The Northern Illinois Huskies were disappointed when they went into the MAC championship game and lost -- and then lost their coach, Jerry Kill, to the University of Minnesota before they could even play in a bowl game.â†µâ†µ
They took out their frustrations on the Fresno State Bulldogs in the Humanitarian Bowl Saturday, winning 40-17; quarterback Chandler Harnish completed 17 of 26 passes for 300 yards and a touchdown, and also ran for two more touchdowns.â†µâ†µ
But should the Huskies have been able to go somewhere other than the blue field of Boise? Consider this sequence: NIU just beat Fresno State. Fresno State's last regular season game was a win over Illinois, who beat Northwestern 48-27 in the Wrigleyville Classic at Wrigley Field. The week before that, Northwestern beat 13th-ranked Iowa. Two weeks earlier, Iowa had defeated then fifth-ranked Michigan State in a 37-6 blowout. And on Oct. 2, Michigan State beat Wisconsin 34-24.â†µâ†µ
The conclusion is clear: Northern Illinois should be playing TCU in the Rose Bowl. Or maybe be in the BCS title game. That makes about as much sense as the BCS ranking system, anyway. Congratulations to the Huskies.