The Huskies victory over Kansas was one of four victories for the Mid-American Conference over a BCS conference this weekend and the nation has taken notice. CBSsports.com filed this story
Saturday evening, even as Akron was battling Tennessee down in Knoxville. The Chicago Tribune included the MAC in its 10 things we learned from the college football weekend
. CollegeFootball News.com included the MAC and Jordan Lynch its Who's Hot... The Week 4 Stars
The defending Mid-American Conference champion Northern Illinois University football team begins practice today at 3:15 p.m. at Huskie Stadium. NIU is coming off back-to-back 11-win seasons and two-straight bowl wins and open the 2012 season at Soldier Field in Chicago when the Huskies take on Iowa Saturday, Sept. 1. Below are a few articles to prep you for Soldier Field Showdown III, the upcoming season and the conference outlook.
Fred Mitchell, Chicago Tribune
In preparation for the 40th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, the Mid-American Conference will honor the groundbreaking legislation for women's college athletics with a series of 15 interviews with former coaches, student-athletes and administrators.
The interviews will cover themes such as:
-The importance of this legislation and what this meant to
them personally and for women's athletics
-The growth of opportunity for women in athletics
-How the MAC integrated women's athletics into the
-Early challenges faced by women in collegiate athletics
-What does the future hold for women's collegiate
The 15 interviews and five features covering the main themes of Title IX will air in a 20-part video series on MAC-Sports.com from Tuesday, June 19 through Friday, July 14.
The Mid-American Conference Title IX Video Series
Tuesday, June 19 - Marcy Weston, Central Michigan, Executive
Associate Director of Athletics
Wednesday, June 20 - Tricia Cullop, Toledo, Head Women's
Thursday, June 21 - Laing Kennedy, Kent State, Emeritus
Director of Athletics
Friday, June 22 - Feature One: What Does This Mean To You
& Women's Athletics?
Monday, June 25 - Christine Chiricosta, Bowling Green,
Tuesday, June 26 - Kelly Andrews, Toledo, Senior Associate
Wednesday, June 27 - Maria Fantanarosa, Miami, Head Women's
Thursday, June 28 - Feature Two: Examine the Growth of
Opportunity for Women in Athletics
Friday, June 29 - Dr. Jon Steinbrecher, Mid-American
Monday, July 2 - Kathy Beauregard, Western Michigan, Director
Tuesday, July 3 - Brittany Tyree, Ohio, Track &
Wednesday, July 4 - Feature Three: Integration of Women's
Athletics in the MAC
Thursday, July 5 - Brad Bates, Miami, Director of
Friday, July 6 - Karen Fitzpatrick, MAC Hall of Fame, former
Ball State field hockey coach
Monday, July 9 - Feature Four: Challenges Faced by Women's
Tuesday, July 10 - Lindsey Wienckowski, Western Michigan,
Wednesday, July 11 - Sue Guevara, Central Michigan, Head
Women's Basketball Coach
Thursday, July 12 - Kaitlyn Vincek, Eastern Michigan,
Friday, July 13 - Feature Five: What Does The Future Hold
For Women's Athletics?
Friday, July 13 - Susan Lipnickey, Miami, Faculty Athletics
The Orlando Sentinel is counting down the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams (minus the four new teams to FBS in 2012) and the Northern Illinois University ranked No. 64 on their countdown. The defending Mid-American Conference champion Huskies were the highest rated team from the MAC West Division and the second highest MAC team in the poll. The only other conference school that hasn't been ranked is the school NIU beat to win its first MAC title since 1983, Ohio.
When you get to the strengths portion of the review, there is a reference to a Jordan Ward that will lead the way for the secondary. No, NIU did not sign a new player. The Sentinel was referring to Jimmie Ward.
Many around the Mid-American Conference know the rich quarterback history in the league. This past season, Huskie fans were fortunate to watch the top QB in the MAC week in and week out in Chandler Harnish, the 2011 Vern Smith Leadership Award winner.
Next season, 12 of the league's 14 signal callers from 2011 will be under center in 2012. One of those "new guys" will be Jordan Lynch. Like Harnish, Lynch is a dual threat quarterback equally dangerous with his arm or legs. Paul Myerberg of presnapread.com posted this story
handicapping the quarterback race in 2012.
