The 2011 Little Caesars Bowl pits Mid American Conference champion Western Michigan against the Big Ten's Purdue.
It is a welcomed return for the Boilermakers, who are making their first bowl appearance in four years, their last being in this very same bowl.
Their counterpart, The Western Michigan Broncos entertain with their highly-powered offense that is looking to avenge their two losses against Big Ten teams this season.
Although the Little Caesars Bowl looks like an average matchup at best on paper, games like these have great potential to provide a great and close game.
For a complete preview of the Little Caesars Bowl, continue below.
Location: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
Time: December 27th at 4:30 p.m. EDT
Radio: 1260 AM- Purdue, 92.5 FM- Western Michigan
Line: Line has yet to be set
Purdue greatly struggled throughout the inaugural season of the new, two-division Big Ten. After a dismal 6-6 season, Purdue looks to end their average season on a very high note, while providing a bright outlook for 2012.
Meanwhile, a familiar face returns to Ford Field for the Little Caesars Bowl. Western Michigan and their high flying offense take the field, looking to put a stamp on their season labeled "success."
Who Might Not Play for Purdue
RB Ralph Bolden- OUT (torn ACL) The starting running back tore his ACL during the team's final game of the regular season, and will be sorely missed out of the backfield for the Boilermakers.
Who Might Not Play for Western Michigan
QB Alex Carder- Probable (shoulder) The starting quarterback for the Broncos missed the season finale against Akron, but the junior quarterback should at least play in the bowl. If he does not, Western Michigan is in big trouble.
What the Bowl Means for Each Team
For Western, they're growing impatient. The school's all-time bowl record is 0-4 and see this opportunity as a prime shot to get off the bowl game schnide.
They have already accomplished their initial season goal by winning the MAC against Ohio. Now they have to go out and defeat a Big Ten team, a conference that went 2-0 against the Broncos.
For Purdue, its a giant opportunity. They've had a miserable season, finishing 6-6 overall. Head coach Danny Hope can breathe for a bit after taking Purdue to his first bowl game.
Western Michigan Player To Watch: QB Alex Carder
Carder is the cannon in the Broncos effective offense. He has a strong arm who can make the long throw downfield. His skills and patience inside and outside the pocket make him a quarterback to be reckoned with.
The Boilermakers will have to keep their eye on him all day.
Purdue Player To Watch: DT Kawann Short
Short emerged as one of the premier defensive players not only on the Purdue roster, but throughout the entire Big Ten. He will serve a huge role in stopping Carder, and will look to contain him and the Broncos running backs.
Prediction: Western Michigan 37, Purdue 27