Jeff Van Gundy: Northern Illinois doesn’t belong in BCS bowl game
The former NBA coach and current NBA analyst’s comments were prompted by a promo for the Orange Bowl between Northern Illinois and Florida State that was read by his broadcasting partner, Mike Breen, during the Clippers-Nuggets game on Christmas.
“How flawed is that BCS system that Northern Illinois is in that bowl?” Van Gundy asked rhetorically. “Oklahoma — you’re telling me they’re not better? If you put Northern Illinois into the Big 12 … Louisville is in [the Sugar Bowl] … come on, that’s ridiculous.”
Van Gundy went on to say that a team’s conference should carry more weight.
“I’m happy for Northern Illinois. They’ve had a great year. I’m just saying, if you want the best teams, you’ve got to give the leagues they play in … you put Northern Illinois in the SEC, you think they’re coming out unscathed?”
What’s funny is that Van Gundy was ripping the BCS for the exact opposite reason most people criticize it for. Most people complain that the BCS is too elitist and doesn’t give a chance to the smaller-conference teams the way the NCAA basketball tournament does.
I generally hold a similar opinion to Van Gundy, but I guess we’ll find out on January 1 whether or not Northern Illinois belongs with the big boys. We do know one thing: Van Gundy is sure to set off a reaction among Huskies fans the way Kirk Herbstreit did.