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What does going to Miami to play Florida State in the prestigious Orange Bowl on Jan. 1 mean to the Northern Illinois University football team, students, fan base and alumni? A lot. It's the first time a team from the Mid-American Conference has played in a BCS Bowl, a stunning accomplishment for the mid-major school and league."It validates who we are as an institution, who we are as a football program," said athletic director Jeff Compher. "It puts us in a different mindset as to how people look at us. We've legitimized ourselves in a way. That means a lot to our alums."