Although the Huskies are still slated to play four more guaranteed games this season, I only see one game that sticks out.
The game I am keying in on is the Huskies’ Nov. 14 showdown with Toledo at home, which will be shown on ESPN. Both teams are currently sitting tied at 7-1 overall and 4-1 in the MAC. Each team has four games left to play, including their own game.
Assuming that both teams win their other three games, this game will be for all the marbles in the MAC West Division and will ultimately decide who gets to play in the MAC Championship.
Looking at both teams’ remaining schedules, NIU and Toledo should have no problem winning their respective three games as they are against sub-par teams in the MAC.
This week, NIU travels to Kalamazoo to take on a struggling Western Michigan (3-5, 1-3 MAC) team, which is playing without its starting quarterback.
The following week, the Huskies will host the bottom feeder of the MAC in Massachusetts (0-7, 0-4 MAC), which hasn’t been able to compete with anybody this season.
NIU will then take on Toledo and then head to Ypsilanti to battle with Eastern Michigan (1-6, 0-3 MAC), which sits in last place in the MAC West Division.
With the way the Huskies have been playing on both sides of the ball the last couple of weeks, they should run over these teams with ease and come away with three easy victories.
As for Toledo, its schedule is fairly similar to that of NIU.
Coming off a win against No. 23 nationally ranked Cincinnati, the Rockets will take on Buffalo (1-6, 0-3 MAC), which is still looking for its first win in MAC play this season.
Toledo’s biggest challenge comes against Ball State (5-3, 3-2 MAC). The Cardinals have won two straight games in the MAC and are the only team over .500 that either team will play in their remaining schedules.
Following the game with the Huskies, Toledo takes on the second worst team in the MAC East Division in Akron (1-7, 0-4).
The way I see it, these two teams’ seasons come down to just one game unless one of them falters. For the Huskies, this game will decide whether or not they get to go back to Ford Field and defend their MAC Championship against either Ohio or possibly Kent State.