BCS 2013: Fresno State or Northern Illinois?

Who will bust the BCS, Fresno State or Northern Illinois?

11/15/13 in NCAAF   |   Tyler_Waddell   |   407 respect

Both Fresno State and Northern Illinois are favored to win the Mountain West Conference and Mid-American Conference, respectively, but only one of the two will be able to break things open in the final year of the BCS. Blog Photo - BCS 2013: Fresno State or Northern Illinois?

So which non-AQ team will be the last to bust the BCS before the College Football Playoffs start in 2014?

Northern Illinois comes off its biggest win of the season, taking care of Ball State at home by a final of 48-27 (although it was much closer than that score indicates). The Huskies currently sit at No. 15 in the BCS Standings with a .3505 average ranking, are 10-0 and are expected to win the MAC.

Jordan Lynch is one of the most decorated quarterbacks in the country and is well-known for his ability to run the ball, making some noise as a Heisman contender both last and this year.

Despite the No. 123 strength of schedule, NIU has solid wins at Iowa and Ball State, and if all goes as planned, it will have beaten Toledo on the road and probably Buffalo on a neutral field.

But unfortunately for the Huskies, none of that will be enough if Fresno State keeps winning.

For the most part, the Mountain West is a bit more competitive than the MAC. Fresno State sits at 9-0 with wins over Rutgers, Boise State, and San Diego State, and is one spot ahead of the Huskies (No. 14 in the BCS) with a considerably higher average ranking (.4317).

Like Northern Illinois, Fresno State has an elite quarterback. Derek Carr has a rocket-launcher for an arm, throwing the ball over 50 times a game and leads the nation with 32 touchdown passes. He has also received some recognition for the Heisman Trophy.

The Bulldogs' strength of schedule isn't much better (No. 110), but a road test against San Jose State and a likely MWC title game with Boise State still loom, which are slightly stronger than NIU's final games.

And while neither are impressive by any means, Northern Illinois' wins have come against opponents with a combined 38.4 winning percentage, including a 9-1 FCS Eastern Illinois squad. Fresno State's are at 40.5.

Finally, Northern Illinois got its chance last season. It snuck into the Orange Bowl and got beat down by Florida State in every phase of the game. I'm not saying this should be the reason it doesn't get another shot, but voters will keep that in the back of their head when picking between the two.

Many also believe that Central Florida has to battle for a spot in the BCS as a non-AQ, which is a common misconception. Believe it or not, but the American Athletic Conference is indeed an Automatic Qualifier and the winner earns a bid.

So to sum things up: Fresno State is too far ahead in the BCS' average rankings as it is and would have to lose in order for the Huskies to make back-to-back appearances. Judging by the Dawgs' resume, I don't think that's going to happen.

But hey, it's November, and football in November does tend to get a little weird.


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11/19/13   |   Robertzambreno

Tyler_Waddell wrote:
Never said they were bad. But they do play in the MAC, and to compare their schedule to an AQ schedule makes your argument completely invalid. Thanks for the read and comment, though.

You said they were "not impressive by any means" which is basically the same thing. Football is football no matter what conference you play in. I'd much rather watch a deserving MAC team play in a bowl than some lackluster AQ team. In the end it should be a challenge of teams at the same performance level not just limited to teams in the same conference. My argument is that they are a performing team and by record better than many AQ teams, so in that case they earn the right to be there should they continue their winning streak. Just watch a few of their games. They don't have the same money to throw into their football program as the Big Ten but I'd say they're doing excellent for what they have. Two time MAC champs, first to break the BCS and 10-0, 6-0 in week 13, maybe its time to move them up. Go Huskies!

11/19/13   |   Tyler_Waddell   |   407 respect

Robertzambreno wrote:
"neither are impressive by any means" are you serious??!!! Have you bothered to watch any of their games this season?, or even last season for that matter? These are two great teams and hold some of the best talent and the most potential in college football. They try harder than any other team out there because they have to in order to get the same respect that the Big Ten get with little effort. Let me tell you what's impressive, NIU holds the longest at home winning streak - 25 games, that's more than Michigan and South Carolina, they also hold the longest road winning streak - 14 games, that's more than Alabama. NIU also holds the longest conference win streak - 22 games, that's more than Ohio State and Florida State. That doesn't happen by being an average team. How many teams out there right now are 10-0 going into week thirteen?, I know one - NIU. Two wins against Big Ten teams this season as well, how does that happen if they're that bad? If people would pay attention and get over their Big Ten egos for a moment they might start to realize how deserving these two teams really are. Unless these Big Ten teams are afraid of looking bad against teams like NIU they should have no gripe with letting them into a bowl game, after all they got there fair and square. They deserve every bit as much respect as any of the Big Ten teams in the top 20. Go Huskies!

Never said they were bad. But they do play in the MAC, and to compare their schedule to an AQ schedule makes your argument completely invalid. Thanks for the read and comment, though.

11/18/13   |   Robertzambreno

"neither are impressive by any means" are you serious??!!! Have you bothered to watch any of their games this season?, or even last season for that matter? These are two great teams and hold some of the best talent and the most potential in college football. They try harder than any other team out there because they have to in order to get the same respect that the Big Ten get with little effort. Let me tell you what's impressive, NIU holds the longest at home winning streak - 25 games, that's more than Michigan and South Carolina, they also hold the longest road winning streak - 14 games, that's more than Alabama. NIU also holds the longest conference win streak - 22 games, that's more than Ohio State and Florida State. That doesn't happen by being an average team. How many teams out there right now are 10-0 going into week thirteen?, I know one - NIU. Two wins against Big Ten teams this season as well, how does that happen if they're that bad? If people would pay attention and get over their Big Ten egos for a moment they might start to realize how deserving these two teams really are. Unless these Big Ten teams are afraid of looking bad against teams like NIU they should have no gripe with letting them into a bowl game, after all they got there fair and square. They deserve every bit as much respect as any of the Big Ten teams in the top 20. Go Huskies!

11/15/13   |   MortonsLaw   |   156 respect

100% agree with Dan regarding neither belonging. It was a travesty last year when Georgia, who nearly beat Alabama, didn't play in a BCS Bowl game. Just think what kind of game we would've seen had FSU and Georgia played instead. 

11/15/13   |   Dan_B   |   1066 respect

Of the two, I think Fresno State is more deserving, but neither really belongs. There are clearly 10 better teams in the country.