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Novak Has Mixed Emotions About New BCS Arrangement
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DiehardHuskie Offline
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Novak has mixed emotions about new BCS arrangement

DeKalb Daily Chronicle
By Steve Nemeth - Chronicle Sports Editor
3/1/2004


DeKALB - Northern Illinois University head football coach Joe Novak's reaction to the news that the Bowl Champion-ship Series (BCS) would add a fifth game was mixed.

"I'm happy they're doing something, but it should have been more than it was," Novak said. "What was proposed by the coaches association was that the top two non-BCS teams get to play in a bowl, but apparently the BCS folks and those who make the final decision weren't willing to go that far. We're (the mid-majors) still not guaranteed anything."

Essentially the move means the number of bowl slots increased, but the rich should simply get richer. The champions of the six BCS conferences - the Big East, Atlantic Coast (ACC), Southeastern (SEC), Big Ten and Pac 10 - are guaranteed spots in one of the five bowls, so that leaves four to be decided on an at-large basis still based on the same complex - and biased - formula which is used to determine national rankings.

"While I'm glad it's gotten another berth or two, it's still falling short of helping the non-BCS schools in the manner that was originally proposed," Novak said.

Indeed, the NCAA and the BCS failed to even address the many inequities in scheduling which make it difficult for the non-BCS institutions to have either the home opportunities or even the types of games which can raise their strength of schedule to receive more recognition in the national polls.

Northern Illinois - which defeated three BCS teams in the Universities of Maryland (a Gator Bowl participant) and Alabama plus Iowa State University - in producing an impressive 10-2 campaign in 2003 was largely recognized as the most-deserving school left out of the 56 bowl slots - the majority of which are locked in before the season even begins and ends up including the power conference's sixth and sometimes seventh-place schools.

The fifth BCS bowl - which technically must still be approved by the NCAA and would most likely not take effect before the 2006 season - most likely would not have included Mid-American Conference champion Miami (Ohio) University which finished 10th in the final Associated Press ranking and 12th in the USA Today / ESPN balloting. MU's RedHawks went 13-1 and defeated the University of Louisville (49-28) in the GMAC Bowl.

Bowling Green State University (11-3), which was 23rd in both polls, was a 28-24 victor over 6-7 Northwestern University in the Motor City Bowl.

Northern Illinois was the theoretical No. 29 team in the final AP voting and was 26th in the USA Today / ESPN poll.
03-01-2004 02:05 PM
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