Posted January 01, 2013

Report: Orange Bowl rep to Northern Illinois: “We didn’t even want you here”

NCAAF
Northern Illinois will try to pull off an upset against Florida State in the Orange Bowl. (Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

Northern Illinois will try to pull off an upset against Florida State in the Orange Bowl. (Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

Northern Illinois is a two-touchdown underdog to Florida State in the Orange Bowl and with the internet and expert chatter that they didn’t even belong in the game comes a report from CBSSports.com that says the Orange Bowl wasn’t too fond of the Huskies playing in the game either.

According to a report, an Orange Bowl representative made it quite clear that Northern Illinois was not the bowl’s first choice.

“You guys [NIU] don’t even deserve to be here,” the Orange Bowl rep said to the NIU staffer. “We didn’t even want you here.”

According to a source, the exchange took place the other night in a hospitality suite. The Orange Bowl rep had compared NIU to Duke, the source said, and the NIU rep responded by pointing out that the Huskies, who are riding a 12-game winning streak, have been to bowl games in five consecutive seasons.

Last month, ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit said it was “a joke” that Northern Illinois earned a BCS spot over teams like Georgia and Oklahoma.

Northern Illinois (12-1) is playing in its fifth straight bowl game and finished in the Top 15 rankings of the BCS to earn a spot in the Orange Bowl.


24 comments
m.guszak
m.guszak

Because Oklahoma was so deserving, right? Look, nobody wanted Louisville either, especially Florida. Then you have a five loss Wisconsin team that finished third in their division of the Big Ten. Not arguing that NIU was great and should have been there, but that doesn't mean anybody else was screwed out of a game. Heck, even if you had Florida there you might not have sold out that stadium. 

James C
James C

I'm sure ESPN and the Sugar Bowl didn't want NIU in the BCS either. From a revenue standpoint, it had to suck for the Orange Bowl and for ESPN.

 

ESPN's ad executives: Hey, we've got some nice advertising time available for the Orange Bowl" .

 

Potential advertiser "Who will be playing?"

 

ESPN guy: Florida St against Northern Illinois.

 

Potential advertiser " Are you kidding me?, who is Northern Illinois?"

 

The Sugar Bowl had to be just as thrilled.

 

We can have Florida against Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. That should be a good matchup. Wait, Northern Illinois has to go to a BCS game. That means we get to choose between Louisville and NIU. I guess it's Louisville, at least that's a name people recognize.

 

I'm not trying to rip on Louisville, but they were destined to play in the Orange Bowl, which was going to be a decent matchup with FSU, and allow a decent matchup in the Sugar Bowl.

 

The decision by the coaches to fall in love with NIU after they beat Kent St really caused a major ripple in the entire Bowl landscape.

 

Had NIU gone to a MAC tie-in game, The Orange gets Louisville-FSU, the Sugar gets Oklahoma-Florida, the Cotton then gets a possible Texas-Texas A&M, TCU-Texas A&M, or Texas Tech Texas A&M game instead. All of those would be good draws for that game and would have gotten an in-state rivalry game instead of an out of state team in the game. The ripple would have continued down the the Big 12's bowl alignment and possibly altered teams that got into Bowl Games, such as a deserving La. Tech team getting into a Bowl game instead of getting caught up in circumstances and being left out of the mix.

 

 

James C
James C

I agree with the idea that NIU did not deserve to be in this game. There are several reasons for this. First, they did not play a schedule close to that of the teams that were left out of consideration. Would NIU have faired as well as they did playing a Big Ten, PAC-12, Big 12, ACC or SEC (or heck, even a Big East) schedule? They were not perfect, losing to a pretty bad Iowa team.

 

The other reason I don't think they deserved to be in is how they got in.

 

If you look at the coaches poll prior to the MAC title game, and then after, it took some real work just to get them in.

 

In the week prior to the MAC title game NIU was ranked 21st. Ahead of them were 20th Boise St, 19th Michigan, 18th Texas, 17th Kent St, 16th UCLA, 15th Oregon St, 14th Clemson, 13th Florida St, and 12th Nebraska.

 

NIU moved from 21st to 16th in the coaches poll. Some of those jumps were understandable. Beating Kent St means they should have jumped them. Nebraska was absolutely destroyed by Wisconsin, and Texas lost to K-State. UCLA lost to Stanford for the 2nd week in a row as well. Of of these losses gave NIU room to move up. What I don't understand is how NIU could jump Boise St (who was ranked ahead of them all season), and Michigan (a team who had 3 more losses, to teams at the time with a combined 4 losses between them). I have a problem when a team beats another team that was marginally higher in the rankings, but passes teams that played much tougher schedule and that were ranked higher all season.

 

The simple fact is the only way a non-BCS conference school should ever make a BCS game is they are undefeated, or they have a loss to and elite team for a lone loss. NIU's loss wasn't to an elite team, it was to a member of a conference that had a down year and that wasn't even bowl eligible from that down conference.

