Chaos reigned supreme this weekend in the landscape of college football. Not only did Big Ten favourite Nebraska get demolished by an average Wisconsin team, the Northern Illinois Huskies crashed the BCS party by finishing 15th in the final BCS standings, punching their ticket to the Orange Bowl. Despite the unabated criticism emanating from ESPN’s studios, the Huskies have accomplished something truly magnificent in this day and age. Despite residing in the MAC, a conference that is largely forgotten this time of year, they made a strong push towards the end of the season, and have now become the only mid-major program to make a BCS bowl without going undefeated.
Most college football pundits will mock the Huskies and lament the fact that we rely on computers too much to choose which teams receive BCS bids, but the media played a significant role in boosting NIU’s stock by ranking them 16th in the USA Today poll. Some may say that the system is broken, but are the Huskies any worse than an 8-5 Big Ten team? A 10-2 Big East champion that lost to Syracuse and Connecticut? Even the ACC has a champion that lost to NC State and barely survived a 6-6 Georgia Tech in the conference title game.
All in all, this was quite a mediocre season of college football. Even the heralded SEC teams had some embarrassing moments, including LSU’s inept offense causing two defeats and Georgia’s inexplicable loss to South Carolina. Oregon once again failed to grasp the #1 position by losing to Stanford in OT, and Kansas State turned out their worst performance of the season against a mediocre Baylor squad. This seems to be a fitting end to a season mired in controversy, conference realignment, and numerous bowl bans, whether self-imposed or handed down by the NCAA offices.
That said, here is how the final BCS bowls will shape up, and the BCS championship match between Alabama and Notre Dame will be one heck of a slobber-knocker.
Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio
Wisconsin vs. Stanford
Northern Illinois vs. Florida State
Louisville vs. Florida
Oregon vs. Kansas State
Discover BCS National Championship
Notre Dame vs. Alabama
Image Credit: Fox Sports