Well, sometimes the little guys do win.
Northern Illinois took advantage of a whirlwind of weekend losses to finish in the top 16 of the final BCS standings, which will be released later today.
BCS rules stipulate a team from a "nonqualifier" conference earns a bid if it finishes in the top 16 ahead of a major conference champion. Northern Illinois is already assured of finishing ahead of both the Big East (Louisville) and Big Ten (Wisconsin) champions.
Northern Illinois, 12-1, started the weekend at No. 21 in the BCS standings and then defeated Kent State in double overtime Friday night to clinch the MAC title.
The real shocker was Nebraska dropping eight spots to No. 21 after a 70-31 loss to Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game.
The news firms up this year's bowl lineup:
Rose: Stanford vs. Wisconsin
Fiesta: Oregon vs. Kansas State
Sugar: Florida vs. Louisville
Orange: Northern Illinois vs. Florida State
The only downside to the news for Northern Illinois is that Coach Dave Doeren announced after Friday's win that he had accepted the head coaching job at North Carolina.