Bowl Picks: 2017 Cotton Bowl Classic
[lead align=”default”]The New Year’s Six rolls on with the 2017 Cotton Bowl, featuring a big-time program and a Group of Five party crasher.[/lead]
The big-time team is Wisconsin, a school that harbored some College Football Playoff aspirations. It did not happen, nor did their winning the Big Ten. Some would say they probably should have, given their big lead over Penn State.
The team that’s undefeated here is not the Big Ten entry. Rather, it is Western Michigan, thanks to the Broncos’ 13-0 record and MAC championship. They were the highest-ranked Group of Five team, earning them an invite to the 2017 Cotton Bowl. A fun team to watch all season, Western Michigan fought their way here with a hot offense.
Of course, Wisconsin will be the first ranked team they’ve played all season.
2017 Cotton Bowl: Team Backgrounds
Western Michigan Broncos
Mid-American Conference champions
13-0 (9-0 MAC)
8th bowl appearance in school history (1-6)
Best win: vs. Toledo, 55-35 on November 25
Worst loss: Not applicable
One stat: If they end the season ranked, it will be the first time ever they’ve done so
Big Ten Conference
10-3 (7-2 Big Ten)
28th bowl appearance in school history (13-14)
Best win: vs. LSU, 16-14 on September 3
Worst loss: vs. Penn State, 38-31 on December 3 (Big Ten Championship)
One stat: 7th-best defense in FBS (303 ypg allowed)
2017 Cotton Bowl: The Edge
We keep saying it, but if adages mean anything, good defense beats good offense. Western Michigan is one of the lone true bastions of MACtion this year, putting lots of points on the board. Wisconsin is a big step up in competition.
I love this Broncos team but I just can’t.
2017 Cotton Bowl: Pick
[header text=”Season Thru 12-31-16 Bowls ATS” subtext=”53-59-2″]
[alert heading=”Western Michigan vs. Wisconsin (-8.5)” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]Wisconsin -8.5[/alert]