 

To even compare Louisville to NIU is wrong. The Big Least may not be a good conference, but it is head and shoulders above the MAC.

 

 

fortknoxguy45371
fortknoxguy45371

As a Louisville fan, the talking heads were saying the same thing and laughing. Look who has the last laugh now! This is why we play the game in the purest sense. Money and greed is making college sports wrotten and taking the sport out of it. I'm not a NIU fan, but the parallel is the same with Louisville. Since Louisville won the Sugar, who knows if NIU could have won before the game - that's why we play. With Louisville leading 33-10 into the 4th, looks to me like the Gagors didn't belong. They sure didn't behave like they belonged there. No class! And, where were their fans? Depending on where you read, Card fans out numbered them anywhere from 2-1 to 4-1 based on opinion. It was 4-1 on Florida's own website. So I say let them play and bring back the sport.

Brother Flamma
Brother Flamma

If the "hospitality suite" account is accurate, the Orange Bowl rep should be disciplined for his remark. You don't invite someone to your house and then tell them you really didn't want them there.

j7apple
j7apple

Got to hand it to the BCS selection folks. NIU did beat  Army, Kansas, Buffalo,Akron,West Mich, Mass, East Mich  some serious powerhouses with a combined record of 15-69   almost laughable they got a BCS bid..

Scott1988
Scott1988

Sadly NIU was beaten pretty bad.

lshaffer_69
lshaffer_69

Listen the team that is in the bowl deserves weather or not he get beat 58-7.  If you don't like it get it fixed and shut your mouth.  They need to create a Division 1 football division with 50 schools most states get 1 school a few gets 0 and some like Cal, Tex and Fl get two or three.  One of the reason that some school are not getting the recruits is because of all the choices they have.  we limit there choices to big time schools the more competition we have at a more elite level.  The kids can also go to smaller schools in smaller division without much money but will still get the schooling.  Itis not right when division 1 teams go play small ass schools because they don't have too .  This will mean you will have to play some team from the 50 schools that are in your division and will like it.  This will create better bowls games better teams and a true college champion.

CheriEspinoza
CheriEspinoza

You have to love the argument that it's a joke to include a certain team in a system that is itself a joke.

frangooch32
frangooch32

Northern Illinois represents everything that is good about college football. Oklahoma and Georgia do not.

GM
GM

I went to both NIU and FSU and I was very surprised that NIU got the bid. But it was nice to see them take another step. NIU is a big school with a large population base around Chicago. This game will only strengthen College Football. Having said all that, I graduated from FSU, so go Noles :)

rma1015601
rma1015601

I lost what little respect I had for Herbstreit after those comments.  He is entitled to his arrogant opinion but he should have kept it to himself.

Jim A
Jim A

 @lshaffer_69

 But what if none of those "Division 1" schools offer the academic programs that these students are looking for?

jjbingham
jjbingham

 @frangooch32 "NIU represents everything that's good about football" except football. They weren't very good yesterday. Maybe they had a great season, but they weren't a very good match up for FSU, that is, unless you want a walk in the park bowl game. Which for FSU they got. An easy win against a small school team that didn't belong. Oklahoma or Georgia would have both been better choices than NIU.

bubbalooey
bubbalooey

 @Jim A  @lshaffer_69 HeHe, Jim, athletes don't care what academic programs are offered, these are jocks with average or less I.Q.

MPS
MPS

 @JoeCabot  @frangooch32 actually, no.  that's what the nfl is about.  and, if you don't know the difference arguing with you is a waste.

JonathanD
JonathanD

 @jjbingham  @frangooch32 Georgia had 1 top-25 win all season long, when they won 14-9 over an opponent that had 6 turnovers and 14 penalties.  NIU had just as many top-25 wins.  So it's not like Georgia did something incredible to deserve a BCS bid either - 1 out of 3 against top25 teams doesn't cut it.And I remember when Pitt, the Big East champ, got beat something like 38-0 by Utah.  Or when USC beat Oklahoma, the Big-12 champ, by over 40 points.  Or when Ohio State, the Big-10 champ, got beat 41-14 by LSU.  Or when Alabama lost by 2 touchdowns to Utah.  Or when Oregon State won the Fiesta Bowl 41-3 over Notre Dame.  So plenty of "big schools" lose badly in BCS games too.

redmch91
redmch91

 @bubbalooey  @Jim A  @lshaffer_69 You both have a point...but there are some solid options for the non NFL hopefuls and realists.  Stanford, Vandy (looks like it's on the rise recruiting wise), ND, Gtech, UCLA, Cal and I'm sure there are others.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

 @MPS  Oh, so creating competitive programs is not what college football is about?   And I thought that these universities paying large salaries for coaches and recruiting the best possible players were meant to put the best possible team on the field.  Apparently I am wrong.  Please enlighten.