NIU football team looks poised to take MAC

By Chris Dertz

Sometimes the preseason predictions do get it right.

What took place inside Huskie Stadium on Saturday afternoon was nothing short of a identity-defining win for head coach Jerry Kill’s program.

NIU and Temple were touted as the two best teams in the MAC before the season started. As big as last year’s win over Purdue and this season’s Minnesota victory were, the fact is that NIU’s goal needs to be a MAC Championship. The Huskies were picked to win the MAC West before the season. In handling Temple, they’ve proven not only that they can do it, but that they should be expected to.

I haven’t seen anything out of the other teams in the MAC West that lends credence to the idea that NIU could be challenged on the road to Detroit.

I know, crazy things happen in college football. You can’t predict what any week will have in store.

This doesn’t change the fact that no team in the MAC West is as talented, poised and disciplined as NIU is right now.

I can imagine many people spouting the “take the season one game at a time” approach, refusing to look ahead to a possible MAC Championship bid for the Huskies. That’s precisely why I think this team is heading there.

Just from being around the team, it’s pretty clear that this team has bought into what Kill has been preaching. I would be extremely surprised if the Huskies get caught looking ahead past a Toledo or even Eastern Michigan.

Another important ingredient is the swagger this team is exercising, both on and off the field. Quarterback Chandler Harnish is the portrait of confidence right now: he knows this team is playing extremely well, and is on the right side of the confidence-arrogance line.

This attitude has trickled down throughout the rest of the team, as well. NIU just seems like a team with championship ability, especially after this weekend.