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Published: Thursday, 12/5/2013

BG knows MAC schools want NIU

Money to be gained with BCS bowl

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

BOWLING GREEN — Bowling Green State University coach Dave Clawson knows his football team will have plenty of support from administrators and fans when it plays Friday in the Mid-American Conference championship game.

The Falcons also know they may not have much support from other MAC schools when they face No. 16 Northern Illinois at Detroit’s Ford Field.

“There is not an athletic director, an administrator, or a trainer in the [other] Mid-American Conference [schools] who is rooting for Bowling Green,” Clawson said.

“If we win, the way that affects their budget is not good.”

If the Huskies receive a bid to a BCS bowl, the payout would be $17 million split between the MAC’s 13 schools. A typical bowl for a MAC school would pay $1 million at the most, and in some cases less — and that money also is spread around the conference.

Northern Illinois needs to beat the Falcons to take a bid from one of six available automatic-qualifier schools.

“Every commissioner of every AQ conference is a huge Bowling Green fan right now,” Clawson said with a smile. “I’m kind of disappointed that I haven’t received a fruit basket from [SEC commissioner] Mike Slive or [Pac 12 commissioner] Larry Scott or [ACC commissioner] John Swofford, because I know they are huge Bowling Green fans.

“So we have more schools for us than against us. It’s just that the teams that we play against are the ones that aren’t pulling for us right now.”

Clawson said the Falcons will not draw any motivation from keeping the Huskies from making history.

“Not one ounce of our motivation is to prevent them from going to a BCS bowl,” Clawson said. “Our motivation is all for Bowling Green. We want to be MAC champion — it’s as simple as that.

“I think you have those goals when you’re not a good team. … When you are a good football team, you don’t have to get into negative goals.

“We’d love it if we beat team and they still could go to a BCS game, because we still would get all that money, too.”

RUMOR MILL: Clawson cut off a media member who tried to ask if he was a candidate for open coaching jobs at other schools.

“To even bring something like that up now is disrespectful to our program,” he said. “I know you need to ask it, but we’re trying to win a conference championship.

“Our focus is on winning the MAC championship. That’s where my focus is.”

INJURY REPORT: The Falcons will not have junior rover Justin Ford. He has not been cleared for practice because he has experienced concussive symptoms. Ford has not been in uniform for BG’s last two games.

Freshman running back Fred Coppet also is doubtful. He too is suffering from concussive symptoms. Coppet was not in uniform last Friday at Buffalo.

Travis Greene, who was injured late in the win over the Bulls, is expected to play. He left the game with knee discomfort but returned to the field. He has practiced with the Falcons all week without incident.

Contact John Wagner at: jwagner@theblade.com, 419-724-6481 or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.



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