Last season, Northern Illinois sneaked into the top 16 of the final BCS Standings and earned a bid to one of the elite bowl games, pushing Oklahoma out of a likely Sugar Bowl berth.
This year, though, the Sooners did receive an at-large Sugar Bowl bid, and for the players who felt slighted a year ago, it's especially sweet.
“It feels great to make it to a BCS game,” said senior cornerback Aaron Colvin. “I felt kind of … snubbed last year. It's gonna be a great experience.”
But Colvin also said he's mostly focused on finishing his career strong, and said as a captain and leader, he'll remind his teammates of the Sooners' embarrassing Cotton Bowl defeat last January.
“I'll definitely stay in these guys' ears about that if I see some slacking off or if I see some guys getting complacent just because we made it to a BCS bowl,” Colvin said. “That's not OK, and I don't want to finish anything like we did last year.”
Junior quarterback Blake Bell, on his up-and-down season:
“You've just gotta try to keep cool and keep on that steady plane. … The game of football is weird. You're gonna have times when you're up and times when you're down. You've just gotta figure out a way to have more ups and kinda keep your cool through it all.”