GoDaddy.com Bowl Preview: Middle Tennessee, Miami (OH) in a Battle of Blue State vs. Red State

GoDaddy.com Bowl, Jan. 6, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN

What it is: A bowl intent on finding the most offensive sponsors it can. This used to be the GMAC Bowl -- Hooray big banks! -- and it's now named after a company that has made its name through commercials that are often tasteless, to be kind.

The Teams: Middle Tennessee and Miami (OH)

How Middle Tennessee got here: Thanks to Austin Peay. Yes, there are plenty of break-even teams that could credit their FCS cupcakes for their bowl-eligibility, but anyone who did so by defeating the Governors really shouldn't be allowed to play in the postseason. This is the same Austin Peay that got defeated 70-3 by Wisconsin. Sure, even some supposedly FBS teams got shellacked by the Badgers, but Austin Peay went 2-9 on the season, and one of those wins was against a team from NAIA. What's more, Middle Tennessee defeated the Governors 56-33, allowing more points to Austin Peay than any opponent save Cumberland University (the NAIA school) and Murray State. In case you're wondering, Wisconsin wast he only other FBS school on the Governors' slate. Aside from that, Middle Tennessee defeated Western Kentucky, a strong candidate for the worst team in the FBS, and FIU by a point each. I would say the rest of the wins came against the dregs of the Sun Belt conference, but the Blue Raiders couldn't even defeat those teams with consistency, losing to both Arkansas State (by 27) and North Texas (by six). The FIU victory was the only one against a team with a non-losing record. Dwight Dasher, the star of last year's season, missed four games for NCAA problems and was disappointing when he returned. The suspension resulted from borrowing $1,500 dollars from an 80-year-old VA patient, which is probably something even Cecil Newton wouldn't do.

How Miami (OH) got here: The Redhawks actually had a good season, at least for Miami (the other one). Ohio was the only non-AQ school that defeated Miami, part of a nine-win season for the RedHawks -- yes, they capitalize the "H" -- who ended up beating Northern Illinois to win the MAC Championship. The victory against the Huskies capped off a five-game winning streak to end the regular season. In an additional stroke of good luck, coach Mike Haywood bolted for Pittsburgh, meaning he was later identified as "former Pittsburgh coach" when the stories about his arrest for domestic violence broke. SEC fans last saw Miami when they played against Florida, a game most notable for Florida being unable to win by a large margin until the end because the reigning SEC East champions had not yet mastered the snap. Ohio was the only team in the MAC to score more than 21 points against the RedHawks, a positive development in light of Miami's scoring just 20.5 points per game, 23.1 in MAC games. But Miami does have some good players, including Armand Robinson, who had 90 catches for 981 yards and six touchdowns despite the so-so play of QB Zac Dysert; Robinson was among those who benefited when Austin Boucher took over as signal-caller for the last three games.

College football fans care because: There are only five college football games left.

SEC fans care because: The Middle Tennessee head coach is Rick Stockstill, a former assistant at South Carolina under Lou Holtz and Steve Spurrier, and just-former Mississippi State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz came from the Blue Raiders. So, you never know.

Watch this game if...: You have nothing better to do. And by "nothing better to do," we mean you're either a hopeless college football fan or you don't have laundry that needs to be washed.

The result: Miami (OH) 45, Middle Tennessee 13

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