Posted December 03, 2012

ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit slams BCS’ inclusion of Northern Illinois

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ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit was particularly miffed that Northern Illinois received a berth to play in the Orange Bowl, calling it “an absolute joke,” “a sad state for college football” and an “injustice.”

Northern Illinois was the surprise inclusion to the BCS bowls, finishing in the top 16 of the BCS standings above two conference champions (the Big Ten’s Wisconsin and Big East’s Louisville) to secure its spot. For the first time in BCS history, a team from a non-automatic qualifying conference that was not undefeated was included in a BCS bowl. That knocked No. 11 Oklahoma out of a BCS bowl slot.

“The fact that Northern Illinois is in the BCS in 2012 is really a sad state for college football and where we are with the current system,” Herbstreit said. “Thank goodness we’re moving toward a new system in 2014. They don’t deserve to be in the BCS this year.

“Are you kidding me with Northern Illinois playing in the BCS? There are two things here that stand out. Northern Illinois — no one knew they were playing until the Toledo game a few weeks ago. … You’re going to leave Oklahoma out to put Northern Illinois into a BCS bowl game? Are you kidding me?”

Northern Illinois finished 12-1 this season and won the MAC Conference championship. The Huskies won their final dozen games after losing an 18-17 squeaker in their opener to Big Ten foe Iowa, which ended up finishing 4-8. Herbstreit said that was all the more reason they should be kept out of the BCS.

“To put them in the BCS is an absolute joke to the rest of these teams who are more deserving,” he said. “… Iowa’s the worst team in the Big Ten. They lost to Iowa.”

Here’s video of Herbstreit’s substantial rant:


63 comments
Jim A
Jim A

Based on what we've seen, the following teams shouldn't have been in Bowl games either:

Florida

Toledo

San Diego State

Ball State

Fresno State

UCLA

UL-Monroe

Air Force

West Virginia

Navy

USC

Purdue

...and it's only Wednesday. Too many Bowl games? Not as long as alumni are willing to buy tickets and some company is willing to stick their name on it (Heart of Dallas???)

 

vertigo0000
vertigo0000

Really ignorant analysis.  If Herbstreit had any clue what this means to the school and the community, he would shut his mouth.  I guess he's mad OSU isn't allowed to play for getting caught cheating again.  What a novel idea, let a team like NIU earn a chance to play and not give it to the school breaking the rules.

attncraft
attncraft

All I can say is that NIU has survived a serious tragedy on their campus, and they will surely survive this tirade by Kirk Herbstreit.  He should have first congratulated NIU on their season, and then given his reasons for disagreeing with the system.   A lot of things had to happen for NIU to get in, they didn't cheat their way in.   He also said no one knew about NIU til recently, but what has he been doing this entire college season?  He should know that they have been on many a sports analyst's radar.

bobglassberg
bobglassberg

Hey Herb,you been smokin some herb. Was it not the NIU huskies that beat THE MIGHTY CRIMSON TIDE  in the house that Bear built in 2003 or 2004. By the way the week before they beat MARYLAND at home. Should the small school conferences be allowed to be whipping posts for the likes of your schmuckeyes at the beginning of the season and when they have the longest winning streak in the nation play Texas at San Marcos in the MUM BOWL?

ianlinross
ianlinross

No biggie. Herbie never liked ND either.

Mattdd17
Mattdd17

Wisconsin is in the Rose Bowl. NIU deserves it as much as anyone else. Herbie is a joke.

ofchughes
ofchughes

im sure when the 4 team playoff happens herb will complain about that too. 

Maddux
Maddux

Actually Kirk Illinois is the worst team in the Big Ten....

StocktonRocket
StocktonRocket

I think Herbie crossed the line. Where was this conversation when 4 loss Big East teams like CT and Pitt in Fiesta Bowls? oh they got in because of the rules...which guaranteed their inclusion......Well Herbie so did NIU..............as to quality of game/competition? well what about last years Sugar Bowl? Orange Bowl? You can't really sell me that LSU and Bama was a game of the ages? How many time were Boise and TCU....told NO NO not our party? Have you thought of addressing the issue that even though NIU is in their payoff will not be the same as Florida St.? Oh and the deserving teams like Ohio St who were embarrassed and crushed in their last 2 appearances..........now if NIU gets beat in teh same way Herbie you will be telling everyone how wrong this was...Never said it when Oklahoma, Ohio St and Nebraska got crushed.............NO NO....diffferent rules for non AQ.

