MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Orange Bowl may be inviting a Mid-American Conference to the legendary game if Kent State University manages to move up one spot in the Bowl Championship Series rankings.

The Kent State Golden Flashes will play in the Marathon MAC championship game this Friday against Northern Illinois. Kent State is currently ranked 17th in the BCS standings and if the Golden Flashes beat 21st ranked Northern Illinois, could move up to 16th or higher in the BCS rankings.

If Kent State is ranked in the Top 16 and they are ranked ahead of the Big East champion, the Golden Flashes would earn the automatic qualifier spot. The same could hold true of Northern Illinois if they beat Kent State and jumped in the rankings to the top 16, but is far less likely.

Because the Orange Bowl would be picking last this season, it would likely be dealt the Golden Flashes to match up against the Atlantic Coast Conference champion.

Assuming Florida State can get its act together and knock out Georgia Tech in the ACC championship game, the Orange Bowl could feature a match-up of Kent State vs. Florida State.

Florida State is coming off a loss to the University of Florida in the annual rivalry game and is facing a Georgia Tech team that replaced the Miami Hurricanes in the championship game when Miami imposed a second-straight season with a self-imposed bowl ban.

If the Orange Bowl gets Florida State, it should be set for ticket sales. Kent State will likely bring a good contingent to the game as well.

The Orange Bowl has hosted multiple national championship games and has had some of the most legendary games in college football history played. The bowl fell on some tough times in recent years with the decline of the Big East Conference and suffered through poor ticket sales and television ratings.

But, with the advent of the college football playoff in 2014, the bowl will become one of the rotating semifinalist sites. Plus, the bowl will in the future match up the ACC champion with either an SEC team, Notre Dame, or other team.


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