The first post-Christmas bowl for the 2008-09 bowl season is the Motor City Bowl, absent a Big Ten team for this year's match up. This year's Motor City Bowl spotlights the MAC's Central Michigan Chippewas (8-4, tied for 2ND in MAC West) vs. Florida Atlantic Owls (6-6, tied for 5Th in Sun Belt).
Many preseason publications expected the Chippewas and Owls to finish high in the MAC and Sun Belt, respectively. But, Cidsports wasn't among them in August '08, projecting the another wrong team in the MAC and Troy in the Sun Belt.
Central Michigan is playing in their third straight Motor City Bowl. Last year, the Chippewas fell 48-51 to the Big Ten's Purdue. Florida Atlantic is playing in only their second bowl, since becoming a FBS program officially in '04. Last year, the Owls defeated Memphis 44-27 in the '07 New Orleans Bowl.
The Florida Owls are making their 2ND trip up to the State of Michigan this season, after a regular season 0-17 loss at Michigan State. Central Michigan will enjoy a home-state bowl game again, looking to get back on the winning track in the Motor City Bowl, after beating the Sun Belt's Middle Tennessee 31-14 in the '06 Motor City Bowl and ending the '08 regular season with back to back losses.
How much will home cooking play into this year's Motor City Bowl? It worked well for Central Michigan in the '06 game vs. a Sun Belt opponent. Can it work again this time vs. the Florida Atlantic Owls? Will the offenses get on track for a post-Christmas shootout warm inside in Ford Field?
Central Michigan 56
Florida Atlantic 52