Carey not worried about polls after NIU not picked to win division title


By Scott Nicol

After tying an NCAA record last year with its six straight division title, NIU football was picked to finish third in the MAC West in the preseason poll for the upcoming season.

The Huskies were picked to finish third in the division last year before going 8-6 (6-2 MAC) record before losing to Bowling Green State University 34-14 in the MAC Championship.

Head Coach Rod Carey said he is not worried about the preseason polls and how the poll could affect the team.

“It’s out there, people see it, we see it and then we move on,” Carey said. “We’ve got work to do and if you’re worried about what other people are saying, you’re not worried about the work you’ve got in front of you.”

The Western Michigan Broncos were picked to win the west division, tallying 144 points, including 19 first-place votes, while the Huskies finished with 112 points, one point behind Toledo for second-place.

Bowling Green, NIU’s opponent in the conference championship game each of the previous three years, is picked to win the east division this season, beating out Ohio University with 116 points and 114 points, respectively.

The Huskies have 16 returning starters this season, including junior All-American cornerback Shawun Lurry and senior MAC Special Teams Player of the Year Aregeros Turner.

Turner led all Football Bowl Subdivision in kick return yardage with 1,181 yards on 45 attempts – both NIU school records.

The Huskies’ first kickoff of the season is set for 9:30 p.m. Sept. 3 at Wyoming, with their home opener scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 17 against San Diego State University in a non-conference game.