The college football schedule for New Year's Day 2013 comes to an end today with the Discover Orange Bowl. This game features Florida State heading south to Sun Life Stadium to take on Northern Illinois. NIU has been criticized since the bowl game pairings were announced for doing nothing but being the first program from a non-BCS automatic qualifying school to make a BCS game without having gone undefeated.
According to BCS rules, if a non-AQ conference has a team ranked in the top 16 after the regular season, and they are ranked ahead of a automatic qualifying conference's champion, they will be given an at-large bid to one of the BCS games. Apparently, no one ever thought that was actually a possibility, given that number 15 NIU is taking heat for being in this game.
It's so bad that an Orange Bowl rep recently told NIU that they "didn't even want you [NIU] there."
Shame on NIU for actually winning football games this year.
Of course, if Florida State, and their amazing defense comes out and wins this game, then it will only prove that NIU did not belong. If FSU loses the game, it will be because they could not get motivated to beat NIU or that the layoff from the regular season to the Orange Bowl was so long, that FSU was rusty.
Basically, NIU can't win, even if they win.
But, they do do have some prospects who could make it to the NFL. Primarily red-shirt sophomore safety Dechane Durante. SB Nation's Dan Kadar describes Durante as a "smart, rangy safety," who could give FSU quarterback E.J. Manual trouble tonight.
Of course, the Seminoles from Tallahassee have NFL draft prospects of their own. Besides Manual, the twelfth team in the country will also trot out playes like junior defensive end Bjoern Werner, tackles Evereyy Dawkins and Anthony McCloud, and cornerbacl Xavier Rhodes. Add in players like Tank Carradine and Brandon Jenkins, both of whom are injured and won't play, and Florida State is set to kill when it comes to players taken in the NFL Draft in April.
Enjoy the game, and, once again, Happy New Year from The Phinsider.