Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Though you have to give Northern Illinois credit for its 12-1 streak through the regular season and its totally unprecedented No. 15 ranking in the final BCS rankings, the Huskies' Orange Bowl berth was fraught.
Did Northern Illinois deserve to go to the big BCS dance?
Technically speaking, yes, they did, but from a bigger picture perspective the Huskies' ascendency to college football’s exclusive postseason club oozes with reasons not to miss the current BCS scheme.
First, you’ve got the Oklahoma approach, which questions a 12-1 team from the MAC trumping the candidacy of a 10-2 squad from the Big 12, Pac-12, Big Ten or ACC.
Next, what does it really mean when the Huskies go to the BCS dance?
Indeed, what has Northern Illinois earned rather than a piece of the money pie for itself and its conference, and then a shot to play giant killer and win a meaningless title?
Of course the flip side of this is that for Florida State, a squad that also earned its way to the top of the postseason, they now have to win big or look horrible.
For the Seminoles, the 2012-13 Orange Bowl was not about validating a season well played with a win over another college football giant; it was about trying to survive without embarrassing themselves on national TV.
Where is the glory in either of those scenarios?
If we really want to see if the MAC can compete at the top level of college football, give them something to actually compete for.
Seriously, throwing the occasional invitation down from the BCS throne in the direction of the MAC, C-USA, WAC, MWC or Sun Belt is in reality a bit of a slap in the face, not a favor.
If college football was truly equitable the MAC champ would be let in the BCS to compete its way into the national championship, not for a futile trophy and a “you should just be happy to be here” title.