Michigan Strong: Four Teams From Michigan Get Bowl Bids, And Ferris Heads To The D2 Semi-Finals
In addition to Western defying the odds and getting a major bowl bid, three other teams from Michigan are going bowling this New Year's, and then there's Ferris State's snippy Bulldogs, still kicking in the Division II playoffs.
The University of Michgan, Eastern and Central all garnered bowl bids in addition to Western, while Ferris State will play Saturday in the Division II semi-finals.
Here's the Michigan college bowl schedule:
Saturday December 10
Ferris stunned undefeated Grand Valley in Allendale Saturday to earn the right to advance in the NCAA Division II playoffs, traveling to Maryville, MO to take on the defending champion Bearcats. The winner will move on to the championshuip game, which will be held at Kansas City's Childrens Mercy Park on December 17. Northwest Missouri has won five D-2 titles, one more than Grand Valley, who has four. This is the farthest Ferris has ever advanced.
Monday December 19
The Chippewas struggled after a good start, which included a stunning upset of 12th ranked Oklahoma State on the road. (Losing that game kept the Cowboys out of the national title picture until Saturday when they were routed by Oklahoma). The Chips lost four of their last five games, and must figure out a way to stop a Tulsa offense that puts up 40 points a game. Tulsa finished the season 9-3, while Central is 6-6.
Friday December 23
The Eagles get the rare treat of playing a bowl game out of the country, getting a nice vacation to the islands as a result of their 7-5 season. Although their opponent, Old Dominion, sports a much better 9-3 record, the Monarchs don't own a quality win like the Eagles do. Eastern upset Mountain West runner up Wyoming 27-24 back in September.
Friday, December 30
Jim Harbaugh's Wolverines were in the playoff picture until the very last moment, and get the Orange Bowl as a consolation prize, facing a 9-3 Florida State team, who battled 2nd ranked Clemson before losing 37-34 in October. The Wolverines' top ranked defense will face a Seminole team that was inconsistent at best in this season. Michigan owns wins over three top ten teams, Wisconsin, Colorado and Penn State, but stumbled down the stretch, losing two of it last three.
Monday, January 2
The undefeated MAC champions get a huge test against the Wisconsin Badgers, who finished the season 10-3 after losing in the Big Ten championship 38-31 to Penn State. Wisconsin battled both Michigan and Ohio State to tough losses in the regular season, so this will be a great test to see how close Western Michigan is to becoming the next Boise State, a smaller profile school consistently playing with the big boys in the Power Five conferences.