Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl

Published on December 27, 2011 by   ·   1 Comment

little-caesars-pizza-bowl-logoThe Little Caesars Pizza Bowl is played annually at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.

It had previously been known as the Motor City Bowl and it was first played in 1997. Little Caesars took over the title sponsor in 2009 from the Big Three auto makers (Ford, GM and Chrysler).

The Little Caesars Bowl traditionally matches up a Mid-American Conference team against either a member of the Big Ten or Sunbelt Conference. This year’s matchup is between the Western Michigan Broncos (7-5) and the Purdue Boilermakers (6-6).

Kickoff will be at 4:30 PM ET on the Tuesday, December 27. The game can be watched on TV on ESPN or on the radio on ESPN Radio stations.


Some Big Ten teams like Ohio State and Michigan never have problems against the little brother Mid-American conference that surrounds them. Other teams, like Purdue, routinely play interesting games against teams that they underestimate.

Western Michigan is a high-octane offense with over 325 yards of passing per game. This is the same team that produced NFL Pro-Bowl WR Greg Jennings. They already beat the Big East’s Uconn and played a very close game against Illinois when they were still good. Their one Achilles heal is the mediocre defense that made a lot of the games they played in a shootout.

For Purdue, it’s another year of mediocrity in the Big 10. They lost to Rice (4-8) and got slapped once again by Notre Dame. Outside of an overtime win against Ohio State, there is nothing that really distinguishes them.

The sports books have Purdue as only a 1 1/2 point favorite. That kind of surprised me because I thought that the Big Ten team would get more respect. However, Purdue has played in this bowl before when it was known as the Motor City Bowl. They have played wild high scoring games against MAC teams before.

What surprises me even more is that more than 60% of people have bet on the Broncos. I actually have Western Michigan as the winner, but I thought I would be in the minority with this pick.


I have this game looking a lot like the 2008 Motor City Bowl when Purdue won a shootout with Central Michigan. However, I have the Boilermakers losing this game closely in a shootout with the final score 45-42 in favor of Western Michigan.

2010 Little Caesars Bowl

Previous Bowl Results

The MAC teams are currently 6-7 all time in the Little Caesars bowl; however, they are 2-6 in the past 8 years. The Sunbelt Conference is 1-1 in the Little Caesars bowl.


Toledo has not played in a bowl game since 2005 when the beat the UTEP Miners 45-13 in the GMAC Bowl. However, they are 7-3 all time and have found success in bowl games.

This will be Florida International’s first appearance in a bowl game. They joined the NCAA Division 1a only a few years ago and they have probably been best known for making the ESPN bottom 10 alongside there counterpart Florida Atlantic University.

Little Caesars Bowl Breakdown

RecordsToledo: 8-4; FIU: 6-6
All Time Bowl RecordToledo: 7-3; FIU: 0-0
Key WinsToledo: Ohio 20-13, Purdue 31-20; FIU: Troy 52-35
Key LossesToledo: Arizona 41-2, Boise St 57-14, Northern Illinois 65-30; FIU: Texas A&M 27-20, Pittsburgh 44-17, Middle Tennessee 28-27

One thing that may be key is the travel involved for the two teams. Toledo is about 30 miles outside of Detroit, so this is almost a home game for the Rockets. Meanwhile, FIU has to travel more than 1000 miles to get to the game.

Neither conference has done anything to distinguish themselves this year; although the Mid-American conference does have better teams at the top of the conference. The bottom of both conference have some of the worst teams in the country. The win by Troy against Ohio did show that the Sunbelt can hold its own against the MAC.

The best win that either team has shown this year is Toledo going to Purdue and winning. Florida International were up 20-6 after three quarters against Texas A&M, but folded in the forth quarter and lost 27-20.

Points For/GameToledo: 27.6; FIU: 28.3
Points Against/GameToledo: 28.1; FIU: 26.9
Offensive Yards/GameToledo: 359.5; FIU: 404

Nothing screams confidence from either of these teams. They are both middle of the road or worse in every category except for FIU rushing game which is ranked 28th in the nation.

Toledo did win 7 of 8 games in their conference but did not play 2 of the 4 best teams this year and lost badly to Northern Illinois. With their 8-4 record, they were actually outscored this year by their opponents.


This is a very similar game to the Troy vs Ohio bowl matchup where it seemed like both teams are evenly matched and the game could go one way or another. Currently, the line on this bowl game is in favor of Toledo by 1 1/2 points and nearly 75% of the people online are betting on the Rockets to cover.

I think that the main advantage is going to be the proximity of the Little Caesars bowl in relation to the city of Toledo. They should be able to draw supports for the game much easier than FIU will.

People may look at the records and think that the 8-4 team should beat the 6-6 team, but almost all of the wins by both teams are against the bottom feeders of the country. I predict that the Toledo Rockets will win 31-27.

Bowl Game Review

Break out FUI. I don’t know where they found the 2nd gear that they did, because I though Toledo had this game in the bag after the 24-7 start. Toledo looked like it was going to salvage the game at the end when they scored a TD with 1:14 left to go up by 1 point; but the game ending FG by FUI with time expiring won them the game 34-32 in an exciting Little Caesars Bowl. That gives the Sunbelt Conference a 2-0 record and the MAC an 0-2 record this year.

2010 Bowl Record – 5-3

Highlights from the Miami-FIU Brawl

Highlights from previous Little Caesars Bowls

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  1. […] last time that the Ohio Bobcats have played in a bowl game was two year ago when they lost the Little Caesar’s Bowl 21-17 against Marshall. Ohio is 0-4 all time in bowl […]

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