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Kirk Herbstreit goes off on Northern Illinois being in a BCS game (Video)

Northern Illinois has quickly emerged as this year’s punching bag for those who despise the BCS system. The 2012-2013 bowl schedule was released over the weekend, and the 12-1 Huskies — who capped off the season with a 12-game winning streak — earned themselves a spot in the Orange Bowl against Florida State. Like many others, Kirk Herbstreit was in awe of the selection.

Herbstreit appeared on ESPN on Sunday evening to discuss the BCS selections, and he pulled no punches when talking about Northern Illinois. His rant starts at about the 3:00-mark of the video above.

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BCS rankings are an SEC party

It’s that magical time of year again: The one where people are talking nonstop about humans and computers as if this were “Tron” played out in real life. No, this isn’t science fiction run amok but the annual reminder that the BCS standings are here. Danger, danger Denard Robinson.

If you are not a Dixie-ophile, perhaps you should look away from the BCS polls and pick up a copy of “Mother Jones.” The SEC, winners of the last six national championships, is once again attracting as much attention as Rush Limbaugh at a Sierra Club meeting. Along with Alabama, there are three other teams from the conference occupying the top ten spots in this year’s first edition of the standings. And 6 of the top-12 hail from the league. That’s 50%! I must thank my statistician father for helping me with the math on that.

Alabama, by no surprise, tops the charts by a margin currently that stands as college football’s version of Franklin Roosevelt-Alf Landon, the Kansas governor not the furry character. The Crimson Tide has distinguished itself on a level seemingly above the rest of the nation; so much so that they could theoretically lose the national title game, provided they put the right cleats on the proper feet, some guilt-ridden writers may just give them the national championship nonetheless.

Keep in mind, last year’s national champion had four players taken in the first round of this year’s NFL draft, eight overall. That’s about as fair as the peewee football team I played on which featured 3 college dropouts and a 300-pound bald guy ironically named Harry.

Alabama has been ranked number-one the last seven weeks in the AP poll. “Sweet Home Alabama” never got higher than eighth on the US charts, though Lynyrd Skynyrd may demonstrate some largesse by donating one of their “y’s” to help ask the question “Why?” As in, why bother playing out the rest of the season?

Florida ranking second, ahead of Oregon, causes a small measure of furor. Folks are pointing the finger at Pat Buchanan or a hanging chad or three for the Ducks getting slotted in the third position in the BCS rankings despite being placed at number two by the human polls.

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Pac-12 and Big Ten Reportedly Support Plus-one Bowl System

The cries for a playoff system in college football have been loud and they have been frequent. I’m not as opposed to the bowl system in college football as so many others, but I’ve long felt that a four-team playoff system would be a great improvement to the current system.

It looks like that may be a possibility.

According to a report in the Seattle Times, officials from the Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences support a plus-one playoff system. The “plus-one” would put the BCS’ top four ranked teams in a playoff and have the winners meet in a championship game. The BCS’ television contract expires in January ’14 so the change could be implemented in a few years.

Given the way Pac-12 has progressed under Larry Scott and the way the Big Ten has expanded, it’s no surprise they’re open to evolving. A plus-one playoff system would be a fantastic improvement.

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The Wiz of Odds Exposes Exorbitant Spending by Schools in Bowl Games

Our buddy Jay Christensen, who runs the college football site The Wiz of Odds, has spent the past several weeks working on an investigative report that exposes the college football bowl system. Jay obtained expense reports for 56 of the 70 teams that participated in bowl games last season and reveals that the bowl tradition turns out to be a gigantic waste of money for many schools. We’re talking about millions of dollars spent by public universities which are funded by tax payers, and students in the form of tuition. If that’s not enough reason to get you angry, more details Jay uncovers will.

Christensen reveals that on average, schools spend $1.31 million to make bowl trips. He also says around 25% of all bowl-related expenses are due to “absorbed tickets,” which is the amount of tickets forced onto schools in order to participate in the game. One school spent $4.28 million to participate in a bowl game, the highest amount of the 56 schools for which Christensen had the expense report.

Christensen explains the process he went through to obtain an impressive 56 expense reports of the 70 teams that played in bowl games this past season. He obtained the reports through public records inquiries, so private schools had no obligation to provide him with the information. He explains the process of going through the reports and how they can be fudged. For instance, one trick by schools was leaving the amount of money coaches made in bonuses for reaching a bowl out of the expense report.

Jay will start unveiling school-by-school breakdowns this week, but for now, make sure you check out the entire overview for his report. It will likely blow you away. And make sure to stop by The Wiz of Odds throughout the week for more.

As one commenter in the Sports Journalists forum noted, the mainstream media just got housed by a blogger on this one. Nicely done, Jay.

BCS Bowl System Is a Load of B.S.

Isn’t the holiday season grand? People slipping in and out of a gravy-induced coma, gathering around the television to watch the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys try to figure out the rules of football, and the annual exchange of gift receipts. That just leaves time to harp on the process of sending college teams to prestigious bowl games. The succinctly titled B-C-S. The mere mention of the three-lettered acronym nearly had President Obama dispatching the National Guard to Bill Hancock’s house. The controversy stirs up more vitriol than an old ladies’ pinochle showdown. Give me a ‘B’!

It seems like every year around this time, the same old debate is stirred up in towns whose major attractions are a Walmart and “The World’s Largest (something).” A Senator from Utah was so miffed that he threatened an anti-trust lawsuit against the Behemoth-CS. Well, you better batten down the Orrin Hatch, because here we go again. People in Eugene, Auburn, and Fort Worth wait with baited breath since, let’s face it, there really isn’t much else to do in those places.

There was a time when the Rose Bowl stood as college football’s version of winning the Publisher’s Clearing House (without having to subscribe to all those crummy magazines). Collegians played off for the right to go to Pasadena or there would be no postseason. But, then came the Orange and Sugar Bowls helping to feed the carb-crazed college football scene, with the Cotton Bowl soon after. Some 75 years later, the Granddaddy has had so many illegitimate children he’s beginning to make Shawn Kemp look like Father of the Year. Every corporate entity is represented in this bastion of amateurism (that’s what they tell us, at least). There is something called a Beef O’Brady’s Bowl (just sounds fattening), an Insight Bowl (which ironically provides no insight into entertainment), a Liberty Bowl (played in the city that gave birth to freedom… Memphis, Tennessee?), and there’s a bowl that’s a message, The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (a Pac-10, WAC matchup will accomplish this by causing one to lose their appetite).

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TCU Joins BCS Automatic Qualifier Big East But Not Defined by BCS?

You may still be getting used to the idea of a school from Fort Worth, Texas being part of a Big East of anything as am I. That’s right, Texas Christian University will now join the likes of UConn (from Connecticut), Pitt (from Pennsylvania), Providence (from Rhode Island), and Syracuse (from New York) in the same conference. Nevermind the idea of geographical differences between TCU and everyone else, what I don’t understand is the comments from athletic director Chris Del Conte.

At one point during his speech made on Monday, Del Conte said “Having BCS automatic-qualifying status was a priority for our football program and a great reward for the success we’ve had the last decade.” At another point Del Conte mentioned that “The BCS does not define TCU. TCU defines the BCS as evidenced by our football program but the academic institutions that we’re going to be associated with.”

Got it? So this move was done so that TCU could be more appropriately aligned with academic institutions on its level. You know, those notable bastions of academia like Louisville and West Virginia. So if TCU is moving its school and all its sports teams to the Big East, all so the football team becomes a part of an automatic qualifier conference, then how is the school not defined by the BCS? Someone ‘splain that to me, because we see right through you, Del Conte.