12/04/2012 12:02 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Northern Illinois Celebrates Orange Bowl Bid; Kirk Herbstreit, ESPN Rip BCS Spot (VIDEO)

The Northern Illinois football team anxiously waited to see where it would play next as the final BCS standings were revealed on ESPN on Sunday night. The top two spots were set -- held by Notre Dame and Alabama, respectively -- and several of the BCS berths were already locked up by champions of automatic-qualifier conferences. But that didn't mean there was no drama.

If the Huskies of Northern Illinois could climb high enough (into the top 16) in the Week 15 standings then they would jump into a BCS bowl.

By a margin of 0.0404 points, they did it, finishing with the 15th highest ranking in the country. The first MAC school to reach the BCS, Northern Illinois will play the Florida State Seminoles in the Orange Bowl on January 1st. The Northern Illinois players erupted when ESPN revealed their ranking. Some stood on the tables in celebration as oranges were passed around.


If this video from the Northern Illinois campus was a bit longer then we'd have the chance to see the players react to the ESPN backlash to their BCS berth. According to USA Today, some of that celebratory citrus ended up being hurled at the screen.

ESPN's David Pollack and Jesse Palmer both said they didn't think Northern Illinois deserved a BCS bid, noting team's easy schedule and a loss to lowly Iowa. Then Kirk Herbstreit chimed in on the BCS selection show and strongly disagreed with Northern Illinois' selection.

"The fact that Northern Illinois is in the BCS in 2012 is really a sad state for college football and where we are with the current system," Herbstreit said. "And the fact, thank goodness, we're moving toward a new system in 2014. They don't deserve to be in the BCS this year. Are you kidding me with Northern Illinois playing in the BCS?"

WATCH: ESPN Loses It Over NIU Selection

"We're 12-1," star quarterback Jordan Lynch told ESPN after his Huskies had been selected, via the Associated Press. "We faced tons of adversity this year. We won tons of games. We definitely deserve to be in there."

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