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Northern Illinois actually made money from the Orange Bowl

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Happy oranges for everyone!
Happy oranges for everyone!
Mike Ehrmann

No, the Huskies did not impress a bunch of people when they got rolled over by Florida State. It was painful to watch after realizing that NIU was not able to catch their fullback on a breakaway touchdown. That pretty much sealed it. But that does not mean that the Huskies were going to be ruined financially, which is something that can happen to bowl teams left holding the tab.

The MAC made sure that Northern Illinois, their proud representative on national television, wouldn't be stuck in the red. Of that $8 million payout given to the MAC, the school received about one-sixth of it and was able to establish a profit of $250,000.

That's just awesome. They gave away free tickets to students that planned on attending. Then they had both Kirk Herbstreit and an Orange Bowl executive flat out tell them that they didn't belong in the game. And even though they lost by 21 points, their game was more entertaining than either the Sugar Bowl or the national championship.

So even though that sour taste from that fateful night in Miami stung for a little while, as time is going on we're starting to realize how much of a victory this was for NIU and the MAC.