Bowling Green eliminates Northern Illinois’ BCS chances with 47-27 win in MAC Championship

Nick Bromberg
Dr. Saturday

Maybe this is a precursor to Saturday BCS chaos?

Northern Illinois was removed from BCS bowl contention and Jordan Lynch's chances at the Heisman were dashed, after the Huskies were handled by Bowling Green 47-27 in the MAC Championship Friday night at Ford Field.

The previous two years in the title game, Northern Illinois had faced early deficits, only to come back from both and win each game. When it got behind early this Friday, there was no coming back.

Bowling Green quarterback Matt Johnson tossed his fourth touchdown pass of the first half to Alex Bayer with 13 seconds left in the second quarter to put the Falcons up 31-13 heading into the break.

The Huskies and quarterback Lynch drove down the field for a touchdown to start the third quarter but a missed field goal on their next possession kept the deficit at 11. And With Bowling Green up 34-20 in the fourth, Johnson found running back Travis Greene for a 6-yard touchdown and a 40-20 lead. There was not nearly enough time for an NIU comeback.

Johnson finished 21-27 passing for 393 yards and five touchdowns, a career high. 145 of those yards came to freshman Ronnie Moore, who had all four of his catches in the first quarter, including a wide open touchdown catch when he simply slipped behind everyone in the NIU secondary.

Lynch entered the game as the likely second pick for the Heisman behind Jameis Winston. If he wanted any hope of passing Winston, he needed another monstrous game like he had against Western Michigan, and for Winston and Florida State to struggle against Duke.

That monstrous game didn't happen. Lynch finished 21-40 for 219 yards and a touchdown and two interceptions while he ran 28 times for 126 yards and two touchdowns. He'll likely still get invited to New York, but the crux of his case was steeped in Northern Illinois' undefeated season.

The loss of that also opens up an at-large spot in the BCS since the Huskies will fall out of the top 16 in the standings. The most likely beneficiary is Baylor if the Bears win against Texas on Saturday and Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma. Baylor is currently ninth in the BCS standings.

Or the BCS could choose a team like Oregon, who has two losses and 12th in the polls, behind a Michigan State team likely to go to the Rose Bowl no matter what and an Arizona State team that will either head to Pasadena as Pac-12 champs or fall below Oregon with a third loss.

Heck, maybe those scenarios could become irrelevant depending on the outcome of Saturday's games. It's the final year of the BCS. Chaos may be the perfect finale.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!