NIU football is class of the MAC

By Chris Dertz

Well that was a good, old-fashioned butt-whoopin’.

With the Huskies’ 65-30 thrashing of rival Toledo Tuesday night, they have effectively asserted their dominance on the Mid-American Conference, and can clearly be considered the class of the league.

And in front of a national television audience, NIU showcased its case for the AP’s Top 25 about as well as any mid-major program could.

Yet on a night where the weather was perfect – the 64-degree kickoff temperature is practically Hawaii compared to DeKalb this time of year – about 6,000 more people could have seen it happen in person.

The reported attendance for the game, 18,472, about 5,500 fewer than Huskie Stadium’s 24,000-person capacity.

This was NIU’s final home game of the season, and pushed the Huskies’ total attendance for the season to just over 88,000 people.

That averages out to a little over 17,000 fans per game, all for a team that went undefeated at home, could very well end the season ranked in the top 25, and has a chance to win NIU’s first MAC Championship since 1983.

I ask you, the NIU student body, this question: what does it take for you to come out and watch a team play?

It’s understandable that a lot of people don’t go to basketball games, because they haven’t been competitive for a while, and missing the other “niche” sports is at least understandable.

This NIU football team has done nothing but win. And don’t get me wrong, 18,742 is not necessarily a “bad” turnout for a Tuesday night game, but AP voters are starting to take notice of this team. What will it take for you to do the same?

The fact remains that, whether you come to see the Huskies play or not, they have shown that they are all they were cracked up to be before the season. They are a team that has improved almost every week, and looks to be peaking at exactly the right time.

NIU has two games left, and with all due respect to Ball State and Eastern Michigan, but there is no reason for the Huskies to do anything but roll over those teams.

They did just put up 65 on their top contender for the MAC West crown.