Atlanta Falcons: NIU alums Turner and Schiller to ESPN’s Herbstreit: ‘Bite me!’

By Michael Cunningham

FLOWERY BRANCH–Here is what Falcons players and Northern Illinois alums Michael Turner and Pat Schiller had to say about ESPN college football analyst Kirk Hebstreit’s harsh criticism of their alma mater’s Orange Bowl bid:

Michael Turner (Photo by Michael Cunningham/AJC)

Michael Turner (Photo by Michael Cunningham/AJC)

Pat Schiller (Photo By Michael Cunningham/AJC)

Pat Schiller (Photo By Michael Cunningham/AJC)

NIU officials sent the T-shirts to Turner and Schiller. The back of the shirts read, “’cause Every Dog has its day!” in reference to NIU’s Husky mascot. NIU, the MAC champion, plays ACC champ Florida State on Jan. 1 in the Orange Bowl.

During a Sunday telecast in which the BCS pairings were announced, Herbstreit said Northern Illinois’ Orange Bowl bid is “a sad state for college football and where we are with the current system. . . . They don’t deserve to be in the BCS this year. Are you kidding me?”

His comments about NIU start at about 3:20 of the video below.

42 comments Add your comment


December 6th, 2012
2:04 pm

Herbstreit is just mad because his cheaters are staying home.

Native Atlantan

December 6th, 2012
2:06 pm

Unfortunately, that’s the way the system works. Kirk and others are absolutely correct, but the system worked as designed.


December 6th, 2012
2:08 pm

Boise at least went and scheduled top notch out of conference competition. Who did NIU play? Oregon? Virginia Tech? Georgia? Michigan State?

NIU doesn’t deserve to attend (since they won’t be competing much) the Orange Bowl. They’re giving away the tickets for free for heaven’s sake. I can’t wait to see what the overhead view of the stadium looks like. FSU, the perennial underachiever, should handle this team much the way Georgia handled Hawaii.

What I like most is how ESPN and SI are trying to hype the game as a Boise vs Oklahoma type game. Um, no.

Pat Way

December 6th, 2012
2:14 pm

With respect to Michael Turner, Kirk is right, you beat Iowa, worst team in Big 12. you beat a Kent State team in over time that lost to a Kentucky team that was one of the worst in the country not just the SEC, FSU cheerleaders could beat them but on the chance they pull an upset Jimbo Fisher should be fired

Curious George

December 6th, 2012
2:14 pm

Do they teach a course in Uncouth 101 at NIU ?


December 6th, 2012
2:16 pm

How many titles has Kirk won?? Err none I think..I think when he was qb at Ohio State, Air Force ran over them in the Liberty Bowl..He should shut up.. I used to like him.. He is bad as Gary Danielson now.

Curious George

December 6th, 2012
2:17 pm

Did Kirk and Erin break up when she went to that Joe guy ?


December 6th, 2012
2:18 pm

Herbstreit is absolutely right. The Fiesta Bowl and the championship game are the only BCS games worth watching this year. The Cotton Bowl and the Capital One Bowl are way better match-ups than Orange, Rose, or Sugar.


December 6th, 2012
2:20 pm

He Greg, you’re a moron! Why does Hersbtreit need titles to have an opinion? You seem to have an opinion and you clearly arrived on the short bus.

Michael M.

December 6th, 2012
2:24 pm

D-Led…………….check your filter………………..ha ha ha …………..just joking


December 6th, 2012
2:26 pm

I know it wont happen but how cool would it be if NIU won by two scores…Kirk would be speechless !

Eric C.

December 6th, 2012
2:29 pm

I’ve never been a Herbstreit fan, but he is right about this.

Eric C.

December 6th, 2012
2:30 pm

Louie, agreed.


December 6th, 2012
2:30 pm

Herbie is 100% right. NIU does not deserve to be in the BCS mix. Also if you did not play for your conference championship you should be out and YES that includes the self-centered ND!!


