By Raymond Rolak
TELL US DETROIT
DETROIT– The Quick Lane Bowl at Ford Field still has growing pains. The event debuted in 2014, taking the place of the Motor City Bowl and Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in Detroit. The first edition of the game pitted Rutgers against North Carolina; a game the Scarlet Knights won 40-21 after their first season in the Big Ten. Minnesota beat Central Michigan in the 2015 game. The 2016 edition had pitted two 6-6 teams against each other with Maryland and Boston College. The game ended up being an entertaining contest, with BC holding on for a 36-30 win.
According to the Quick Lane Bowl’s official website, “After hosting college bowl games for nearly three decades at their home stadium, the Detroit Lions wanted to take part in the tradition by bringing their own bowl game to Ford Field. The Lions’ wish was granted when Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany had expressed a desire to revamp the conference’s lineup of bowl games for the 2014 season to keep them ‘fresh.’ The Detroit Lions official committee put a plan together and traveled to Chicago, to present to Big Ten athletic directors and Charlotte, to present to ACC athletic directors with the hopes of securing a new bowl game at Ford Field in Detroit. With the approval of the NCAA and support of ESPN and both conferences football committees the Lions created their own bowl game. ”
This Year’s Edition: Northern Illinois (8-4, 6-2, MAC) vs. Duke (6-6, 3-5, Atlantic Coast Conference)
Northern Illinois finished the 2017 season in second-place in the MAC West Division with a 6-2 league record, 8-4 overall. The Huskies return to the bowl season after missing a bowl appearance last year, which snapped a MAC record streak of eight consecutive bowl appearances (2008-15). Fifth year head coach Rod Carey and the Huskies defeated Nebraska from the Big Ten earlier this season. Northern Illinois will be making its 12th bowl appearance as a member of the MAC (4-7 record in bowl games).
The Duke University Blue Devils enjoyed a successful start to the 2017 season with four consecutive victories. They had wins over North Carolina Central, Northwestern, Baylor and chief rival North Carolina with the 27-17 triumph over the Tar Heels. They finished strong by winning their last two games.
Dec. 26: Quick Lane Bowl – Detroit, Mich. 5:15 p.m. ET The game will be televised nationally on ESPN. http://www.detroitlions.com/quicklanebowl.html