After a disappointing first half to the football season, it managed to win the last three games to become bowl eligibility.
But, will the Chippewas go bowling again?
Let’s take a look at the team’s resume, much like the bowl selection committee will do.
The offense has regained an explosive weapon in running back Zurlon Tipton, who was hurt much of the season with a broken ankle. Now that he is back to full strength, it’s safe to say he came in like a wrecking ball.
Don’t believe me? Watch his 86-yard run against Eastern Michigan, where he destroys an EMU defender. Tipton, along with wide receiver Titus Davis, combine to make one of the best one-two punches on offense in the Mid-American Conference.
Last year, 23,310 people attended the bowl game in Detroit. Most of them were CMU fans. If you went last year, that means you braved a snowstorm that hampered attendance. The bowl committee is all about making money, and with a lot of CMU fans showing up last year that will help CMU’s case.
CMU won the bowl game last year and it was exciting. Beating Western Kentucky 24-21 will be fresh in the minds of the bowl committee as well as the representatives for the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.
Those last three wins that CMU needed in order to gain bowl eligibility came against the worst teams in the MAC.
Let’s take a look at five of those six wins for CMU: The teams that they beat finished 2-10 (Eastern Michigan), 1-11 (Western Michigan), 1-11 (UMass) and 0-12 (Miami – Ohio). The fifth win came against FBS opponent New Hampshire, and required a field goal as time expired to win. Even CMU’s best win came against Ohio, which finished 7-5 after many experts picked them to win the MAC East. Having ine quality win hurts.
Our home attendance stinks. There is no way other way to put it. Our student section is a virtual no-show every game and those who do come leave at halftime. If the committee has ever watched a CMU game, it would’ve seen a lot of empty seats.
Public perception doesn’t believe CMU is bowl worthy. Experts and amateurs alike are not projecting CMU in a bowl game. I’ve looked at half a dozen bowl projections and none of them have CMU. The best chance is the Pizza Bowl, especially if Northern Illinois makes a BCS bowl. Most of them have NIU in the BCS, but I’ve seen three different MAC teams in the Little Caesars Bowl and none of them are CMU.
So, will the Chippewas make a bowl appearance? If I shook my Magic 8-ball, it would say “Not Likely.” Then again, you never know.