NIU women's basketball junior Shaakira Haywood was recently featured in the MAC's latest "Getting to Know" video series. Click here to watch
2011 was a great year for football schools of the Mid-American Conference. The league went a nation's best 4-1 in bowl games this season
, tying with Conference USA. Northern Illinois' 38-20 victory over Arkansas State clinched the top spot for the MAC and the conference went a perfect 4-0 versus other Non-AQ leagues (2-0 vs Mountain West, 1-0 vs. Western Athletic and 1-0 vs. Sun Belt). Andrea Adelson of ESPN.com gave the league some props in her blog post
, while Paul Myerberg ranked the MAC ahead
of the WAC and Sun Belt.
It was a big weekend for the NIU volleyball team, as the Huskies entered in second place in the MAC West Division and left the weekend in first after 3-0 wins at home over Toledo and Ball State. NIU is currently tied with Western Michigan for first place in the West and the No. 1 overall seed in the MAC Tournament. The Huskies and Broncos meet in Kalamazoo, Mich., Thursday to break the tie.
Reactions from the successful weekend are right here:"Schepler's ace puts volleyball team in first in MAC"
-- by Ryan Wood, Daily Chronicle"Somebody grab a broom - NIU volleyball defeats Toledo"
-- by Abbe Barton, Northern Star
With a huge weekend ahead, the Huskies are on the American Volleyball Coaches Association's (AVCA) map. In the AVCA's weekly blog, Saturday's 7 PM CT NIU-Ball State contest at Victor E. Court is mentioned as one of the key national match-ups of the week. Ball State stands just one game ahead of NIU for first place in the MAC West Division and the Huskies are looking to avenge a five-set loss in Muncie, Ind., on Sept. 30, which is also the last time that NIU dropped a match. Since then, the Huskies have reeled off nine straight wins and have stayed ahead of the Cardinals in the RPI rankings. NIU leads the MAC with a No. 20 ranking, while BSU stands 33rd. With their last two MAC home matches this weekend, the Huskies could grab a share of first place in the West and overall in the MAC with wins Friday against Toledo and Saturday over the Cardinals.
Today, the Mid-American Conference released its preseason women's basketball picks, as voted on by the league's coaches and select media. The Huskies were tabbed to finish fourth in the West Division, while Toledo was chosen to win the West and the MAC Tournament. Bowling Green was the choice to claim the East Division. For the complete picks and to see the Preseason All-MAC Teams, click here
If you missed yesterday's NIU Basketball Media Day or are looking for more coverage, we have you covered. Let's start with the transcript of the press conference -- click here
. After the press conference, the following articles were written from one-on-one interviews:
"New eras begin for NIU men's, women's basketball teams
," by Matt Trowbridge, Rockford Register Star
"Hoops media day notes
," by Huskie Wire
"Montgomery wants to build Huskies' identity on tough defense
," by Ryan Wood, Daily Chronicle
"Bennett set to begin second season
," by Matt Hopkinson, Northern Star
"Montgomery ready to open up first season
" by Brian Thomas, Northern Star
The Huskies were also featured on video by the following local TV stations:
Rockford's NBC affiliate
, Rockford's ABC affiliate
After going off for a career-best 39 kills Saturday at Toledo, the nation's kills leader Lauren Wicinski was featured by Rick Armstrong in the Beacon News
on Sunday. Click here
CollegeFootballNews.com is ranking every college football program
based on its success over a five year period. Northern Illinois ranks 74th overall and is the third in the Mid-American Conference behind Ohio (69) and Central Michigan (59). CFN.com took into account several factors such as players drafted, quality wins and what they term "bad wins" or wins over teams with three wins or fewer or any non-FBS team.
74. Northern Illinois
Program Analysis: It seems like the ranking should be higher with
so much success last year and so many good teams on a regular basis,
but the 2-10 2007 season will be on the books for another few years. The
APR Score of 9 is fantastic, but the Attendance Score needs to bounce
back up and the conference wins have to continue. The 22 Bad Wins lead
the nation, but that's not necessarily a bad thing; the Huskies beat the
bad teams in the MAC. Now it's time to finally, FINALLY, win a
MAC title game, and new head man Dave Doeren is good enough to take what
Jerry Kill did over the last few years and make it happen.
