The Mid-American champions (12-1) finished 15th in the final Bowl Championship Series standings. Finishing in the top 16 and ahead of a qualifying conference champion meant the Huskies were automatically BCS-bound, and they'll play Atlantic Coast Conference champion Florida State (11-2) on Jan. 1 in Miami.
Northern Illinois actually finished ahead of two conference titlists, Big East winner Louisville and Big Ten champion Wisconsin.
The Huskies beat Kent State for the MAC title on Friday night.
Dave Doeren will not coach the Huskies in the Orange Bowl. He was hired Saturday as the new coach at North Carolina State.