Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Herbstreit, NIU, BCS, BS, etc

You know, I always kind of liked Kirk Herbstreit.  I had forgiven him for going to OSU, I felt like he didn't sabotage the Les Miles hire at Michigan, and he seemed like he was a pretty good observer of college football.

Apparently that was all a mistake.

Everyone is aware of the screed he released on the air on Sunday when it was announced that NIU had qualified for the BCS and would play in the Orange Bowl.  He was blunt, intemperate and ignorant, and he deserves the abuse he's taking.  He's tried to walk it back a little bit, but he shouldn't.  He said what he felt.

Yes, I know the arguments.  NIU did lose to Iowa and in the past the peasants had to be undefeated to get into the castle.  Those are facts.

Other things are less so.  For example, he said that "no one has been even been talking about NIU."  Well, Kirk, you are one of the people who does the talking, so that's kind of a bizarre argument to make.  My question would be, "why weren't you talking about NIU?"

(By the way, Jay Bilas used the same argument when trashing VCU.  "They weren't even in the at-large conversation" he said, by which he meant that one ESPN was holding, because they obviously were in the one that the NCAA was holding.  VCU made the Final Four.)

He trotted out the old "they couldn't do it every week" argument and a few others.

He certainly didn't apply the same scrutiny to NIU that he did to Wisconsin or Louisville.   Wisconsin lost 5 games and Louisville had a very soft schedule.

And, in his every week argument, he did not point out that NIU did one thing that Alabama and Notre Dame didn't do very often, which is win on the road.  Both teams played 8 home games this season.

Mostly, he said it was a "joke" and that stung.

I mean in a lot of ways, it is a joke.  We're going to play this great regular season and then move to bowl games where Wisconsin and Louisville are in major bowl games along with NIU and half the teams will have interim coaches and the big games will occur after a month's layoff and teams with losing records are in and the stadiums will be mostly empty and meanwhile the FCS will play its tournament...yeah, it is a joke.

But it isn't a joke because of NIU.

Who made it a joke?  Your buddies, Kirk.  The entire system was created by the power schools and they added the BCS Buster exception only under extreme duress.  THEY created the conditions through which a team could break into the major bowls, not NIU.  All NIU did was qualify under the rules established by someone else.

So, the big schools set up the rules and then belittle NIU for qualifying.  And, let us not forget that they qualified despite a highly suspicious campaign by Big 12 coaches to vote OK up to the top 10 and NIU down to the 20s.

I can say two things.  It would be so, so sweet if NIU beat Florida State in the Orange Bowl.  And there is now a new place Herbie can't live:  DeKalb.

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