Northern Illinois Reached Their BCS Impasse

The years between 2006 and 2013 were the glory years of the non-BCS. It was like being a Saturday Night Live cast member in the ‘80s. The stars were becoming film icons, the show was a cultural phenomenon, and the cast was constantly pumping out the best comic improv talent in America. Beginning in 2014 when the College Football Playoff puts the BCS on ice, non-AQ conference squads will face obstacles akin to the ones black female comics on SNL have faced.

Over the last decade, college football’s Webster mini-conferences have found it beneficial financially and ratings-wise to them to take their business elsewhere.  While most BCS late season primetime matchups and conference championships play out on Saturdays, these industrious conferences have begun suiting up during weeknights on ESPN.

Last Friday night, Northern Illinois released a collective sigh of relief so strong that it was felt all the way in the Windy City. When David Fales’ javelin throwing right arm impaled Fresno State’s undefeated record, the traffic between Northern Illinois and a BCS bowl game invitation dissipated.  

The relief may have fooled them into a sense of false security. On Friday night, Northern Illinois was catapulted from their perch atop the MAC by Bowling Green.

This was no thriller either. Bowling Green squared up, caught Northern Illinois with a few right hooks and elicited a cheer from the BCS’ elitist gallery. Non-BCS interlopers have always been viewed as second-class citizens granted undeserved access to an exclusive country club outside of their means and talent capabilities.

The College Football Playoff will make it that much more difficult to play in the most visible post-New Years bowl games.

Malnourished Northern Illinois didn’t look the part in 2012 with their bony elbows, visible ribs and porous finesse defense, but they managed to meet all the requirements before getting smoked against Florida State in the Orange Bowl.

When head coach Dave Doeren bolted for NC State, Rod Carey slid in and guided them to the brink of their first undefeated season.

The Rose Bowl in Pasadena could have been a destination for the Huskies if Ohio State went to the BCS National Championship Game in Pasadena. Instead, they’ll get a field trip to Detroit’s Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, which is like spending your honeymoon in Yemen.

Forty-eight hours ago, there was a possibility that Jameis Winston would be charged and Heisman voters would grudgingly welcome him to the Heisman club. Jordan Lynch’s Heisman evaporated hopes took another blow after he completed just 52 percent of his attempts and threw a pair of backbreaking interceptions. He did break his own record for single-season quarterback rushing yards, but Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson also threw five touchdowns.

Let’s not cast too many aspersions upon Lynch. Although, he does have his limitations, he wasn’t exposed. Bowling Green’s defense, which allowed four points per game in the month of November would have been too stifling for most programs.

However, as aresult of the events of college football's last two Friday nights, there won't be a non-AQ team in the top-10 or receiving a BCS invitation for the first time since the they modified their formula to allow non-AQ teams access to its bowl games.

Earlier in the day, Boise State head coach Chris Petersen left the potato fields of Idaho and the Broncos’ tofu resources behind for some beefier resources at Washington. The winds of change are blowing and the non-BCS’ top squads may get swept underneath alongside other relics of the past. Petersen’s departure and Northern Illinois’ fumbling of the MAC Championship foreshadows a void that needs to be filled outside the power conferences.