Saturday, December 1, 2012

Just a Bit Short for Northern Illinois

It came down to one play in the SEC championship game that decided who got to play Notre Dame in the BCS championship game. As for the last BCS bowl berth, it will come down to a few votes.

In the least surprising BCS decision in some time, Alabama earned a spot in the BCS title game after winning a de facto playoff semifinal against Georgia. It'll be the Tide's second consecutive appearance in the championship game and their third in four years. Nick Saban also will be going for a record fourth BCS title, to go with his two previous at Alabama and one at LSU.

But what holds the most intrigue for Sunday's revelation of the final BCS standings is not who's No. 1 or No. 2, but who's No. 16. If MAC champion Northern Illinois somehow squeezes into that spot, it will earn an automatic BCS berth and with it, a near $10 million windfall for the conference. In that case, the Huskies will have to do it without coach Dave Doeren, who earlier Saturday accepted a job to go to N.C. State.

But based on the Guru's projections, Northern Illinois will fall tantalizingly short.

The Huskies made it close because the Huskers played a stinker of a game, falling to 7-5 Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game by the shocking score of 70-31. The voters are expected to punish Nebraska for the embarrassing loss, and to what extend will determine whether Northern Illinois gets to the magic No. 16 slot or not.

Since we do think the Huskies will fall just a bit short, the BCS bowl picture is rather straightforward:

BCS Bowl Projections:

BCS championship: Notre Dame vs. Alabama
Rose Bowl: Stanford vs. Wisconsin
Fiesta Bowl: Oregon vs. Kansas State
Sugar Bowl: Florida vs. Oklahoma
Orange Bowl: Florida State vs. Louisville
(Complete Bowl Projections)

Final BCS projections:

1. Notre Dame, 2. Alabama, 3. Florida, 4. Oregon, 5. Georgia, 6. Kansas State, 7. LSU, 8. Stanford, 9. Texas A&M, 10. South Carolina, 11. Oklahoma, 12. Oregon State, 13. Clemson, 14. Florida State, 15. UCLA, 16. Nebraska, 17. Northern Illinois, 18. Michigan, 19. Boise State, 20. Northwestern.


Anonymous said...

I don't see a 9-4 UCLA ahead of a 12-1 NIU team. Be interesting to see what happens.

Rocketman5000 said...

I don't see UCLA going up in the BCS, that's for sure.

Voters I've talked to believe Boise State would make a better BCS Bowl showing and have a much-larger fan following than Northern Illinois. I have Nebraska, Boise State and NIU very close.

Anonymous said...

NIU deserves it. Hopefully the voters will not go just for the money. But it's America...anything can happen.

John Curran said...

No, Boise State deserves it more than NIU. NIU and Kent State did not have to play against any top team. Even Boise State having to play at Michigan State and beating a BYU team that lost by 4 points to Notre Dame, is better than anything teams such as NIU and Kent State had to play against. They should not even be in the top 25.

Sasha Delira said...

As a boise state fan I would like to see them in a bcs bowl, but honestly this recouping team doesnt deserve it this yr, yes they finished with only two losses but they lost to san diego (a non ranked team)and michigan who later dropped out of rankings. While there losses were by few points there winnings were against non ranked easy opponent's. As for who deserves the bcs birth, that is a very good question.

Garrett Leavitt said...

First I'd just like to say that I'm a die-hard Bronco fan. As a man who claims to 'bleed blue', of course I am excited by the prospect of a BCS bowl!
However, with that said, this year’s team is nowhere near where I thought they'd be at this point.
I have seen Boise teams do the unimaginable. I watched as they beat Georgia in the Georgia dome, or as they beat Oregon 2 years in a row(one time in Oregon), and I was at the game in which they beat a very good Virginia Tech team in front of an 85,000 person crowd(80,000 of which in VT colors). Then there was that 2010 Fiesta Bowl victory against TCU (#3 at the time).
Those were all with Kellen Moore.
It turns out that replacing the NCAA's most-winning quarterback really is as hard as it sounds, and that, even with Coach Pete, the task will take time. Joe Southwick is a good talent, but he's no Kellen Moore and he doesn't quite have the weapons around him (Austin Pettis, Titus Young, Doug Martin, etc.). I would have much rather seen them compete in a BCS game in 2008(12-1 #9 in the nation), or 2010(12-1 and #10 in the nation), or last year where I felt the 12-1 and #7 nationally ranked team deserved a BCS bid. This year is different. In the Kellen Moore era we were 7-2 against top 25 teams. Thus far in the 'Southwick era' we are 0-1 with that loss to a lack-luster Michigan State team that Moore would've slaughtered. Not to mention the embarrassing 7-6 win over BYU where neither team deserved to win. Also, once again, we are without a kicker. That was also the reason we lost the San Diego State game. Simply put, this team is not ready for the bright lights.
But neither were Jared Zabransky and Ian Johnson.
Sound familiar? That's the quarterback and running back that led Boise State past Adrian Peterson and the #7 Oklahoma Sooners in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl.
There's just something about this team and the way that Coach Pete recruits that makes them prone to playing their best when the odds are stacked against them. Perhaps it’s how he prepares his team. Or maybe it’s what he says to them before the game and during halftime. Or maybe he even purposely recruits players that no one else does, so that he can use that ‘chip-on-their-shoulder’ attitude to conjure up the energy that makes them want to prove something on the big stage. Despite how he does it, Chris Petersen’s teams perform on the big stage, and that, there is no debate about.
So do the Boise State Broncos DESERVE this BCS game? No way. Especially not when you compare this year's schedule to the 2009 schedule that had them playing in the Maaco Las Vegas Bowl after beating #13 Virginia Tech, #24 Oregon State, and lose by a field goal(more like extra point) to #19 Nevada.
So after BSU went 3-1 against ranked opponents in 2010, beat Georgia in Georgia last year, and were ranked in the top 10 both times, you're telling me that NIU DESERVES a BCS birth?!?!?!
That's insulting.
There have been several teams in the past and even this year that didn't get, or won't, get BCS bowl games that they DESERVE. Northern Illinois is NOT one of them. Yes they only have one loss (Iowa, who is last place in the Big Ten Legends Division) and Boise has 2. However, Northern Illinois had the easiest schedule in College Football, yes, 124th out of 124 in Strength of Schedule. Normally that means that you should go 12-0 if you're truly DESERVING of a BCS game. That's what Boise State had to do both times they went to a BCS game and that's what I believe should be the case for any non-AQ team wanting to find its' way into a BCS game.
Put Boise State in and let them show you why they are synonymous with the word underdog.

