NIU picked fifth in football polls


The preseason media and coaches polls are in for the Big West Conference football season and some Huskie fans may be disappointed. NIU was picked to finish in fifth place in both polls.

The Huskies received one first place vote in each poll. NIU earned 206 total points in the media poll and 62 total points in the coaches poll. Utah State was picked to finish in first place in both polls, receiving 301 and 91 points in the media and coaches polls respectively.

NIU Head Football Coach Charlie Sadler accounted for the lone first place vote in the coaches poll.

“I sincerely believe we’re going to win the Big West,” he said in a radio interview. “We think this team has made great strides forward and we’re ready to win a championship.”

The Las Vegas Bowl pits the Big West Conference champ against the Mid-American Conference champ. Last year, the Big West’s Nevada lost to Bowling Green State in the inaugural Las Vegas Bowl. This year, the bowl game is scheduled for December 17 at the Sam Boyd Silver Dome in Las Vegas.

The ten-team Big West Conference features four new programs. NIU, Arkansas State, Louisiana Tech and Southwestern Louisiana. There will also be three teams with new coaches in the conference; Arkansas State, Nevada and San Jose State.

According to both polls, Nevada, San Jose State and Louisiana Tech will be battling for second, third and fourth places in the conference. Both polls agreed on the finishes of the sixth through tenth places picking UNLV, New Mexico State, Pacific, Southwestern Louisiana and Arkansas State respectively.

The Huskies open the 1993 season on the road Sept. 2 against Iowa State. The home opener will be Sept. 18 against Big West rival Arkansas State. This season’s homecoming game will be Oct. 16 versus Big West rival Pacific. The Huskies will face two Big Ten teams on the road—Indiana on Sept. 11 and the University of Iowa on Nov. 6.