The Norman Transcript

Sports

December 4, 2012

Sooners have no quarrel with the system that put NIU in Sugar

NORMAN — Partisans will always expose themselves. They’ll either tell you what their bias is in a direct way — like me when it comes to Class 6A football — making no bones about it.

Or, they’ll say something like ESPN golden boy and college football guru Kirk Herbstreit said Sunday night in response to learning Northern Illinois would be playing Florida State in the Orange Bowl.

“I love MAC football. Don’t get me wrong,” Herbstreit said. “But to put them in the BCS is an absolute joke.”

Uh, Earth to Kirk? I don’t think you love MAC football.

But that was the chorus on ESPN Sunday night, and certainly in some quarters of the Sooner Nation. NIU kept Oklahoma out of the BCS and it’s an outrage, a miscarriage of justice, a black eye for Uncle Sam, etc.

Did NIU keep OU out of the BCS? Well, sort of.

Let’s review the rules. Bowl champions of the Big 12, Big 10, Pac-12, SEC, ACC and Big East receive automatic bids. Also, no conference may be represented by more than two teams in the BCS. Also, any non-major conference champion that finishes as high as No. 16 in the final BCS standings receives an automatic bid. The Huskies topped Kent State — who everybody thought was the only threat to get into the top 16 — at the MAC championship game and came in No. 15.

For starters, Sooner fans should have no quarrel with NIU or even that part of the system that placed NIU in the BCS.

OU might have an issue with that part of the system that brought the Huskies in if it didn’t also allow bring in Big East champ Louisville and Big Ten champ Wisconsin, but the system allowed for the No. 21 Cardinals and the Badgers, who are not even in the BCS standings because it stops at 25 teams.

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