NIU Fan said...

NIU diehard here, so obviously I'd love a chance to go to the Orange Bowl. But I'm sure many other Huskie fans would agree with me, we just want a matchup with a quality BCS opponent in a Bowl Game. Who cares about the Orange Bowl. Send us to The Igloo Bowl in Alaska to play a UCLA, Michigan, A&M, or even Boise. We just want a good opponent in a Bowl Game, we don't care what Bowl it is.

NIU Fan said...

Also, NIU had the lead in the Iowa game up until 2 minutes to go.
ALL 5 offensive lineman were making their first career starts. Jordan Lynch was making his first career start. NIU's OC Mike Dunbar had just been diagnosed with cancer a month before the game.

NIU should have won. They played VERY conservatively compared to how they play now.

Love the team to death, but I agree, they don't deserve a BCS bid. But it's the system that's the problem, not the team. L'ville or UW certainly doesn't deserve a BCS bid either. Get rid of AQs and this never would be an issue and college football fans would get to see a UF/OU matchup in the Sugar Bowl.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, but how do you brag that Northern Illinois' only loss was against Iowa, who was 4 - 8? Oklahoma lost to two teams ranked #1 this year and has one of the top ten SOS this season. Nonsense. Northern Illinois should be completely out of the equation. Putting them in A BCS bowl will mean millions of dollars lost to the host city, TV viewership, and make (again) a complete mockery of the bowl system.

Demosthenes said...

It looks like the Orange Bowl is going to get stuck with a team that couldn't even beat Iowa. Florida State v.s Northern THAT'S a marquee matchup for you.

The Sugar Bowl, as a result, is going to get stuck with Louisville -- the team that only escaped being the least preferable team in the BCS because Northern Illinois is crashing the party. And their opponent will be Florida, another team that gets selected to a BCS game despite not even being able to win its division. At least they aren't following in the footsteps of Nebraska and Alabama before them, and heading off to play for the title.

Kansas State and Oregon get to duke it out in the desert, in a game that no one wanted to see unless it was for the national title. Many of us didn't even care about it then.

And in the Rose Bowl, a five-loss Wisconsin squad that finished third in its division has forced its way into the Granddaddy of Them All. Poor Stanford. What a terrible reward for having won the Pac-12.

And where are LSU? South Carolina? Georgia? Texas A&M? Clemson? Oklahoma? Any one of those six teams would be preferable to a two-loss Big Least champion, or the MAC champions who barely beat Army and Kansas. Yet they won't make the big bowls, the first four because of a silly two-team rule and the last two because of silly automatic bid rules.

About the only think the BCS got right was the Notre Dame-Alabama championship match, which might actually be a game I will watch. The rest of them, I will pass on, and start counting down the days until we get the first rudiments of an honest-to-God PLAYOFF, one in which Louisville and Northern Illinois would not be able to participate.

Todd Johnson said...

Actually, NIU is in.

And actually, without Nebraska tanking -- NIU & UCLA would have gone down to the wire, if you really looked at the numbers.

#17-#21 were pretty close, with UCLA having a big lead. But dropping enough, it would not take much for NIU to hop over Boise & Michigan... and with #18 texas falling and NIU beating #17 Kent... there ya go.

It's not a shocker that it would have come down to the wire of NIU & UCLA taking the #16 spot.

But with Nebraska falling, it basically solidified it.

And leaked reports have NIU #15. So yeah, Nebraska wasn't required. :)

Anonymous said...

Every singly year you make some outlandish prediction and you're always proven wrong. GIVE IT UP