NIU is Going Orange Bowling

Huskies slip into BSC game versus Florida State

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    Head coach Dave Doeren of the Northern Illinois Huskies was presented the MAC championship trophy on Friday. The next day he accepted a new gig and won't be on the sidelines for the team's Orange Bowl game.

    David -- otherwise known as Northern Illinois University -- better start loading up on rocks if he plans to compete with the Goliath known as the Florida State Seminoles.

    The NIU Huskies managed to parlay a stellar 12-1 season into an Orange Bowl date against the traditional ACC powerhouse on New Year's Day.

    The Huskies snuck into the big game by winning the MAC championship and slipping into the Top 16, earning an automatic BCS spot because they were ranked ahead of the Big Ten champion (Wisconsin) and the Big East champion (Louisville).

    The team heads to Miami without the coach that helped lead them there. Dave Doeren accepted a job with North Carolina State on Saturday, and will be replaced by offensive coordinator Rod Carey, who has been elevated to head coach.

    NIU is the first MAC team to ever appear in a BCS bowl, but the feat isn't being celebrated by everyone. ESPN commentator Kirk Herbstreit criticized the decision, saying the Huskies don't deserve to be in the BCS because of a lack of signature victories.

    Herbstreit says he wasn't knocking NIU, but rather the BCS selection process.