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December 2, 2012
For the first time in seven years, Florida State is BCS bound.
And its date is a BCS buster.
FSU, which earned an automatic bid by winning the ACC Championship game on Saturday, will take on BCS Cinderella Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1.
It marks the Seminoles' ninth Orange Bowl appearance and its first BCS appearance since the 2005 Orange Bowl against Penn State.
Northern Illinois (12-1), the Mid-American Conference Champion, was the shocker of the BCS bunch when the matchups were announced, becoming the first one-loss team from a non-automatic qualifying conference to earn an at-large bid in a BCS bowl game.
NIU's bid left out much stronger programs including Oklahoma, which was expected to get a BCS bid and play Florida in the Sugar Bowl. If that had happened, Louisville would have played FSU in the Orange.
NIU's bid was not met with much fanfare during ESPN's BCS Selection Show on Sunday night.
"The fact that Northern Illinois is in the BCS in 2012 is really a sad state for college football," ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit said. "Where we are with the current system and the fact, thank goodness, we're moving to a new (playoff) system in 2014. They don't deserve to be in the BCS this year."
The Huskies were ranked No. 16 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and the Harris Poll, which makes up two-thirds of the BCS rankings. NIU ranked No. 19 in the computer polls.
"We definitely deserve to be in there," NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch said on ESPN's telecast.
The Huskies, which flaunt the nation's No. 9 total offense, the No. 9 rushing offense, and the No. 15 scoring offense, faced only one ranked team this season, beating No. 17 Kent State in the MAC Championship Game on Saturday.
Northern Illinois head coach Dave Doeren accepted the head coaching job at N.C. State over the weekend, so offensive coordinator Rod Carey will coach the Huskies in the Orange Bowl.
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