The MAC will augment the number of Bowl games it is scheduled to play in by adding two bowls to 'secondary' contracts. In other words while at-large spots might be drying up because of Big12 Plans (and the assumed NCAA approval) to muscle in 6-6 teams ahead of teams with winning records the MAC has taken some steps to shelter itself by being on 'stand by' for two bowl game.
Presumably a 7-5 MAC team would slip in ahead of a 6-6 BCS team under this arrangement. It's similar in nature to the deal between the Sun Belt Conference and the Little Caesars Bowl, when the Big Ten can't send a team the SBC will fill in.
The agreement give the MAC five bowl games contracts, this is more bowl affiliations than at any time in its 64 year history.
"We will be in a position at this time next Friday to announce two additional secondary agreements, basically, bowl agreements will be secure with a primary and secondary agreements and speaking for our conference, this will be the largest number of bowl agreements we have ever had in the 64-year history of the MAC." -- Ken Mather, assistant commissioner of the MAC, in an email to mlive.com
So far nobody, not even FireUpChip's who broke the story, knows which Bowl games we are signing onto so it's impossible guess how often these Bowl's will need a fill in but for my money I would bet that the Eagle Bank and perhaps the Meineke Car Care or Pin Stripe Bowl are in the mix. All are near enough to the MC foot print for Travel and aside from ND filling in as a Big East Bowl Team (Pinstipe Bowl) none of which have an alternate.