Northern Illinois Breaks Through So Let the BCS Whining Begin!!By Marc U.
I’ll be honest. Of the Bowl Championship Series games for 2013 there are only two that I find intriguing. Oh I’ll watch the the others out of curiosity, but the two best games seem to be the BCS Championship between Alabama and Notre Dame and the Fiesta Bowl between Oregon and Kansas State.
The Sugar features Florida against Big East champion Louisville, the Rose has Stanford against Wisconsin and the Orange offers ACC champion Florida State playing Mid-America Conference champion Northern Illinois. The Huskies earned the at-large BCS bid by finishing 16th in the rankings and this of course elicited all sorts of whining from the talking heads of college football. “It’s an outrage! It’s a shame! No way do they deserve it!” were cries heard across ESPN and other outlets Sunday night.
I’ve never understood why a team like Butler in college basketball is deserving of a tournament bid yet when a ‘mid-major’ in football does what is asked of them people act like it’s blasphemy. Let me guess, Georgia was more deserving right? Too bad. They had their chance and blew it with terrible clock management. Oklahoma deserved it right? Nope. Sorry, but you had your chances too and one of them you blew at home.
This is just one of the many problems with the BCS and even when it goes into extinction problems will persist. Until the NCAA recognizes a way to move to a 16-game playoff without losing their pressure dollars the whole thing will continue to be over-saturated with people whining left and right. Get over it.
An Early Look at the BCS Bowls
Notre Dame vs Alabama (-9.5) – People will dissect this game a million ways but it’s going to come down to to the very thing that 99% of football games come down to and that’s the play of the lines. Alabama rushed for over 300 yards against a pretty good Georgia team behind the nation’s top offensive line. If the Tide can do that and limit big plays on defense, I can’t see them losing.
Kansas State vs Oregon (-8.5) – My guess is that Wildcats Head Coach Bill Snyder is going to spend a lot of time looking at Oregon game-tape from their loss to Stanford. KSU’s defense is good, but I’m not sure they’ll be able to match the tempo of the Ducks. Conversely, Collin Klein and his offense may be able to over-power the Ducks defensively so I expect a high-scoring affair in Phoenix.
Louisville vs Florida (-15) – New Orleans is going to look like ‘The Swamp West’ when the Gator Nation rolls into town. This is SEC country and the Gators know it. Louisville has some nice down time to get QB Teddy Bridgewater healthy and he’ll need his health against one of the best defenses in the nation. I have my doubts whether the Cardinals can compete with the Gators offense which has become much more run-oriented under Bill Muschamp. This could get ugly.
Northern Illinois vs Florida State (-14) – I will defend these non-AQ teams to the death but I also recognize the hornet’s nest the Huskies are going into when they travel to South Beach. Now toss in the fact that their head coach Dave Doeren has accepted the same position at NC State and you’ve got the makings a Seminole beat-down. If NIU superstar QB Jordan Lynch can make plays with both his arm and feet as he has done all season then the Huskies have a chance. Their defense must create turnovers however because I don’t see them going toe-to-toe with Florida State.
Wisconsin vs Stanford (-6.5) – Unranked and beaten five times this year, the Wisconsin Badgers will be looking for respect. Let’s keep this in mind about Wisconsin; All five of their losses were by three points and three of those losses were in overtime. This team may not be ranked but if Stanford under-estimates this team they’ll be in trouble. With that said, the Stanford running attack is very good too and this might be the fastest BCS game ever played if the two teams run it as well as they can. I like this one to be close and down to the wire.