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Are The Northern Illinois Huskies BCS Bowl Bound Again?

Mike DiNovo – Usa Today Sports

Led by one of the best senior quarterbacks in the nation, Jordan Lynch, the Northern Illinois Huskies are still undefeated on the season. Reminiscent of last season where they went undefeated and got to play in a BCS Bowl, Northern Illinois should not have trouble with any of the remaining teams on their schedule. How are the Huskies chances at making it to a BCS game in the 2013 season?

In order to go to a BCS game, a team from a conference such as the Mid-Atlantic Conference, the Sun Belt and the Mountain West Conference must win their conference and either finish in the top 12 of the final BCS rankings or finish in the top 16 with no AQ schools ahead of them. Louisville‘s loss to UCF placed them behind Northern Illinois in the BCS rankings, and meant that there was only one non-AQ team ahead of them in the polls.

Going into the game against Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois was ranked No. 18 in the BCS rankings, which was one place behind the MWC’s Fresno State Bulldogs. The Bulldogs nearly lost to the determined San Diego State Aztecs that they luckily defeated in overtime. However, the BCS rankings tend to reflect that kind of “almost loss” to a weaker opponent and adjust accordingly. Therefore, in the next rankings, don’t be surprised if Northern Illinois jumps Fresno State.

The Huskies control their own destiny. With an easy remaining schedule, they shouldn’t stand a chance of losing to any of the lowly MAC teams. However, Lynch and Northern Illinois must continue to blow out opponents, because the Bulldogs are tight on their heels and could easily overtake them in the rankings once again.

Taylor Sturm is an SEC Basketball Writer for Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS or add him to your network on Google

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Northern Illinois Huskies Need Offensive Bounceback in Poinsettia Bowl

The Northern Illinois Huskies were one win away from making their second straight trip the BCS in 2013 before running into a brick wall in the form of the Bowling Green Falcons in the MAC Championship game. Bowling Green’s top-ten defense contained the high-powered offensive attack of NIU and upset the Huskies to keep them from busting the BCS yet again. Northern Illinois will have to find a way to bounce back offensively in a hurry, however, as they face another tough defensive challenge in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl against the Utah State Aggies.

The MAC title game was the first time all season long that NIU failed to score at least 30 points in a game. Combined with a rough day on defense, the Huskies faced a lopsided upset loss at the hands of the Falcons thanks to their physical defense which were able to keep Heisman Trophy finalist Jordan Lynch somewhat contained and even forced a pair of interceptions out of the offensive leader of the Huskies’ attack.

They will need to figure out what went wrong in a hurry, though, as Utah State brings a similarly stingy defense to the Poinsettia Bowl. The Aggies rank No. 12 nationally in total defense this season and No. 10 against the run. They have a physical defensive front that helped turn around Utah State’s season after a rough 3-3 start to 2013 that ended up in the Moutain West Conference Championship game in their very first year in the conference.

NIU will be challenged by the Aggies when they square off. If they stumble in the same way they did against Bowling Green, Lynch will leave the Huskies with a disappointing and unsatisfying finale to his collegiate career. Can the Huskies fix what failed them in the MAC title game and come out ahead against Utah State?

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Related Links

2013 Heisman Trophy: Jameis Winston Takes Home What Jordan Lynch Deserved

Northern Illinois vs. Utah State 2013 Bowl Game Preview With TV Schedule

Bowling Green Falcons: QB Matt Johnson Outduels NIU’s Jordan Lynch For Upset Victory

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