Northern Illinois looking for revenge against Kansas
BY STEVE NITZ Shaw Media September 21, 2012 10:14PM
KANSAS AT NIU
The facts: 2:30, ESPN3.com, 670-AM.
Updated: October 23, 2012 6:10AM
DeKALB — It’s been a long time coming.
On Saturday, Huskie Stadium will play host to a team from a BCS conference for the first time since 2003 when Northern Illinois (2-1) takes on Kansas (1-2).
Last season, the Jayhawks beat the Huskies 45-42 in a shootout in Lawrence.
“We are real excited,’’ NIU sophomore offensive tackle Ryan Brown said. ‘‘We take a lot of pride saying that we’re just as good as these teams, the BCS teams, automatic-bid teams. Last year was a really tough game against Kansas, and we just can’t wait to get back out there and prove that we should have won that game last year.”
Nine seasons ago, Maryland and Iowa State visited DeKalb, with NIU winning both games on its way to a 10-2 season. Other BCS teams that have played at NIU since 1990 include Kansas State (1990, 1997), Oklahoma State (1994), Vanderbilt (1997) and Wake Forest (2002).
NIU athletic director Jeff Compher and coach Dave Doeren have a certain philosophy they like when it comes to scheduling — two road guarantee games against teams from BCS conferences, another against a fellow non-AQ team and one against a Football Championship Subdivision program.
Compher said the Huskies need the two guarantee games for revenue purposes, adding that he wants games in which NIU is going to be competitive. Compher also likes to get a home-and-home series with another non-AQ team because it gives the Huskies a better chance for a higher win total.
NIU went to Army last week, winning 41-40. It was a return game from last season, when the Black Knights came to DeKalb. NIU will play on the road against Idaho next season, with the Vandals coming to Huskie Stadium in 2014. The Huskies will host Wyoming in 2014 and head to Laramie in 2015.
Compher said his main priority when it comes to playing a BCS team is to try to get a home-and-home series. But that’s easier said than done. BCS teams usually don’t have a ton to gain when playing on the road against non-AQ schools. Compher also mentioned dealing with open dates, who else NIU is playing in the given year and competitive balance as other scheduling factors.