While they may be close in ranking, Northern Illinois and Florida State took very different paths to the 2013 Orange Bowl.
Florida State was pegged as one of the top teams in the country in the preseason and was thought to be a possible national championship contender for much of the season. A late-season loss to Florida ended that possibility, but the Seminoles clinched a berth in the Orange Bowl with a win in the ACC Championship Game. Statistically, FSU is one of the best teams in the country. Florida State ranked 12th in points scored per game while ranking sixth in points allowed per game.
While the Seminoles were a well-known contender throughout the season, Northern Illinois managed to work its way into a BCS bowl bid in the final week of the season. NIU won its final 12 games of the season and, by winning the MAC championship and finishing in the top 16 of the BCS, the Huskies punched their ticket to the Orange Bowl. While the Huskies don't have the name value of Florida State, there are at least a few reasons to think they can pull the upset against the Seminoles.
Game date and time
Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m. ET
Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Fla.
Florida State opened as a 13-1/2-point favorite.
Florida State: 1270 AM WNLS, 94.9 FM WTNT
Northern Illinois: 1360 AM WLBK
Last year’s game
West Virginia dominated Clemson in a 70-33 blowout.
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