Northern Illinois was not the Orange Bowl’s first choice combatant. According to Bruce Feldman, an Orange Bowl rep made that explicit. He recounts the following exchange.
“You guys [NIU] don’t even deserve to be here,” the Orange Bowl rep said to the NIU staffer. “We didn’t even want you here.”
According to a source, the exchange took place the other night in a hospitality suite. The Orange Bowl rep had compared NIU to Duke. The NIU rep responded by pointing out that the Huskies, who are riding a 12-game winning streak, have been to bowl games in five consecutive seasons. The conversation escalated from there, the source says.
If the BCS Bowls were not corrupt, there would have been no need for the convoluted anti-corruption rules that forced them to take Northern Illinois. Hoisted with their own petard.
[Photo via USA Today Sports]