2011 TOTAL SCORE: 45.44
2010 Ranking: 74
2009 Ranking: 69
Attendance Score: 1.79
APR Score: 9
Drafted Players: 3
FBS Wins: 29
Quality Wins: 4
Elite Win Score: 0
Bad Loss Score: 1.5
Elite Losses: 4
Bad Wins: 22
Conference Score: 6.15
While NIU quarterback Chandler Harnish gets much of the pub, one member of the Huskies offense is quietly garnering a lot of respect nationally. Center Scott Wedige, who is on the watch lists for the Remington Award and Lombardi Trophy, is considered a top 10 interior linemen by Rivals.com
and a top five center on the list. In its preseason college football preseason magazine, the Sporting News listed Wedige as the top NFL prospect in the Mid-American Conference.
The Mid-American Conference men's and women's basketball tournaments will see a change for the 2011-12 season, the league announced today. Under a new format, both the men's and women's top two
seeds will receive byes to the Semifinals, with the third and fourth seeds receiving
byes to the Quarterfinals. Click here to see the full announcement.
The Mid-American Conference continues its 13 Teams in 13 Days series
with a look at the 2011 Northern Illinois University Huskies. The preview, which is a condensed version of the Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook, talks about Doeren bringing his defensive philosophy to NIU and the Huskies desire to win a MAC championship. It also includes a video interview of NIU head coach Dave Doeren, quarterback Chandler Harnish and defensive end Sean Progar.
NIU volleyball's Kristin Hoffman and Lauren Wicinski were both mentioned by the Chicago Tribune
Tuesday for being named
to the Preseason All-Mid-American Conference Team. Click the links for more info.
Rivals.com senior college football writer Tom Dienhart breaks down the 2011 Mid-American Conference football season. He dubs this year in the MAC
- the year of the quarterback. There's a lot of information in this preview and is well worth the read.
Eleven of the league's 13 schools return their starting quarterback from a year ago, with Northern Illinois' Chandler Harnish leading the way. The lone returning QB who is a senior, Harnish led the Huskies to a school-record 11 wins last season. He was selected as the league's best player by two of Rivals.com's five college football writers.
In fact, the Huskies get the most love from one writer in particular, Mike Huguenin. Huguenin picks NIU to win the league, feels Jasmin Hopkins will lead the league in rushing and the Huskies have the best unis.
While the Huskie players were snubbed for many of the individual accolades, Dienhart tabs NIU's Matt Canada as the league's best offensive coordinator. The Huskies were also slighted in the Game of the Year category. Rivals picks the Oct. 22 game between Toledo and Miami, labeling it a MAC Championship preview. Many experts feel the Nov. 1 match up between the Huskies and Rockets will decide the MAC West, potentially making that Oct. 22nd game, just another game.
The Huskies, who were picked to finish first in the MAC West and defeat Miami in the MAC Championship game, did get some love in the unit rankings with the offensive backfield and offensive line tabbed as the best in the league.
Graham Watson of Yahoo! Sports' college football blog has this post
previewing the upcoming 2011 Mid-American Conference season. She touches on the coaching changes in the league, programs on the rise and programs that still have a ways to go. (NIU is in the Glass Half Full column.) She kind of disrespects NIU's 11-3 record from 2010 saying it was a little misleading when she talks about MAC programs garnering national attention. Sorry, I'm not sure how 11 wins can be misleading.
Paul Myerberg of Pre-Snap Read took a break from his countdown of all 120 college football teams, in which he ranked the Huskies No. 59
, to post this preview
of the 2011 Mid-American Conference. Northern Illinois had three games make the two lists of Biggest Games. The Huskies' Sept. 17 match up with Wisconsin at Soldier Field makes the list of Biggest Non-Conference Games, while the Nov. 1 match up with Toledo is the top conference game to catch. NIU's Oct. 15 contest with Western Michigan is third on the list.
Northern Illinois, the defending MAC West champs, isn't getting the respect it received last season. While the Huskies are missing a good chunk of its defense for 2010 and are under the leadership of a new head coach, NIU returns nine starters on offense including quarterback Chandler Harnish. Harnish was passed over for MAC Offensive Player of the Year as PSR selected Toledo wide receiver Eric Page as its preseason pick for MAC Offensive POTY.