Cirminiello: Good For You, NIU. It'll Be Fun
Posted Dec 3, 2012

Cirminiello Bowl Thought: Good For You, Northern Illinois.

Richard Cirminiello

The fan in me is absolutely tickled by the inclusion of Northern Illinois in a BCS bowl game.

I'm ecstatic that the boys from DeKalb will be playing an overrated Florida State team in the Orange Bowl in January, because an otherwise crappy and bloated postseason needs a good hook, an intriguing angle to cover. Are they deserving based on the results from the last three months? No. But then again, neither is Louisville, which would probably lose to NIU on a neutral field. However, since the Cardinals won a ridiculously weak Big East, they get a free pass, right?

The postseason in college football pines for drama. We all wait for the BCS National Championship Game, and largely tolerate the smorgasbord of offerings that lead up to it. With everyone losing their minds about Northern Illinois between now and kickoff, fans won't help but want to know if this team can actually keep up with a national power program, such as Florida State. Admit it. The bowl season is so much more compelling when one of the mid-majors gets an opportunity to measure itself against a name brand school. The whole Cinderella thing has captured the imagination of fans for as long as sports have been watched in this country. And the Huskie hysteria has only just begun.

The system is badly broken. We all know that, but better days hopefully lay ahead. Heck, if there was an ounce of common sense in the sport, we wouldn't be limiting to two the number of teams from a conference that could get a BCS bowl bid. And we wouldn't have waited so doggone long for progress in the form of a playoff. Sure, Oklahoma got jobbed by the rules, but no more than, say, Georgia, LSU, Texas A&M or South Carolina. Why aren't tears being shed for the Bulldogs, Tigers, Aggies and Gamecocks, who might all be more deserving than the Sooners?

I never, ever root, but good job, Huskies. With its win over Kent State on Friday night in the MAC Championship Game, Northern Illinois provided a much-needed jolt to a postseason that desperately needs it in December and January. Everyone wants a storyline besides the obvious one involving Alabama and Notre Dame. Jordan Lynch and his teammates are it. Cinderella vs. the Seminoles? Or another bowl game between an SEC power and a Big 12 power? At least for me, it's an obvious choice.