If there is one bowl to point to on why the bowl system is a bad, it's the Little Caesars Bowl between Western Michigan and Purdue. The complaint shouldn't be because of the football played, though. After all, this isn't another North Carolina game. But the point of contention is that it's a game between two Midwest teams on a Tuesday afternoon in Detroit. How many people will really be in attendance for that one?
Purdue limps into the game only after beating Indiana in the last game of the regular season while Western Michigan had to beat Miami (Ohio) and Akron. So it's not like either team is a hot, 10-win squad you'll get to catch. It's a 7-5 Western Michigan against 6-6 Purdue. And terrible, cheap pizza. In Detroit. It's hard to find something appealing in there. (Cue the transition!)
The most appeal in this game is Boilermakers junior defensive tackle Kawann Short, a gap shooting specialist. A second-team All-Big Ten selection, Short had 17 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. He's a guy who is ready for the NFL right now and could be a second-round pick if he came out. He has nice enough size at 6-foot-3, 310 pounds, but it's his ability to get through blockers that gets him the most recognition.
Western Michigan's potent passing game is led by senior wide receiver Jordan White. He's arguably the best Mid-American Conference wide receiver prospect, along with Eric Page of Toledo and LaVon Brazill of Ohio. White comes into today's game with 1,676 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. White has an NFL build and enough speed to get vertical. White will need to show himself in an offseason all-star game to prove he wasn't simply carving up the likes of Central Michigan, Connecticut and Toledo. Though to White's credit, started the season strong against Michigan with 12 receptions for 119 yards.
If you haven't already, download the bowl watch list put together by 3k.
In this game last year: Maybe the poor talk about this bowl isn't warranted. In last season's game, Florida International used a fourth quarter comeback to beat Toledo 34-32.
2013 NFL Draft watch: Both of these teams are fairly light on draft prospects, but Broncos quarterback Alex Carder could be a sleeper for 2013. He's completing 67 percent of his passes this season and has a solid arm.