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Championship Week: Northern Illinois and Bowling Green square off for a MAC title

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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Mid-American Conference Championship
Bowling Green vs. (14) Northern Illinois
Dec. 6, 8 p.m., Ford Field

Bowling Green: The Falcons, who have not played in the Mid-American Conference title game since 2003, rallied from a two-game losing streak in late October to win four straight, including a 24-7 victory over Buffalo in the regular season finale to secure a spot in the title game.

Northern Illinois: Much like last year, Northern Illinois cruised through its MAC schedule. The Huskies have not played a close game since escaping Akron 27-20 on Oct. 12. This is the first time in the past three seasons NIU has gone undefeated in conference play.

Travis Greene, RB, Bowling Green: Part of Bowling Green’s offensive gameplan is to establish a strong running game to set up the play-action pass for quarterback Matt Johnson. Green is second in the MAC with 1,422 rushing yards and is averaging 6.1 yards per rush. But Green will have his work cut out for him since NIU has the league’s second-best rushing defense.

Jordan Lynch, QB, Northern Illinois: By now, the legend of Jordan Lynch is well known. He’s a Heisman candidate and one of the most dangerous dual threats in the country. He leads the MAC with 1,755 rushing yards and has 2,457 passing yards. He has 22 passing touchdowns and 20 rushing touchdowns. He’s been the toughest player to stop all season.

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WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH: Well, it’s the only game on Friday night and really, what else are you doing? On paper, these teams match up really well with Lynch being the difference-maker. And, if you want to see what all the fuss is about regarding Lynch, this would be a good opportunity to check him out. Bowling Green will have to control Lynch to win the game, but no one has really done that yet. This game should be a lot of fun.

WHAT’S ON THE LINE: Most of the pressure is on Northern Illinois because if the Huskies win – and stay ahead of the America Athletic Conference champion in the BCS standings – they will play in their second consecutive BCS bowl game.

PREDICTION: Bowling Green is the toughest team Northern Illinois has faced this season, but the Falcons could claim the same thing. Jordan Lynch is the gamechanger here. The Huskies go as he goes and with a BCS bowl and a Heisman invite on the line, he’ll have a big game. NIU 35-31

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on Twitter!

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