I have witnessed or listened to some of the greatest sport upsets in history. Muhammad Ali knocking out George Foreman in 1974 comes to mind, Villanova topping Georgetown to win 1985 NCAA championship, 1987 Marvelously Marvin Hagler robbery by the hands of Sugar Ray Leonard, and Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson for the heavyweight championship in 1990. Sadly, in three out of the four sporting events, I got it wrong and it was a bitter pill to swallow. What went wrong? Well, like the village sport idiot, I had tunnel vision and nominated selections with my heart. In other words, ‘fan’ addiction subsequently caused an overdosed of arrogance. For that reason, I lost and had to eat crow cobbler for years. Since those events, I rarely forecast sport contests.
It takes a lot for me to watch sport. Yes, it is true; I am not a rabid sport fan. Do not get me wrong, I have favorites (Lakers, Yankees) but I conceptualize smartly their realities. For example, the Lakers suck right now. I say this as a Laker’s follower but more about being a realist, they will not the win championship this year. On the other hand, the Northern Illinois University’ fans cannot see the goal line because of the field. I am talking about the rabid NIU’ fans who believe their Huskies will beat Florida State in the Orange Bowl, January 1, 2013. I live in DeKalb, Illinois, teach, and attend NIU. Yet, I am not a NIU sport fan nor blinded with enthusiasm that they are in the Orange Bowl. With that said, they will not win and they do not belong in the game. Kirk Herbstreit was correct in declaring NIU as a fluke and not worthy of the Orange Bowl’s invitation.
I was getting my pump groove (i.e. dancing) on at a party and a few (NIU) fellows wanted to have a word with me about my Facebook forecast earlier that day (i.e., “NIU football does not belong in the Orange Bowl.”). No blows, just good nature fun, they were intoxicated on their NIU (pimp) juice. FSU is going down!!! They will beat Florida State! You are wrong Rob. Little, little men emotionally all dressed up in their Red and White. I again reiterated, FSU would maul the Huskies like a hobo on a half-eaten discarded ham sandwich. Nothing will be left when it is over, I say. For minutes, back and forth, the jousting goes on; I state numerous reasons why they have no chance. In reality, hell I know they have a chance; if they get on the plane, they have a chance. On the contrary, if NIU take the field, it will be mayhem.
Let us get down to the basics, I put together (5) reasons NIU will lose. Again, I do not have a dog in this race (insert sarcasm) and may not watch the game. My evidence comes from previous college football upsets, team statistics (i.e. FSU, NIU), and the egotistical mania of Huskie’s fans. Also, please NIU fans stop with the Boise State win over Oklahoma (2007) as a prelude to your motivation and foreseeable triumph. You are not Boise State. Another thing, stop-pushing America is full of underdog crap and “We can pull it off”. You are overmatched.
Anyways to the list:
(1) Florida State Team Speed vs. NIU Team Speed
NIU cannot keep up with the Seminole speed. Florida, Texas, and California play football all year round outdoors. These athletes can flat-out fly; I do not believe NIU can match up with them, hell, NIU lost to Iowa and struggle to beat a 1-11 Kansas. The Midwest is so far behind the south in football it is scary. Advantage: FSU
(2) FSU Defense vs. NIU empty back set
The NIU empty back set will receive a FSU punishing pass rush. In fact, the FSU defensive front will speed rush them out of the stadium. This is not Kent State, the Seminoles will pin their ears back and bite at the Huskies all night. The Mac defensive competitors cannot match the speed of Florida State. Lynch will see plenty of FSU defenders’ DNA. Advantage: FSU
(3) There are better Mid Majors than NIU Football
The NIU football team is not that tough or at least not the best mid major. In fact, NIU falls behind No. 21 Utah State, No. 22 Boise State, and No. 30 Fresno State in that classification. What does this all mean? Their selection was a goof because of a horrible BCS system. They should not have received the bid. Can they compete with the Seminoles? Not as well as the other teams mentioned above. Advantage: FSU
(4) NIU Defensive Line: Size Matters
From what I gathered in viewing the rosters, NIU defensive line is quite small. They average about 6-1 in height and 240 in weight from an informal quantitative measure. I know it could be that they are faster and mobile, but I question their ability to stop the FSU offensive line from shoving them around. FSU offensive linemen all range over ‘6-3’’ and 260 lbs. Advantage: FSU
(5) FSU Championship Tradition vs. NIU’ Cornfield Mystic
Is this a game where anything could happen? My former college teammate and NFL quarterback Jeff Christensen says FSU is susceptible to playing flat and have difficulties with a running quarterback. I will take his advice over rabid NIU fans in a lightly lit ballroom any day. Yet, I am content to admit FSU superior football program will doom the Huskies, regardless of Jeff’s outlook. Am I blind again? I hope not. Nevertheless, I am looking at this contest completely in the dark. I have only seen each team through channel surfing. Nevertheless, I feel FSU can make more mistakes and win. NIU cannot. Advantage: FSU
I rarely watch football; I watch more college than professional however. One could ask, how could one say NIU will lose if he has never seen them play? Please, easy, NIU is not that good, at least not Florida State Seminole good. I hear they have a good quarterback in Lynch. However, he will need to be the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, Johnny “football” from Texas A&M, on that night. In closing, I am not a NIU hater, as some have labeled me, no; I am a realist when it comes to things. As I mentioned to one of the men at the hotel, I could be horribly wrong. You never know, but, NIU may upset the mighty FSU Seminoles. If so, I will say I was wrong. This is my present position, I do not care who wins or loses; because I am not attached to either university’s team. I may watch the game or not; it will not faze me in either direction. I have no pony (i.e., Huskie) in this race.
Robert A. Williams