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MAC Championship Game: Staff predictions

Can Bowling Green stand in the way of Jordan Lynch and Northern Illinois to the BCS? Photo: USA Today Sports

The Northern Illinois Huskies are looking to make a second straight trip to the BCS. Busting the BCS in back-to-back seasons has been done once before, by TCU in the 2009 and 2010 seasons, but nobody seems to consider this Northern Illinois team in the same regard as those TCU squads or even the Boise State teams to reach the BCS. After a rough loss to an emerging power in Florida State last year in the Orange Bowl, Jordan Lynch and the Huskies are one step away from a chance to redeem themselves. But before they can even think about that scenario, they must get by a very under the radar Bowling Green team in the MAC Championship Game in Detroit. Here is how we are picking this game.

Allen Kenney: The Huskies are on a mission to sink their teeth into a second straight BCS bowl bid. With Jordan Lynch getting the chance to make his final Heisman statement, I just don't see NIU falling short.

Northern Illinois 37, Bowling Green 34

Andy Coppens: This game is intriguing because Bowling Green can play some defense and they’ll need it because Jordan Lynch is having a hell of a season. Lynch is THIRD in the country in rushing. Think about that for a second….a quarterback is third in the nation in rushing. He’s led this team to a great last two years and it will likely end in another BCS bowl game for the Huskies. Look for Lynch to get it done through the air a bit more than on the ground this week though. Bowling Green will give the Huskies a good challenge though.

Northern Illinois 37, Bowling Green 27


Aaron Torres: My stance on this is basically a watered-down variation of what I said on Ohio State: After getting a sweet taste of the Orange Bowl last year, there’s no chance that Northern Illinois gags away this game, and a chance to repeat as a BCS buster.

Plus: Jordan Lynch…Jordan Lynch…Jordan Lynch…

Northern Illinois 38, Bowling Green 21

David Singleton: Bowling Green has a pretty good defense but the Huskies are on a roll and a mission.

Northern Illinois 28 Bowling Green 17

Jonathan Biles: Jordan Lynch has to win his Heisman eventually.

Northern Illinois 38, Bowling Green 28

Josh Parcell: The Falcons have a prolific offense, but Jordan Lynch is a man amongst boys against the rest of his MAC brethren. The Huskies are on a mission to crash the BCS, and Bowling freaking Green is not going to stop them.

Northern Illinois 45, Bowling Green 35

Kevin Causey: NIU has been perfect on the season. Bowling Green on the other hand has slipped up three different times. The Falcons are on a bit of a hot streak though winning four straight including divisional opponents Buffalo and Ohio and they beat both of those teams to make it to this game. The Falcons have allowed just 13.8 ppg this season so expect them to make life a little uncomfortable for Jordan Lynch but in the end, Lynch and NIU win this game.

Northern Illinois 27 Bowling Green 20

Kevin McGuire: I really like this Bowling Green team and feel Dave Clawson is a rising name in the coaching circles in college football, but I just can't go against Jordan Lynch in this setting with so much riding on the outcome. Northern Illinois got a scare in last year's MAC Championship Game from Toledo, but I don't see Bowling Green quite on the same level as the Rockets from a year ago. Bowling Green's defense should be up for the task of slowing down Lynch, but it will not be quite enough to pull the upset. Northern Illinois is going back to a BCS bowl with the win.

Northern Illinois 37, Bowling Green 24

Tom Perry: Northern Illinois has passed every test this season and are on the verge of making a BCS Bowl again. The MAC title game has seen its share of upsets, but it's hard to imagine that Heisman-candidate Jordan Lynch won't lift NIU on his shoulders and deliver a 13th win.

Northern Illinois 32, Bowling Green 21

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Kevin McGuire

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to College Football Talk on NBCSports.com. Member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. College Football Hall of Fame voter. Also managing Bloguin's NittanyLionsDen.com and Macho-Row.com.

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