Get Over It and Celebrate With Northern Illinois

AP Photo

Bear with me while I overuse the Cinderella analogy to describe how Northern Illinois is heading to the Orange Bowl.

As I watched the No. 21 Huskies defeat No. 17 Kent State in a double-OT, MAC Championship Game last Friday that was just as exciting as its SEC counterpart the following day, I thought that the clock had struck midnight for the upstart conference.

The higher-ranked Golden Flashes had seemed like the surest, safest bet for the conference to unexpectedly send a team to the BCS. It seemed like there was no way that NIU could jump five whole spots to the BCS No. 16 ranking. When had the BCS ever rewarded a non-AQ team like that?

But sure enough, Prince Charming found NIU’s glass slipper as the Huskies were bestowed with a No. 15 BCS ranking and...

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