Perhaps more interesting, and certainly more disturbing, than Northern Illinois busting the BCS conference stranglehold on the major bowls this weekend with being granted a berth opposite ACC champ Florida State in the Orange Bowl on New Year’s Day was the absolute arrogance of the guys breaking the news on ESPN Sunday night.
Kirk Herbstreit, David Pollack and Jessie Palmer – shame on ya, guys. Talk about biased. Their too-close connections to BCS programs at Ohio State, Georgia and Florida, respectively, due to their now long-ago scholar-athlete days came oozing out with every syllable uttered in dismay, discord or downright condescension at the Huskies’ inclusion at the main table.
OK, we get it. North Illinois doesn’t have wave upon wave of athletes of the caliber seen at places like Oklahoma. It doesn’t have the pedigree or history of any other squad in the top 25, and probably the next 25, too.
Thing is, the aforementioned athletes-turned-analysts need to hear their own words and abide by them: This is the system, deal with it.
For any digs the BCS setup has sustained over the years, it is guys like Herbstreit and Pollack who ultimately throw out the “it is what it is” life raft and rescue college football’s most ill-conceived brainchild possibly ever.
Pollack came across like a spoiled child, who had his entitlement privileges pulled for the very first. Herbstreit tried to be his mocking best, stating how quarterback EJ Manuel would really have to play above his head to guide the Seminoles past Mid-American champ Northern Illinois.
Before he could even plant that tongue firmly in cheek, the former Buckeyes signal-caller was on his high horse, stating his disbelief in how a system could be this poor and baseless and unfair.
Yeah, OK … the BCS system has been unfair to the likes of Ohio State, Georgia, Florida and Oklahoma, Kirk.
Please, nation, commence with uncontrollable laughter.
It’s fine to make the point that he, or Pollack, or Palmer, or anyone else, disagrees with the process. Just don’t do it when it only affects your own agenda, or team, or elitist mindset of the major conferences are the only ones who could possibly produce quality, even BCS bowl-worthy programs.
This thinking has been so insane, so limited, so closed off that those making their points and counter-points actually look back at West Virginia hammering Oklahoma in the 2008 as some David vs. Goliath tale, a mid-major slaying of a national power. Um, guys, the Mountaineers were part of the Big East then, which even today remains one of the BCS conferences. West Virginia, meanwhile, just finished its first season in the Big 12 – which, if memory serves, is the same conference home for Oklahoma.
The pretzel-logic spin to rationalize things is so one-sided as well. Remember when Utah, from the non-BCS Mountain West, smashed SEC power Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl? The Tide, apparently, couldn’t adjust to being left out of the national-title game. So, a letdown was in order. A year later in the same game, Cincinnati’s players just got unceremoniously dumped by their coach, Brian Kelly, in favor of a new gig at Notre Dame and proceeded to get pounded by Florida – but no excuses there. The Bearcats couldn’t possibly match up, being a lesser light. Funny thing is, Cincy is a BCS school, too.
Just don’t tell Herbie …
Boise State beat Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl? Hey, just a total fluke again because the Sooners felt down with not being part of the national-title action.
It is amazing how often Oklahoma comes up, or factors in, BCS arguments. Can we, once and for all, stop overrating this program every year?
It skews the perceived reality of certain analysts all the time.
If anything, Northern Illinois – which, by the way, is 12-1 and has one of the most entertaining players in the sport with bullish quarterback Jordan Lynch – bumping the Sooners from the BCS bowl mix deserves a thumbs up for offering a variation from the norm, including an excuse for when they’d lose to Florida State in Miami.
Whether the BCS is fair or not, deal with it. The Huskies and every other mid-major have to do so every season, and their ilk has benefitted from it a lot less than the likes of Ohio State, Georgia, Florida and Oklahoma have.