December 6th, 2012
2:30 pm

Northern Illinois??? Are you kidding me?

Eric C.

December 6th, 2012
2:32 pm

Too bad GT didn’t make it…might have been a good game.


December 6th, 2012
2:35 pm

It’s going to be funny when Northern Illinois wins the Orange Bowl because FSU no-shows and the ACC wets itself on national TV again.


December 6th, 2012
3:04 pm

Sorry Turner and Schiller, but Herbstreit was spot on – NIU’s bowl bid makes a joke of the BCS.

Greg (@2:16pm) – NOBODY is as bad as Gary Danielson.


December 6th, 2012
3:12 pm

Hear NIU’s average attendance was 16,500.
They are obligated to purchase 17,500 tickets to Orange Bowl.
Could bankrupt their program.
Don’t guess their band will attend, if they even have one.

P . Sonata

December 6th, 2012
3:22 pm

One thing about it I didn’t know a college sports anaylsts was a real job lol you dont even need real skills thats just old dude opinion every school let alone player deserves a shot doing anything. Yall turning sports events into cash events smh Hope that money goes towards the education of the school and not to build a bigger stadium or somein lol America is falling piece by piece

Fred ™

December 6th, 2012
3:22 pm

NIU isn’t a pimple on a real conference champions butt and they DON’T deserve a BCS bowl. They lost to Iowa for gods sake and never played a real team all season long.

Matty Ryanunyabizness

December 6th, 2012
3:24 pm

What a joke………


December 6th, 2012
3:41 pm

………..wake me up when the Orange Bowl is over.


December 6th, 2012
3:46 pm

Look, Herbie could have been measured in his comments and said something like “Northern Illinois clearly isn’t one of the 10 best teams in the country and doesn’t belong in a BCS bowl game, but the same can be said about Wisconsin and Louisville. It’s a joke that the system limits the SEC to only two teams, but that’s the way the BCS works. We should all be happy it’s going away in a couple of years.” Instead, he unleashed incredible venom, as if Northern Illinois had suicide-bombed the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame to force a terrified nation into conceding it the bid. His rant was WAY over the top.

john k

December 6th, 2012
3:49 pm

Herbie, you’re just a buckeye whiner. NIU did what it needed to do to make it. Deal with it.


December 6th, 2012
3:53 pm

The Fiesta Bowl and the championship game are the only BCS games worth watching this year.

The Cotton Bowl (Texas A&M vs Oklahoma) and the Capital One Bowl (Georgia vs Nebraska) are way better match-ups than

the Orange Bowl – NIU vs a weak ACC champion FSU (it could have been a 7-6 Tech)

the Rose Bowl – a 7 0r 8 win Wisconson

the Sugar Bowl – a weak Big East champion Louisville.

The BCS is a crock. Wouldn’t it be great if the bowl games were:

BCS CG: Notre Dame vs Alabama

Sugar Bowl: Georgia vs Oklahoma

Rose Bowl: Oregon vs Florida

Orange Bowl: Texas A&M vs Kansas State

Fiesta Bowl: Slorida State vs South Carolina

Now people would tune in to those games.


December 6th, 2012
4:12 pm

Herbstreit is correct. And Greg, Gary Danielson is a great broadcaster, knows what he is talking about


December 6th, 2012
4:13 pm

Kirk is a jerk but technically correct,( the best kind of correct.) FSU should run all over these guys simply b/c they have better athletes.


December 6th, 2012
4:16 pm

Herbie isn’t good for much, but he is correct about NIU– Not Interested in U.

I hope that FSU plays the best game of the season and beats them by 50 or more and puts on a show even better than Georgia did against Hawaii. Hopefully, Fisher will not let up like Richt did.


December 6th, 2012
4:23 pm

its a freakin bowl game not the nat championship, who cares, if you don’t like it change the channel


December 6th, 2012
5:19 pm

Starting in 2014 the highest ranked conference champion from a non aq conference will automatically be in a bcs bowl. It will be easier in 2014 than it was this year. Get use to it Herbie and the rest of you non aq haters. Perhaps we will see Herbie cry every year.


