The 31-10 loss by Northern Illinois was not the finest hour in the history of BCS Busters, but neither was it the most embarrassing. For all the talk before and after January 1 about how undeserving the Huskies were of their spot in the Orange Bowl, the nightcap on New Year’s Day was as much an indictment of the Seminoles as it was of the Huskies.
The man who had guided NIU to this lofty perch, Dave Doeren, was interviewed in the stands as he took a day off from his new job at NC State to see his former team become the first MAC representative to reach the Promised Land of BCS dreams. Even Urban Meyer knew the value of a BCS appearance, staying at Utah in 2004 to coach the Utes to a landmark 35-7 victory over Pittsburgh as the original BCS Buster before SEC-eding to Florida. But Doeren left Rod Carey in his place, the leader of the ship for the first time.
Carey is a nice-enough guy tasked with the impossible. He began the season as Northern Illinois’ offensive line coach, and it showed in his play selection throughout the night. Dynamic QB Jordan Lynch was bottled up both by a Florida State defense that did everything short of spiking their opponents in an attempt to physically maul the Huskies offense, finishing 15-of-41 passing for 176 yards with a touchdown and a backbreaking 3rd-quarter interception.
Props to Zach Bigalke of 7 Pound Bag for writing this article and allowing me to share it here.