How do you spell Hypocracy Herbie....did you learn it at OSU?

mattjtucker40
mattjtucker40

And Alabama played the Utes in 2009 and was supposed to run them out of the building, and lost to them.  If you put NIU in a BCS conference like the Big Disappointment known as the BIG 10, would they be as good as OSU? No. But as good as Northwestern? Yes. And after a few years of recruiting like the big boys, they'd compete.  This was a team that lost all eleven of its games and lost 24 straight in the late 90's and slowly got better and better.  Now they have a new Sports complex and can easily be called the best in Illinois.  VCU shocked everyone in basketball.  Mid-majors consistently show up against the BCS teams and win.  Blame the Big East and other AQ's for sucking and don't blame NIU for having a great season.  Suck it Rob Long. 

bobinpowell
bobinpowell

RobLong, the best part is that the decision has been made.  Despite your lofty opinion of your opinions, they don't count.  Get over it.  And yourself.

firstrodeo
firstrodeo

As we all know, Herbie has always been a Big Ten homer. It seems like only yesterday that he campaigned for a rematch between Micigan and Ohio State for the BCS championship game because they were clearly the "two best teams". In fact, they were both soundly beaten in their respective bowl games. Kirk is always stumping for something to exalt the Grand Conferences and teams over what his alma mater's president calls the Sister"s of the Poor. Watching games called by Kirk and Brent Musburger is like watching television coverage of a political convention. They pay no attention to what's happening on the field, often times losing track of down and distance. Instead they focus on their own football agenda and prattle on oblivious to the game at hand. It is no wonder that Herbie pretends to be so miffed that a school like NIU goes 12-1 and gets a BCS bid. In Kirk's view, only schools like Ohio State, with their wimpy schedule should be honored with a BCS bid. Two years ago he stated that Terrell Prior and Denard Robinson were the only legitimate Heisman Trophy candidates. Clueless.

bhayes420
bhayes420

We've all bought in to the idea that only the BIG conferences (SEC, PAC-12, BIG 10, etc) can play football that is worth watching.  WRONG!  There are good teams outside those major conferences, and the bowl system needs to be open to all teams from every conference.  With scholarship limits, more players are going to the so-called mid-major schools and they play some really good football.  I really don't care that OU got left out.  Life will go on, unless you are a OU fan who thinks the world is ending if they don't make a big bowl.  Don't get mad at the sytem!  How about winning some games?  That would have assured them a place in a major bowl.  I'm glad some of these guys are getting recognition.  BTW...Big Ben, James Harrison, Antonio Gates, Randy Moss, Chad Pennington, Byron Leftwich, Asante Samuel, and MANY more good NFL players came from the MAC.  It's a good conference!

Wayne12
Wayne12

Who is Kirk Herbstreit?? One of the talking heads?? Let's see, there is a Bowl System put in place that basically rules out the Mid-Majors from participating. It is set up so that the big schools get all the money to continue to "pay" the top athletes to attend the school to continue to win the big money to "pay" the athletes to attend the school to ..... What a joke. If, and thet is a big IF, we had a desire to make the college game more competitive so that the smaller, as in Mid Major schools, could attract the better "student athletes", the only way to do it is to allow them to access the funds from bowl games and TV. It is in the best interest of the "talking Monkeys" like Herbstreit, to keep the focus on the same schools year after year. If good old Herb had his way Alabama would play USC ever year for the "National Title".

Mel
Mel

I'm with Herbstreit on this one. No way in hell NIU is more deserving than.......LSU, Texas A&M, OU, Georgia, or any of the other FOURTEEN teams ranked in front of them. And unranked Wisconsin gets the Rose Bowl to boot? LOLOL what a joke.

mattjtucker40
mattjtucker40

Oklahoma lost in the most memorable Fiesta bowl to... Boise State, a "mid-major" conference winner who "shouldn't have been there." Oh, and Wisconsin (not-ranked) and Louisville (ranked 21st) belong over NIU? Hardly.  If Oklahoma has a beef it should be with the AQ system that lets in the crap from the Big East (which in football should be considered a "mid-major").  Kirk Herbstreit "Just Shut Up" and "Who You Crappin'?"

Craig11
Craig11

 @bobglassberg2003 or 2004? The current roster were all in middle school...if that!  The argument is at least Boise, when they made it, were undefeated. NIU lost to IOWA... Beat Army...by ONE... Kansas by a touchdown....Toledo by SEVEN and it took them DOUBLE OVERTIME to beat Kent State! You can talk about 2003-2004 all you want...but this season is what matters.

