Now may be the most exciting time to be an NIU football fan.
The Huskies are coming off their most historic season in school history (12-2), during which they earned their first-ever berth to a BCS Bowl game, repeated as MAC Champions and won the MAC West Division for the third consecutive season.
NIU has defended Huskie Stadium well over the last couple seasons as it has won 15 games in a row at home. The Huskies are also in the midst of a 17-game winning streak against their MAC opponents.
Senior quarterback and Heisman candidate Jordan Lynch returns for one final season after his record-setting performance last season, in which he became the only quarterback in NCAA history to rush for more than 1,500 yards and throw for more than 3,000 yards in a season.
Lynch also set the record for the most rushing yards by a quarterback in a season with 1,815 yards, breaking Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson’s 2010 record of 1,702 yards.
With all of that said, that was last season and the Huskies are looking to move on. The question then becomes, “What can we expect from the Huskies in the 2013-2014 season?”
I would expect the Huskies to have similar results to what they accomplished last season. Maybe not to the point of another BCS berth, but repeating as MAC Champions is more than a possibility for this group.
In its last three seasons, NIU has won 10 games or more and I don’t see that streak coming to an end based on its schedule this season. That has to do with its dominant play in the MAC, winning 17 of its 18 MAC games in the last two
In the preseason Associated Press Top 25 poll, the Huskies were not ranked and only received 16 points.
If there’s anything I’ve learned about the Huskies watching them play the last three years, it’s that they embrace the role of the underdog and always have something to prove.
“No matter who we play, we’re going to have a chip on our shoulder,” said senior running back Akeem Daniels. “No matter what the media says about us or anybody else, any outsiders, there’s always a chip on our shoulder. You know, we’re NIU, people don’t expect us to win or win as much, but we just so happen to prevail.”
Despite not being ranked in the top 25, the Huskies were picked to win the MAC West Division.
NIU will look to start what it hopes to be a memorable season this Saturday in Iowa City as they take on Iowa in their season opener.