The Northern Illinois University Huskies have been selected to play in one of college football's premier post-season bowl games this year. The Huskies will play the Florida State Seminoles in the Orange Bowl on January 1st.
The announcement was made by the Bowl Championship Series Selection Committee Sunday evening. NIU earned the selection following a 44-37 double-overtime win over Kent State in the Mid-American Conference Championship game on Friday. Following the game, NIU head football coach Dave Doeren announced he is leaving the school to take the head football coach position at North Carolina State University. Doeren's resignation means he won't be coaching the Huskies when they play at the Orange Bowl. His replacement is Rod Carey, who has spent the past two seasons on the assistant coaching staff, including serving as offensive coordinator for the 2012 season. Carey was named NIU's new head football coach on Sunday.
NIU's selection does not come without some controversy. Due to a rule that limits the number of BCS Bowl game participants from any individual conference, the Huskies were chosen over some higher-profile programs, such as the ones at University of Oklahoma and the University of Georgia; neither will be participating in BCS Bowl games.
Winners of 12 straight games, NIU has compiled a record of 12-1 this season, and is ranked #15 in the final regular-season Bowl Championship Series poll. #12 Florida State, with a record of 11-2, is this year's Atlantic Coast Conference Champion. The game will be played at SunLife Stadium in Miami, Florida, starting at 7:30pm Central Time, and will be televised nationally on ESPN.