 

Iowa
Iowa

Exactly...can't let the facts get in the way of the Big 10 homer Herbstreit's rant. Seriously, not sure how anyone can respect these talking heads' opinions when they spit out garbage like this. NIU played by the rules, just like Wisconsin & Louisville did and a number of unworthy BCS qualifers by birthright have in the past-there is no 'sad day'. If he's going to rant then his rage should be about Wisconsin or Louisville, not NIU. But he can't rip them, because to him their name sounds like they belong in a BCS game...Northern Illinois doesn't, because he didn't respect the MAC when he played at OSU and he doesn't now. These guys cannot be objective when evaluating teams like NIU, same goes for Jay Bilas, or Billy Packer in the past. NIU won a very solid MAC this season, league that certainly wasn't any worse than the Big East or ACC as a whole and probably wasn't far off the Big 10 this season, if at all. His opinion on this has zero credibility, he needs to stop the national commentary and stick to game analysis.

 

Iowa
Iowa

 @mattjtucker40 Always love how when it comes to non-BCS teams in bowls, the BCS school fanatics would rather focus on Georgia rolling Hawaii. They conveniently ignore Utah manhandling Alabama, or TCU beating Wisconsin, or the overall excellent record of the non-BCS conferences against the BCS schools. NIU is going to show just fine against Florida State, may not win but they will play well. And the crap about this being a no-win game for FSU is ridiculous. FSU has a chance to show they are better than that lousy outfit that played against NC State and Georgia Tech...if that's not enough motivation, then maybe THEY don't deserve to be in a BCS bowl.

attncraft
attncraft

 @mattjtucker40

 I think what has a lot of people upset is Herbstreet's over-the-top reaction to it.  He could have gotten his point across without disrespecting NIU.  Classless. 

yblood2hof
yblood2hof

 @firstrodeo Great points about the Big Ten alliance announcers. Just wish that he had pointed to the real points, not slamming NIU. Scandal in the Big Ten and even poorer teams than usual.  Texas and their constant desire to only think of themselves led to Big 12 defections. SEC not without blame as they have two division: The haves and the have nots. Since none of the bottom teams could win any games against the top 6 teams it made the top 6 look better than they are. No parity in the south. Wish ESPn would promote some announcers that are not biased for certain conferences. 

 

Eric3
Eric3

 @firstrodeo Sure he's a Big Ten homer, but that is completely irrelevant here.  He's asking why Oklahoma was excluded, not a Big Ten team.  Also, Herbstreit and Musberger are awesome.

RobLong
RobLong

 @bhayes420 OU won every game except for Kstate and ND.. Did anybody in the MAC play those teams? OU demolished Texas, will NIU do that? Can NIU score 50 agains WVU or Okie State? See the point, its about the quality of the team and how they represent against similar competition.. NIU isnt in the discussion. Herbie is right on this one.

RobLong
RobLong

 @Wayne12 theres a reason, the mid majors arent as good.. Lets take your beloved TCU as an example.. Look what happened to them as they played an entire season in a BCS conference.. Ooops, point well taken. Look what happened to UTah.... ooops point well taken.. These teams dont play tough football all year long and they get into a game and then they stick for 4 quarters and we think they deserve it.. No, they dont.. 12 games in big boy football beats up players and causes injuries that the mid majors dont experience. NIU looked fun to watch against Kent St but they will get crushed in Miami.

RobLong
RobLong

 @Mel Well, Wisconsin won their conference with 2 beasts sitting on the sideline.. OSU should be there for sure.. NU disgraced the conference with that performance against Wisconsin. They set the Big 10 back years in quality of play discussion.

RobLong
RobLong

 @mattjtucker40 yeah, lets see what happened to those mid major teams when they joined the big boys.. look at TCU and Utah this year... ohhhhhhh I guess you can shut up now cant you.. When middys come play a full schedule and experience the brutality of 12 games against good teams, thats when the discussion starts.. We wont see those teams be great for a long time if EVER. NIU does not belong.

Iowa
Iowa

And Northern Illinois won a very strong MAC this season and beat a top 25 Kent State team to do it. Pick and choose what you see as the lowlights...they also drilled a Central Michigan team that beat Iowa. They also beat a Toledo team that beat ranked Cincinnati. They have a perfectly good case, except too many people can't actually look at the actual results and just freak out by the school names.

DougHayen
DougHayen

 @Eric3  @firstrodeo Musberger awesome?????  You had better check your kool-aid.  He has been horrible firstrodeo was dead on right.

