Troy-Central Michigan: Quarterbacks Set to Duel in Mobile's GMAC Bowl

Tucker SargentContributor IIIDecember 7, 2009

GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 12:  Levi Brown #12 of the Troy Trojans attempts a pass during the game against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 12, 2009 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

It's official.

The GMAC Bowl finally announced on Sunday that its Jan. 6 bowl game in Mobile will feature two conference champions—Troy and Central Michigan.

Troy (9-3, 8-0 Sun Belt) accepted the bid Sunday amid tons of speculation.

Since 2001, the Sun Belt champion has appeared in the New Orleans Bowl each year based on a contractual agreement between the conference and the bowl.

But this is 2009, and in a year that Alabama is No. 1 and USC has fallen out of the top 25, who says the norm has to be followed? 


The contract also states that the champion doesn't have to go to New Orleans if another bowl offers them a bid, and after Notre Dame fell out of the bowl picture last week, that's just what the GMAC Bowl did on Sunday.

The unusual offer sets up one of the most underrated matchups this bowl season, as the bowl game will feature the only matchup of two conference champions outside of the BCS.

Featuring two of America's most overlooked quarterbacks, this game has all the ingredients to prove its critics wrong.

Central Michigan (11-2, 8-0 MAC) is led by senior quarterback Dan LeFevour, a star who has better stats in his career than either Florida's Tim Tebow or Texas' Colt McCoy.

In fact, the Downers Grove, Illinois native is the only quarterback in NCAA history besides Tebow to ever pass for 20 TDs and rush for 20 TDs in the same season.

This year, he has thrown for 3,043 yards and 27 touchdowns, shattering CMU records along the way in what seems to have become a weekly ordeal.

Opposite LeFevour, Troy has a senior leader of its own.

Quarterback Levi Brown won the starting job for Troy last season after starter Jamie Hampton went down with a season-ending knee injury at Florida Atlantic.

Since then, the 6'4", 219-pounder has flourished.

Brown has racked up 3,868 yards through the air this season for 22 touchdowns and is good enough to rank eighth nationally in passing.

Either Troy and CMU better start working on their defenses now, or those in charge of Mobile's Ladd-Peebles Stadium will have to consider adding more light bulbs to the scoreboard.

Whatever the case, get ready for an exciting game full of offensive explosion.

The GMAC Bowl kicks off at 7:00 p.m. ET and will be televised nationally by ESPN.