Since 2004, MAC teams are in last place for conference bowl records (11-24) including the recent losses by Toledo and Ball State. There is still some room for redemption since the MAC placed seven teams in the post season this year and earned their first ever appearance in a BCS Bowl featuring Northern Illinois vs. Florida State in the Orange Bowl. The Big Ten has the second to last worst bowl record since 2004.
When asked to compare the Big Ten to the MAC, former NIU coach Dave Doeren said, "I haven't been in that league for two years so it's hard to say. I think we're very competitive. I'd like to play a bunch of them and have answer to that question. We didn't get to do that this year so I can't give a fair answer on that."
Northern Illinois did play Iowa out of the Big Ten in the first game of the season and lost by just one point, but the Hawkeyes only garnered four wins all year. The Huskies have won 21 of the last 22 games which means they were just a point shy from winning 22 straight.
NIU has a huge chance to validate their season's success and make up for the MAC's woes when they play in the Orange Bowl. Northern Illinois comes in as a double digit underdog against Florida State.
In the CFU Bowl Preview, I picked some extreme longshots with Notre Dame, Louisville, and Northern Illinois, but I would only take the Irish straight up even though I believe the others are possible. The Huskies have a decent shot at beating the spread, but it will be an upset for the ages if they pull off the win.
Conference Bowl Records Since 2004
SEC, 42-25 (.627)
Big East, 26-16 (.619)
Big 12, 34-28 (.548)
Pac-12, 25-21 (.543)
C-USA, 22-24 (.478)
Independent, 7-8 (.467)
Sun Belt, 7-9 (.438)
ACC, 27-37 (.422)
WAC, 13-19 (.406)
Big Ten, 23-37 (.383)
MAC, 11-24 (.314)