BCS Rankings Reaction: Northern Illinois Proves System is Flawed

It’s the second-to-last year of college football fans having to suffer with the BCS system, and it could be two years too many. The national title game and multiple teams in BCS bowls were already set, but a huge surprise from a “BCS buster” school shocked many who believed there wouldn’t be any mid-major school making any of the major bowl games.

Nov 30, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Northern Illinois Huskies head coach Dave Doeren holds the championship trophy after defeating Kent State Golden Flashes 44-37 in double overtime to win the 2012 MAC Championship at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

With the MAC championship and only losing one game to Iowa by one point to open up the season, Northern Illinois finishes 12-1 and 15th in the BCS rankings. That’s enough to catapult them as a final at-large BCS bid that has to be taken if they finish in the top 16.

The rule is in place to give mid-majors a chance to play in the BCS bowls. But with all the good mid-major teams heading to BCS eligible schools, there’s no reason to have this rule in place anymore. In fact, it’s disgusting that Northern Illinois plays in a BCS game and a team like Oklahoma gets snubbed and heads to the Cotton Bowl.

Actually, make that pathetic, which is what the BCS is. Honestly outside of Oregon’s matchup against Big 12 winner Kansas State, are any of the games even worthy of getting hyped up over? Notre Dame backs into the national title game and Alabama looks as vulnerable as ever after the SEC championship. Louisville vs. Florida is only intriguing to those who believe the Gators are still frauds, and Stanford vs. Wisconsin can’t fill any sort of desire when we all know Ohio State is the best team out of the Big Ten.

When the Cotton Bowl could possibly have the best matchup of the postseason with Oklahoma facing former Big 12 foe Texas A&M (and potential Heisman winner Johnny Manziel), you know there’s something seriously flawed with the BCS system. And the fact that all these teams should be in a 16-team playoff anyway.

But for those that love having the regular season mean so much more than any other sport (because no one is watching the NFL, right?), I hope you enjoy your bowl slate this year. With a bunch of glorified exhibitions and a national championship that may not even have the best two teams in college football, I’ll make sure to get my popcorn ready.

Brian Spaen is the lead editor for Autzen Zoo. See his banter with other FanSided writers and love for his favorite west coast professional teams by following him on Twitter.

Topics: Bowl Championship Series, Football, Northern Illinois Huskies, Oregon Ducks

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  • GoJoeBruinUCLA

    I disagree kind of. Oklahoma has a million chances to get to a BCS bowl and they constantly blow it. Who knows? Maybe NIU is the new Boise State?

    • http://twitter.com/Spaeniard Brian Spaen

      Completely off. Northern Illinois’ opponents combined went 45-77 this season, their one loss is to 4-8 Iowa. Oklahoma lost to Kansas State and Notre Dame. Not even an argument.

      • GoJoeBruinUCLA

        OK, let’s roll with that precious system of yours, right? Six team playoff, in which the seventh team’s rowdy-ass fan-base winds up bitchin’ and moaning because what would be a BCS buster got in instead of them? Oklahoma will play Texas A&M, who you could argue was also screwed out of a BCS spot. the match-ups work fine, and we’re not so sure that the NIU team we saw in September is the same one now.

        But sure, you know what, let’s just try and shut out any future BCS busters from here on out, yeah? Let’s just ignore that the MAC, C-USA, MWC even play football. Let’s just stick to the traditional powerhouses and forget the rest, turn ‘em into FCS squads so we don’t have to hear. That works, no?

        • http://twitter.com/Spaeniard Brian Spaen

          Look at NIU’s schedule and get back to me. They are no better than Ball State in 2008 and that team didn’t even sniff the BCS. What kind of ridiculous, flawed system has a team from a mid-major conference GET AN AUTOMATIC BID if they reach the top 16 to snub a team like Oklahoma who finished higher. It’s just simply stupid.

          They did it to shut up Boise State and Utah that cried about never having a chance to get to a BCS game. Now guess what, some team from the MAC that will be over 17 point underdogs reached one. Good work.

          • GoJoeBruinUCLA

            Because then you monopolize it, and then you have a four-conference system with 1/5 of the nation consistently involved in the national scene and not allowing a team like NIU to get there. Oklahoma gets to play Texas A&M, a far better match-up than Florida State anyway.

            This team ain’t 2010-11 UCONN in the Fiesta Bowl. Teams have had bad losses. And? Oklahoma State lost to a mediocre Iowa State squad and got into the Fiesta Bowl. What’s to say that NIU doesn’t sweep its schedule if they played the same competition? Margins of victories? Please, as if those were ever a fair measure.

            Watch the game. Enjoy it and, like the rest of the nation, root for the goddamn underdogs.

          • http://twitter.com/Spaeniard Brian Spaen

            So are we going to allow NIU into the four-team playoff so we make sure not to monopolize that? Of course not. Wouldn’t have surprised me one bit if Notre Dame, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia all made that playoff if it happened this year. There needs to be a 16-team playoff format and a system in place like every other sport in existence.

            The BCS system has a bunch of old rules in place for teams that have moved to a better conference. Because of two weak bigger conferences that allowed NIU to squeak in and take advantage of a rule that shouldn’t even be in the system anymore. You just penalized Georgia, Oklahoma, etc. from getting into a BCS bowl bid. There’s a difference in payouts and exposure from what bowl you go to, the only people that care about the actual matchup are sports fans.

            I’m not saying who NIU could and couldn’t beat, but their resume isn’t even close to the competition the other teams that were snubbed faced. That’s all fact. And margin of victory should be a factor, not a complete reason. Oregon looked far more impressive in their wins than Notre Dame who played down to their opponent, but because we didn’t want schools running up the score anymore, we completely took out that factor and Oregon’s 49-0 win against Arizona looked exactly the same as Notre Dame’s squeak by against Pittsburgh in three overtimes.

            In the current BCS format, Northern Illinois doesn’t belong, and that’s what shows how broken the system is. Doesn’t mean I won’t watch and root for them, but it’s too big of flaw to ignore.

    • Guest

      Completely wrong. Northern Illinois’ opponent record is 44-75 while Oklahoma lost to Kansas State and Notre Dame.