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Orange Bowl Pick

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Orange Bowl Preview

Northern Illinois vs. Florida State (-14, 58.5)

It has been a busy day for the Bowl games s six were on the docket and we conclude with the Orange Bowl tonight. This game has generated a lot of interest because we have a non-AQ qualifier school (Northern Illinois) in a BCS Bowl game thanks to their great season, winning the MAC conference and finishing in the top 17 in the rankings. The Huskies don’t get a lot of attention playing in the MAC but their QB Jordan Lynch was one of the most dynamic players in college football this year.

Lynch was basically the entire offense for a Northern Illinois team that was 9th in the nation in points per game (40.9). You only need to look at Lynch’s numbers this year to know that Northern Illinois goes as he does. He threw for nearly 3000 yards and had a 24-to-5 TD/INT ratio on only 353 attempts. Those numbers aren’t simply enough for a team to win their conference and go 12-1 SU on the year, so seeing that Lunch also rushed the ball 271 times for 1771 yards and 19 TD’s puts the exclamation point on how important he is to this team. There is no way that stopping him hasn’t been the focal point of Florida State’s game plan since it was announced they would be playing the Huskies and their 2nd ranked defense should have the talent to do so. But stopping Lynch and winning the game by two touchdowns is a different task all together and the Seminoles might not have enough focus to do both.

Florida State came into this year as a legit contender for the National title but was eliminated when they stumbled vs. NC State as 17-point favorites. Other than that slip up they rank through ACC competition and only lost one more time in the heated rivalry vs. Florida. Only the Gators and Clemson managed to score more than 22 points vs. Florida State this year so if their defense can hold and play to their capabilities, Lynch will quickly realize he’s not up against one of those “softer” MAC defenses anymore.

However, Northern Illinois as a team has got to be so jacked up to be in this BCS Bowl game and will bring out all the stops tonight. They know that they come into this game as heavy underdogs and will not be scared to shock the nation with a win like Boise State did to Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl a few weeks back. This is just too many points to give a team that has one of the best all-around players in the country.

Take the points with Northern Illinois.

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