Orange Bowl reaction: Florida State fans cautious about untested Northern Illinois

Dave Reginek

The Florida State faithful have to pivot from looking at Louisville to eyeing Northern Illinois after the Huskies bust the BCS.

Florida State Seminoles fans understandably were put a little on edge after seeing what seemed like a lock for a Big East-ACC Orange Bowl turn into a meeting between the Seminoles and the unheralded Northern Illinois Huskies.

The Huskies, MAC champions, have not been tested much against AQ conference foes, which made the bloggers over at Tomahawk Nation a little wary to assume dominance over Northern Illinois when the BCS bowls were announced on Sunday night.

This is not a sure win for Florida State, though perhaps much more so than other possible opponents. NIU finishes the year 12-1. Their only loss, a 18-17 game against Iowa, on the road.

The bloggers took a long look at exactly how Northern Illinois was able to pull off busting the BCS when it seemed so clear that the Big East would supply the Seminoles' opponent for the Orange Bowl, and were understandably impressed.

To make the jump from 21 in last week's BCS rankings, NIU needed space in the top 16, help from the human polls, and a boost in the computers.They got all three.

Simply, fans just didn't have much to go on after the BCS picture changed so quickly, and what they saw was a team much improved throughout the year.

Their only AQ victory was a 30-23 win over Kansas. They did, however, improve a lot throughout the season.

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