NIU Seeking To Snap State’s ‘BCS’ Bowl Drought

Tuesday’s column from CBS Chicago

(CBS) Kirk Herbstreit might want to shoo them out of South Beach, but the Northern Illinois Huskies will nevertheless be playing in a BCS game tonight when they butt helmets with Florida State during the 2013 Orange Bowl.

Most everyone knows that the matchup marks NIU’s first-ever appearance in a major bowl game. But what you might not know is that it also counts as the ninth time a football team from the Land has played in a big-time “BCS” game.

Since 1947, Illinois has appeared in six major bowls (five Rose Bowls and a Sugar Bowl) while Northwestern has appeared in two (the Rose Bowl each time). After a 4-0 start in those games, our local squads have since gone on to lose their last four since 1964.

With NIU having the opportunity tonight to snap the Prairie State’s lengthy losing streak in postseason glamour games, I thought it would be interesting to take a glance back at the blockbusters that preceded tonight’s big Orange Bowl showdown.

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