N. Illi­nois ru­ins large pay­out for con­fer­ence

MAC school drops Ok­la­homa from a BCS bowl as Soon­ers will play A&M in Cot­ton on Jan. 4.

Austin American-Statesman - - C SPORTS - By Kevin Lyt­tle klyt­tle@states­man.com BCS Bowls Jan. 1 Rose: Jan. 1 Or­ange: Jan. 2 Sugar: Jan. 3 Fi­esta: Jan. 7 BCS na­tional cham­pi­onship (Mi­ami): RODOLFO GON­ZA­LEZ / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

Next time the Big 12 con­sid­ers ex­pan­sion, don’t ex­pect BCS-bustin’ North­ern Illi­nois to land an in­vite. More ap­pro­pri­ate would be a dart board with a big old Huskie in the bull’s-eye.

North­ern Illi­nois’ sur­prise in­clu­sion in the Bowl Cham­pi­onship Se­ries lineup set off a chain re­ac­tion that dropped the peck­ing or­der of most Big 12 bowl teams and cost the con­fer­ence an $18 mil­lion pay­check

Stan­ford (11-2) vs. Wis­con­sin (8-5)

N. Illi­nois (121) vs. Florida St. (11-2)

Florida (11-1) vs. Louisville (10-2)

Kansas St. (11-1) vs. Ore­gon (11-1) Notre Dame (12-0) vs. Alabama (12-1) that comes with a BCS at-large bid.

The Huskies (12-1), from DeKalb, Ill., earned the MidAmer­i­can Con­fer­ence’s flrst ma­jor bowl berth by reach­ing cri­te­ria for a non-BCS league team: flnish­ing in the top 16 (they were 15th) and rank­ing higher than at least one other BCS con­fer­ence champ. North­ern Illi­nois beat out two, the Big Ten’s Wis­con­sin and the Big East’s Louisville.

The grum­bling is loud­est, by far, in Ok­la­homa, which was all set for a Sugar Bowl trip to play No. 4 Florida. In­stead of the French Quar­ter and New Or­leans, the 12th-ranked Soon­ers will re­turn to the Metro­plex for the third time this sea­son, where they’ll bump into a fa­mil­iar foe, 10th-ranked Texas A&M, in the Cot­ton Bowl.

The Sugar’s loss is the Cot­ton’s

UT coach Mack Brown says his team will face a big chal­lenge vs. Ore­gon State.

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