You see it every year: cameras fixed on college basketball teams as they await word of whether or not they made the NCAA Tournament during the selection show. Well, while not quite as ingrained in the culture of the sport, there is a football alternative: the BCS bowl selection show, which took place last night. And the unlikeliest party-crasher of college football’s marquee set of games this year: Northern Illinois. The Huskies qualified by virtue of winning their conference, finishing in the top 16 of the BCS standings, and finishing above a champion (two, actually) from a conference with an automatic bid.
While news of the Orange Bowl bid initially leaked before the show, you can bet that, were I a Northern Illinois player, I would have been terrified that the news was incorrect. So when I watched the selection show with the rest of my team and heard my school’s name, I’d probably react like this:
Some think Northern Illinois doesn’t deserve to be in a BCS game – take ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit, who ripped the selection at length on Sunday (this was later – rightly, in my mind – dismissed by some as a bizarre case of sour grapes considering Northern Illinois automatically qualified under the current system, flawed as that current system may be). Here’s guessing that even Herbstreit would admit this video, and the genuine ecstasy of the kids in it, is pretty cool.