December 6th, 2012
5:26 pm

I think I’ll watch the game. I like “The Little Engine That Could” stories. Whether it can or not is a different story.


December 6th, 2012
8:08 pm

In two years, EVERY year there will be at least one NIU in a major BCS bowl…so why not give a small team accolades. The MAC had several wins this year–and no losses–against the Big East… so maybe we should take away the Big East’s Bowl Bid. After all, there are 2 teams LOWER in the BCS ratings playing in a BCS Bowl: Wisconsin and Lousville. So if you’re going to complain about the system,first bash Lousiville, Kirk. Then bash Wisconsin. THEN bash Northern. Coaches across America and Objective Computers say they belong more than the other two BCS schools mentioned…


December 6th, 2012
8:10 pm

ESPN set the comletely wrong tone to start their BCS show. Instead of bashing a team, they should have bashed the system, which all sports fans like. Instead, ESPN became a bully. A school that did nothing wrong was made the victim of a lunatical rant from a biased broadcaster. Luckily, the national media decided he was the fool, not the team that gets to try to play Cinderella in Miami.


December 6th, 2012
11:32 pm

Go Huskies!!


…………………………Esquire out………………!!!


December 7th, 2012
3:36 am

The NIU Huskies are one of the better teams in college football right now. Win or lose against Florida State, they deserve to be in the Orange Bowl.

Go Huskies!


December 7th, 2012
8:36 am

Honestly, WHO CARES??

If this was the last play-off spot in college football then OK let’s discuss but ALL BOWLS, except one, are meaningless..


December 7th, 2012
4:47 pm

We Illinois folk are proud to see NIU go to the Orange Bowl. Even if Kirk is right about NIU being at the Orange Bowl, I believe NIU deserves it. They played by the rules and the by Chance they busted their way into the BCS. The system might be jacked up but don’t blame NIU for being there. Blame everyone else who made it possible for NIU. I guess people are either too stupid or mad at the fact that the underdog made it. This one is one for the books even if they do lose. GO HUSKIES!!!!

Hairy Dawg

December 7th, 2012
7:45 pm

There’s nothing wrong with Northern Illinois being in the BCS. They did what they had to do to get there. They were the only non-AQ team to do it. Good for the Huskies. I hope knock off the Noles in Miami.

As far as we (the Dawgs) are concerned, we knew we had to beat Bama to get to the BCS. It didn’t happen. The rules are the rules. If this had happened in 2014, when the four-team playoff comes around, even a loss to Bama wouldn’t have knocked us out of those feeder bowls. We’re not striving for BCS games, though. We want a national title. We’ll get there someday.

Gocart Mozart

December 7th, 2012
10:49 pm

The issue is not that an sportscaster doesn’t agree with NIU as a choice in a BCS game. It’s an opinion. An unimportant opinion by a nobody who has zero input on who plays in BCS games. No, the issue is the way the opinion was expressed. It was intentionally and excessively insulting. It was done for attention. It’s what broadcasters do when they have nothing of value to say. It’s low class. Everyone whining and crying about NIU need to think about how pathetic it makes them look. Guess what. NIU has already won. They are playing in the Orange Bowl. There is nothing you can say to change it. Grow up and get some class.

Preston Thompson

December 8th, 2012
7:34 am

What’s the big deal. They will be playing Florida State. Now if they had been playing Mississippi State I would agree. This entire BCS crap is just that. A real mess made by do gooders.


December 9th, 2012
7:21 pm

They do have a band…theyve sold out all travel packages and are selling bus and hotel trips to all students for 150 bucks (on top of the free game tickets). 3 night stay in Miami over New Years..and the MAC Conference is splitting all costs so they will be far from bankrupt. Theyve sold so much merchandise at the bookstores it is on backorder.