Location: Camping World Stadium (Orlando, Fla.)
Time: Dec. 17, 6 p.m. EST on ESPN2
Teams: Northern Illinois (9–4) versus Coastal Carolina (10–2)
Line: Coastal Carolina -10.5
It’ll be all MAC versus the Sun Belt on the first Friday night of bowl season as the Northern Illinois Huskies (9-4) square off against Coastal Carolina’s Chanticleers (pronounced SHONT-TI-CLEERS) (10-2) in the Tailgreeter Cure Bowl. Moving on from that mouthful of syllables.
NIU won the MAC Championship over Kent State for their sixth MAC title ever and CCU finished tied for third.
A little history: NIU is returning to a bowl game for the first time in three years, but before that has been 0-6 in bowls since 2011. Gotta go back when they beat Arkansas State in the GoDaddy.com bowl. Coastal Carolina’s only been a program for six years, and they're still looking for a W in the bowl world. They hung tough against Liberty last year in the same bowl, but inevitably lost 37-34.
Coastal is a 10.5-point favorite and while we like them to win outright, it’s been a surprisingly decent year for NIU. Other than an embarrassingly lopsided loss to the now number-2 team in the country (UMich), the Huskies have found a way to keep the vast majority of their games from breaking wide open (even winning most of their games by a single score).
Add to that the fact that CCU has had a helluva time covering the spread, and we’d say the Chanticleers (a reference to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, we had to look it up), shalt not cover, but thou doth pulleth out thine W from the clutches of thine Loss.
Live by the close game, die by the close game.
The Score: Coastal Carolina wins but doesn't cover, 31-24
The Actual Score: Coastal Carolina 47, Northern Illinois 41
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