Iowa
Iowa

 @RobLong  @bhayes420 Seriously, you question if NIU can score 50 on WVU or Oklahoma State? Division II schools can score 50 on them, they both have abominable defenses. Considering NIU beat Kent State, which went to Rutgers and won solidly, I don't see any reason why they can't beat the type of teams you're pointing out. The MAC had considerably solid competition this year, no worse than the Big East, ACC or Big 10.

drkoelper
drkoelper

 @RobLong  @bhayes420

 Well, I went to the University of Hawaii, and I remember my 1994 senior season when we played the eventual Pac-10 champion Oregon and crushed them, 36-10.  Two years earlier in Eugene, we beat them 24-6 in the 1992 season opener on the road in Eugene, and went on to win the WAC, also defeated California and Pittsburgh in nonconference play, and then whipped Big 10 runners-up Illinois in the Holiday Bowl. So, please spare us your sanctimonious cluckings about the "quality" of mid-major football. We've hung with the best of the big boys in the past, and will no doubt do so again in the future.

DougHayen
DougHayen

 @RobLong  @bhayes420 Maybe you are right, let's see what they can do.  No reason for Herbie the love bug to dis NIU.  They are an up and coming team.  They do a great job of recruiting in the Chicago area.

drkoelper
drkoelper

 @RobLong  @Wayne12

 You have no idea what you're talking about, RobLong. Why don't you take a good look at former No. 3 Georgia's schedule this just-concluded season? You can't tell me that was a tough schedule. The only quality SEC opponents they played were Florida, South Carolina and Alabama, against whom the Bulldogs went 1-2. Those three, along with Div. 1-AA Georgia Southern, were the only UGa opponents who eventually finished with winning records. The record of everyone else on that schedule was a collective 30-54.

StocktonRocket
StocktonRocket

 @RobLong  @Wayne12

 LOL 10-2 Nebraska got 70 dropped on them in the Big 10 Championship...............yeah real good football.......My guess is NIU will look a lot better in Miami than the last 2 ACC Champions did there!!!

williamm
williamm

 @RobLong  @Wayne12 roblong, you compeletely missed the point of Wayne12's post.  the so-called "big boy"players are colalesced in the "big" schools cause they have the money to get them. duh! it's a quality of players issue and nothing more.  wherever the money is, the best athletes will be there.

StocktonRocket
StocktonRocket

 @RobLong  @Mel

 Oh Rob...............one of those beasts you mentino (Penn State) lost to MAC #6 (Ohio) this year  home

BryanCustard
BryanCustard

 @RobLong  @mattjtucker40 And TCU did just fine this year considering that half the damn team from last year was suspended during the off-season. Beat Texas @ Texas, played OU tight. Sure the record didn't look pretty, but considering the circumstance they showed that they have a chance to compete in the future, minus the suspensions of course. Utah you have a much better point with, they have truly disappointed in the PAC-12. And NIU can play, they are a good football team, and should be given a shot. Your problem should be with Wisconsin and Louisville getting in not NIU, and Northern Illinois has earned the right to see if they belong. Personally, I have seen mid-major programs that belonged with the big boys (TCU Rose Bowl winning team, BSU Fiesta Bow winnerl, Utah Fiesta Bowl and Sugar Bowl wins) and others that have fallen far short (Hawaii Sugar Bowl loss to UGA). so nobody will know until game night whether NIU is truly worthy or not, but they have earned their shot, just like those other teams, and desire they chance to prove it.

 

StocktonRocket
StocktonRocket

 @RobLong  @mattjtucker40

 Ok well let's look at WVu, USC, Virginia Tech, Arkansas (lost to UL Monroe) so I guess they can have sub par seasons and Utah and TCU can't? I didn't see Oklahoma dominate TCU (saw ND kick their ass)

williamm
williamm

 @RobLong  why are the "middys" Rob?  cause they don't have the dollars to attract the top talent.  why is that the case? google the term "monopoly"

Jason Prendergast
Jason Prendergast

Completely over the top message...this is a game played by college kids ... NIU worked their ass off like any successful team, program, student, etc....get over yourself Herbstreit.. you announce a game played by 18-22 year old kids for a living for god's sake!

Iowa
Iowa

 @BryanCustard  @RobLong  @mattjtucker40 Exactly. This year's TCU team was their most inexperienced team in years, worst team in last 5 yrs. And they still almost beat Oklahoma. Utah was on the way down when they went to the Pac-10, were not a good team second half of that last season.