Northern Illinois’ double overtime win over Kent State Friday will make things interesting Sunday night when the final BCS standings are revealed. The Huskies, now looking for a new coach, would need to jump up five spots to No. 16 in the BCS to receive an at-large spot in the Orange Bowl.*
Moving up those five spots would mean jumping Boise State in the process, but the No. 25 Broncos did their own BCS work on Saturday with a 27-21 win over Nevada. Boise State is now locked in a three-way tie atop the Mountain West with Fresno State and San Diego State. All three teams hold a 1-1 record against the other two.
The Broncos are ranked No. 20 in the BCS standings, meaning they would have to jump four spots (instead of NIU’s five) to receive a BCS berth. Both BSU and NIU got help with losses by UCLA and Kent State (No. 16 and No. 17 in the BCS, respectively), and losses by No. 18 Texas against Kansas State and No. 13 Florida State against Georgia Tech would help even more.
That’s a lot to ask, of course. The Broncos’ best win is against 9-3 Fresno State and NIU’s most impressive victory came on Friday against the Golden Flashes. That alone might give the Huskies enough to jump Boise State in the latest BCS rankings since KSU was ranked. But is it enough to get into the top 16? Voting
SIDs coaches are hard to predict. It’s a small chance for both teams, and NIU might have the better odds, but Boise isn’t out of the conversation just yet. At least not officially.
(*Louisville, the Big East champion, will not be ranked above either NIU or BSU, so a non-AQ team only needs to finish in the BCS top 16)