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Report: Northern Illinois Headed To The Orange Bowl

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SI's Pete Thamel is reporting that Northern Illinois has qualified for the BCS, meaning Louisville will now likely square off against Florida in the Sugar Bowl.

Jamie Rhodes-US PRESSWIRE

According to Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel, Northern Illinois has qualified for an automatic spot in the BCS and will play Florida State in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1.

If accurate, this news means that Louisville is almost certainly headed to New Orleans, where it will face Florida in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2.

There are no other no other bowl games on Jan. 2, which means Louisville would have the entire national spotlight on it for a game against an SEC opponent which figures to be ranked either No. 3 or No. 4. In terms of opportunities for a program to take a giant leap forward, they don't get much bigger than that.

We'll find out for sure during the BCS Selection Show at 8:30.