC team.

Northern Illinois 24 La. Tech 20

Matt: Northern Illinois -1.5

NIU lost to the Vols by 4 in Neyland Stadium and took Central Michigan to OT. La. Tech lost to Army, but is playing a virtual home game. Who knows.

Northern Illinois 27 La Tech 17

Mike: Northern Illinois –1.5

Does anyone know of a good pub in Dublin where I can watch this game? I would hate to miss this riveting tilt.

Northern Illinois 30 Louisiana Tech 27

Doug: Louisiana Tech +1.5

I feel like I’m letting my MAC brethren down, but I can’t take a 6-6 MAC team to win a bowl game. Northern Illinois has done nothing this year to be included in a bowl game. At least Louisiana Tech has beaten teams like Fresno State and Mississippi State.

Guess I’m just down on the MAC and Midwestern football in general. I used to love picking MAC teams in upsets in the bowl games, but college football has changed. Good, solid fundamentally sound kids from the Midwest are getting outclassed by the faster and more talented athletes in the south. I hate it as much as anyone, but it’s reality.

I’m with Matt on the bowl games. I probably won’t watch more than a couple plays of this game, but what’s the big deal if they decide to have this game?? If the city of Shreveport wants to host a game between a 6-6 MAC team and a 7-5 WAC team, who am I to say they shouldn’t do it?? I don’t have a problem with all the bowl games. It’s a reward for the players and the program. They bust their behinds all year in practice, so let them have a couple days to relax and be a part of the bowl game experience. I don’t see why it’s a bad thing. Shreveport isn't a bad place to visit with decent weather and casinos. If UNI fans want to travel down there and party it up, more power to them.

I will say that I’m surprised that these bowl games are surviving economically. Ticket sales are way down (I have more thoughts on that when we preview the UC-VT game) across the board. It seems like every game is selling tickets on Stubhub for under face value at this point.

Louisiana Tech 33 Northern Illinois 20

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