Orange Bowl rep told Northern Illinois they didn't want them there

Finally, a bowl rep told a BCS buster what they REALLY thought about their paltry football program

1/2/13 in NCAAF   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

Jan 1, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles fullback Lonnie Pryor (24) runs for a touchdown past Northern Illinois Huskies defensive back Jimmie Ward (15) in the second half of the 2013 Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium. FSU won 31-10. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY SportsFans tend to fall in love with BCS busters. You know, the schools from non-BCS conferences that manage to sneak into a BCS bowl game, despite the fact that they were unranked to begin the season and had low expectations.

Bowl game officials don't exactly share that love, however. In fact, they usually have a whole lot of hidden contempt for those teams, since it means a low fewer ticket sales, lower TV ratings, and often a less competitive game in general.

The thing is... bowl officials usually don't just come out and SAY that. Normally they're able to at least put on a nice face in public and say all the right things about how they're excited about the up-and-coming program and happy to give them a chance to showcase their program and all that.

Not so, in this case.

Northern Illinois won the MAC this year, going 12-1 and finishing with a #15 ranking in the BCS rankings. That earned them a spot in the Orange Bowl against Florida State, who won the ACC.

An Orange Bowl rep told a Northern Illinois staffer that they didn't deserve to be there, and that the Orange Bowl folks didn't want NIU to be there.

The way I imagine this actually happened: They were having a mixer with bigwigs from the Orange Bowl and each team, and perhaps the Orange Bowl rep had one or two too many Mai Tais, and things got a little heated as his resentment started to show. Remember... the Orange Bowl could have had a team like Oklahoma in this game instead, and they probably would have traveled a lot better than NIU. Not to mention the fact that they have a little stronger tradition.

Still... if you watched the game, I think you'd come away with mixed feelings on the accuracy of that particular sentiment about whether NIU deserved to be there.

While it was obvious that Florida State had the far superior athletes, Northern Illinois didn't exactly roll over.

The 31-10 final score wasn't completely indicative of how close the game was through the first 3 quarters. At the beginning of the 4th quarter, NIU only trailed 17-10, and there was a feeling that they might be able to pull off the upset if they caught a break here and there.

As it turned out, FSU scored 14 unanswered points in the 4th quarter, sealing the game, but it was still a lot more competitive than people thought.

Did the Orange Bowl want Northern Illinois there? Clearly they didn't. But they definitely deserved to be there, and no one can take that away from them.
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1/2/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

The people the Orange Bowl should be mad about are the BCS. They made the rules allowing for Northern Illinois to get into a BCS game.

1/2/13   |   Scott   |   52703 respect

Because Florida State has a tendency to play down to opponents and IMO, is one of the most over-rated football programs in the last decade, I thought Northern Illinois had a much better shot to win last night then Boise State had when they played Oklahoma back in 2007.

That said, last night's Orange Bowl was much more of a contest then the previous two that had matchups of West Virginia/Clemson and Stanford/Virginia Tech.

1/2/13   |   The_Real_Stoney   |   25108 respect

It was a good game for 3 quarters, but in the end, people associated with the bowls and fans of the bowl games need to realize that with the exception of the national chanpionship game, they are just glorified exhibition games