|W. Michgan (7-6)||32|
by CFP Staff
Both teams finished the season with 7-6 records. Western Michigan got here by winning three out of its last four games and owning a 38-31 win over Connecticut (UConn) of the Big East Conference during the season. Purdue arrived with a 6-6 record with victories in two of its last three games, including an upset of Ohio State.
Neither team's season was awe-inspiring.
The Boilermakers' two nonconference wins were a 3-point squeaker over a Middle Tennessee team that finished 2-10 and FCS member SE Missouri State. Purdue lost 24-22 on the road to a Rice team that was just 4-8 and was blown out 38-10 at home by Notre Dame.
Purdue was not competitive at all against this year's top Big Ten teams, bowing 36-14 to at Michigan and crumbling 62-17 at Wisconsin. Its best wins came against a pair of 6-6 teams in the Buckeyes and an Illinois squad that Purdue caught in the midst of a 6-game losing streak.
Western Michigan defeated one 6-6 club (Eastern Michigan) and a pair of 5-7 teams in (UConn and Bowling Green).
Purdue’s appearance in this game was the third by a Big Ten Conference team in the Detroit bowl and the second for the B'makers who eked past Central Michigan 51-48 in 2007. This was their first bowl game since then and this win improved the Boilermakers' all-time bowl record to 9-7.
This game appeared to present a solid opportunity for a Western Michigan bowl win as 73.3% of CollegeFootballPoll.com voters picked the Broncos to win and the Congrove Computer Rankings projected the Broncos as a 3.11-point winner.
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