I'm a huge Ohio State fan (full disclosure). I always try my best to be objective when discussing College Football, but just like any fan sometimes that task presents a challenge. My mom told my wife shortly before we got married that she knew that she was the one after she was able to make it through one entire football season with me. My fandom sometimes borders on obsession, but I wouldn't have it any other way!
The MAC itself doesn't get an automatic bid, but if you care to read the BCS qualification rules, you'll note that the highest ranked team from a non-automatic qualifying conference that is a conference champion (as long as that team is No. 16 or higher in the final BCS ranking) will receive an AUTOMATIC bid to the BCS.
Last season, Kent State was ranked ahead of Northern Illinois when the two met in the MAC Championship Game. Whichever team won that game would be MAC champions AND ranked No. 16 or above, therefore GUARANTEEING an AUTOMATIC invitation to the BCS.
So, yes, I do think (and KNOW for a FACT) that if Kent State had beaten Northern Illinois they would have received an AUTOMATIC bid to the BCS.
Both very good matchups. I would go with Battle if you think he'll still get work this week for the Chargers. And he should, because the Saints haven't stopped the run. Good luck!