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Conspiracy Theory: Northern Illinois “Earns” BCS Bowl Bid

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Northern Illinois

Mike DiNovo-US Presswire

Before I begin, let me point out that none of what I am about to say applies to the Northern Illinois Huskies, the football team, the coaches, and faculty. My rant that you are about to read is about something much larger that the Huskies are square in the middle of. With that, please read on.

Yesterday the bowl announcements for the 2012 college football season were announced and college football fans everywhere were anxious to find out where their favorite team was playing. And for the Northern Illinois Huskies they got the news that they were headed to the Orange Bowl as a BCS at-large team to take on the ACC Champions, Florida State Seminoles.

As I said above, I harbor no ill will toward the Northern Illinois program. But this decision is nonsense. It infuriates me. Not because I think that a team like the Oklahoma Sooners, Clemson Tigers, Louisville Cardinals, or Boise State Broncos are better, although I do think all are significantly better.

This infuriates me because the fix was in. No doubt in my mind. To a man, the humans who voted on the polls had to consciously make the choice to slide Northern Illinois up to set up this very scenario. It didn’t have to be an organized situation. But enough of them thought they would put the thumb to the BCS and vote with an agenda rather than logic. Did their win over the Kent State Golden Flashes really warrant a jump of 6 spots? Hardly. But they did it, and now the supporters of the idea point to other non-AQ schools who’s made it to the BCS.

But the fact of the matter is, in all honesty there is no precedent for it. Every other non-AQ team that has ever made it to the BCS has done so with an undefeated record. Northern Illinois lost to the Iowa Hawkeyes. Say it again. Iowa. In fact their signature win was against Kent State in the MAC title game. Their only win over a school in an AQ conference was against the Kansas Jayhawks. Say it again. Kansas. Is this the resume’ that coaches and sports writers looked at and thought to themseleves, “oh yeah, this team is much better than the UCLA Bruins and Boise State after that win” and just happened to plop them squarely in the laps of the BCS bowl game landscape?

I don’t fault the BCS system for this. I am fine with the rules as they are written. I am fine with the 2 team limit per conference, and I am fine with the rules for non-AQ schools and how they qualify. But to manipulate those rules just to make a point at the expense of a BCS bowl game and to exclude a deserving team is a different issue. The greatest tragedy of it is in all probability many of the coaches/writers who did this either coach/cover teams who weren’t impacted by it, or who’s team stunk so bad they would never had sniffed the BCS. I don’t say this as a Sooners fan. I say it as a football fan. They want to send Louisville or Clemson or even Boise State over Northern Illinois, I am fine with it.

But enough of my soapbox. The voters got what they wanted and we move on. Come follow me on Twitter @nfldraftboard for more of my rants and ramblings.


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Northern Illinois Huskies Need Offensive Bounceback in Poinsettia Bowl

The Northern Illinois Huskies were one win away from making their second straight trip the BCS in 2013 before running into a brick wall in the form of the Bowling Green Falcons in the MAC Championship game. Bowling Green’s top-ten defense contained the high-powered offensive attack of NIU and upset the Huskies to keep them from busting the BCS yet again. Northern Illinois will have to find a way to bounce back offensively in a hurry, however, as they face another tough defensive challenge in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl against the Utah State Aggies.

The MAC title game was the first time all season long that NIU failed to score at least 30 points in a game. Combined with a rough day on defense, the Huskies faced a lopsided upset loss at the hands of the Falcons thanks to their physical defense which were able to keep Heisman Trophy finalist Jordan Lynch somewhat contained and even forced a pair of interceptions out of the offensive leader of the Huskies’ attack.

They will need to figure out what went wrong in a hurry, though, as Utah State brings a similarly stingy defense to the Poinsettia Bowl. The Aggies rank No. 12 nationally in total defense this season and No. 10 against the run. They have a physical defensive front that helped turn around Utah State’s season after a rough 3-3 start to 2013 that ended up in the Moutain West Conference Championship game in their very first year in the conference.

NIU will be challenged by the Aggies when they square off. If they stumble in the same way they did against Bowling Green, Lynch will leave the Huskies with a disappointing and unsatisfying finale to his collegiate career. Can the Huskies fix what failed them in the MAC title game and come out ahead against Utah State?

You can follow me on Twitter @Teeblerone, on Facebook and on Google

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