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Report: Northern Illinois will play in Orange Bowl

The SportsXchange

Mid-American Conference champion Northern Illinois will face Florida State in the Orange Bowl,'s Pete Thamel reported Sunday based on information from a source.

The MAC champion does not get an automatic berth to a BCS game, so, to be guaranteed a BCS spot, the Huskies needed finish in the top 16 of the final BCS standings while a champion from one of the six automatic-qualifying conferences finished ranked behind them.

The final BCS standings and the BCS game matchups will be announced officially at 8:30 p.m. Sunday. But according to the report, the Huskies finished No. 15 in the BCS standings, ahead of Big East champ Louisville. Northern Illinois, which finished 12-1 after beating Kent State in the MAC title game, also had to finish ahead of Boise State in the BCS standings to get a BCS berth.

The Fiesta Bowl picked Oregon to face Kansas State, according to the report, and Florida will play Louisville in the Sugar Bowl.

Wisconsin and Stanford were already guaranteed to meet in the Rose Bowl.

That left the Orange Bowl with Northern Illinois to match against Atlantic Coast Conference champion Florida State.

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