The Mid-American Conference will continue a six-season partnership with ESPN, the billion-dollar media company, into the 2025 season. The partnership has a plan of televising two set bowl games, the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl and the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. There is also a list of games that potentially could feature MAC teams. Two out of the nine are for sure to be played when decided by the bowl committee each year. This makes at least four bowl games played by the MAC annually.
Last year the MAC went just 1-5 in bowl games, as Ohio took down San Diego State, 27-0, in the Frisco Bowl in Texas. Buffalo lost to Troy, 42-32, in the Dollar General Bowl. Western Michigan went down to BYU in the Idaho Potato Bowl. Meanwhile, Toledo slipped up to Florida International and UAB defeated Northern Illinois. Lastly, Eastern Michigan lost 23-21 on a last second field goal to Georgia Southern.
"When we went into the 2020-2025 bowl cycle, this was a game (Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl) we targeted. I am very pleased we were able to secure a spot in this game," said Jon Steinbrecher, MAC commissioner. "Next, we will return to Detroit as a primary partner in the Quick Lane Bowl versus the Big Ten. It is gratifying to return to Detroit and play in the one bowl game that is in our geographic footprint. In addition we will play in four games owned by or partnered with ESPN events."
Here is a list of the games in the mix with the cycle:
• Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl (Florida)
• Camellia Bowl (Alabama)
• Cure Bowl (Florida)
• Frisco Bowl (Texas)
• Mobile Alabama Bowl (Alabama)
• Myrtle Beach Bowl (South Carolina)
• New Mexico Bowl (New Mexico)
• Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl (Arizona)
• Quick Lane Bowl (Michigan)
"Beginning in 2020 and for six years, the Mid-American Conference will have six primary bowl partners," Steinbrecher said. "This represents a strong slate of games against an array of opponents that should be challenging and provide attractive destinations to visit and enjoy."
The opponents for MAC teams have traditionally been from fellow Group of Five Division I conferences, apart from the Power Five like the Big Ten. The four conferences that will for sure be set as opponents will be from the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, the Mountain West Conference and the Sun Belt Conference.
Eastern Michigan has played in two bowl games in the last three years versus Conference USA and the Sun Belt respectively. They faced Old Dominion in 2016 in the Bahamas Bowl and they played Georgia Southern in 2018 for the Camellia Bowl. The Eagles lost both games by a margin of less than a touchdown.