Northern Illinois, MACtion deserving of BCS bowl bid

The MAC has flexed its muscles against the college football world all season long.

From Ohio upsetting Penn State in the first week of the season, to Kent State knocking off an undefeated Rutgers team Oct. 27, MACtion has proved its worth.

The season culminated with the conference champion, Northern Illinois, advancing to the Orange Bowl.

Yet, all I heard on ESPN’s BCS Bowl Selection Show was that Northern Illinois didn’t deserve their bid. Yes, they lost by a point to 4-8 Iowa and narrowly beat 1-11 Kansas.

But someone deemed the Huskies worthy. By finishing in the top 16 of the BCS standings complied by coaches, voters and computers and ahead of one automatic qualifier conference champions — actually two — they qualified for a BCS bowl game.

Northern Illinois likely stole Oklahoma’s spot in a BCS game. Poor Oklahoma — instead of making a BCS bowl, the Sooners face No. 9 Texas A&M, a former conference rival, and Heisman Trophy frontrunner Johnny Manziel.

Something else to keep in mind before the Huskies are discounted in the Orange Bowl: Non-AQ schools are 5-2 in BCS bowl games. The ACC’s gaudy record in BCS bowl games: 2-13.


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