Orange Bowl 2013 picks and predictions: Florida State-Northern Illinois matchup producing mixed opinions

Dave Reginek

Despite their status as a heavy favorite, the Seminoles are not being embraced by college football experts.

The Florida State Seminoles are the choice of the majority of college football experts in their Orange Bowl clash with the Northern Illinois Huskies, though opinions on the game are surprisingly mixed. The Huskies have been a lightning rod for criticism following their selection for the prestigious Orange Bowl to the detriment of top ranked teams like Georgia. Northern Illinois went undefeated in the MAC, finishing 12-1 on the season and ranked #15 in the BCS.

Florida State (11-2, 7-1) defeated Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship Game to earn its place in the Orange Bowl. The Seminoles are one of the nation's best defensive teams, allowing just 15.1 points per game. Quarterback E.J. Manuel threw for 3,101 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Florida State is the pick of Pat Forde at Yahoo. His colleague, Graham Watson of Doc Saturday, chooses Northern Illinois. Opinions at CBS Sports are likewise split, with Dennis Dodd, Bruce Feldman, and Jerry Hinnen choosing Northern Illinois for an upset victory and Tom Fornelli and Matt Hinton selecting Florida State. Will Harris of ESPNconfidently picks Florida State to win by double digits.

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