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Northern Illinois comes back to grab MAC title

LaVon Brazill, Jhony Faustin AP

Friday night MACtion? Friday night MACtion!

You know, in an otherwise cruddy year for college football off the field, MAC football has actually been a hidden gem that has brought some enjoyment back to the game. Combine a conference that’s accounted for some entertaining games this season with the announcing duo of Joe “The Tease” Tessitore and Rod Gilmore and Ford Field as the crucible, and the MAC championship was set up for something crazy.

And it didn’t disappoint.

Down 20-0 at the half to Ohio, Northern Illinois rallied with 23 straight points and a game-winning field goal to defeat the Bobcats 23-20. The third appearance in Detroit finally proved to be the lucky one for NIU; the Huskies lost heartbreakers of their own to Miami (OH) last year, 26-21, and to Akron in 2005, 31-30.

This time around, it was NIU who dealt the blow to Ohio, who has yet to win a MAC championship in three tries.

The bowl selections have yet to be made, but it looks like NIU will be heading to the Bowl (yay?) against a Sun Belt opponent.

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7 Responses to “Northern Illinois comes back to grab MAC title”
  1. harleyspoon says: Dec 2, 2011 11:17 PM

    Go Huskies…..Now, go get the big boys to ante up for another 15,000-18,000 seats and a few more accoutrements at Huskie Stadium and lobby for acceptance in a BCS conference like maybe the BIGXII….Your location, school size and access to good football players is worth the investment and Dekalb is a great little college town…If you get in the BCS, your recruiting will skyrocket…do it!!!

  2. thefiesty1 says: Dec 2, 2011 11:32 PM

    Join the Big Least. Their remaining schools are about on par with the MAC.

  3. harleyspoon says: Dec 3, 2011 12:02 AM

    Recruiting depends on conference affiliation…NIU in a BCS conf would compete with U of Illinois and Northwestern…You have to think outside that little bitty box you are in…NIU is a big school 50 miles out of Chicago…Not that far south of Milwaukee…Illinois is a big state with lots of football & basketball players…Dekalb is a party town…

  4. harleyspoon says: Dec 3, 2011 12:05 AM

    I coached at NIU in the 70’s…I know its potential…

  5. frug says: Dec 3, 2011 1:18 AM

    Well congrats to the Huskies. It’s a shame that (unlike that year) the Little Caesars Bowl doesn’t have the MAC champ tie, since it would have set up a potential showdown with Northwestern. NIU-NU would have been a pretty big deal for the Huskies. It would have given them a lot of exposure in Chicago.

  6. dirksimmons says: Dec 3, 2011 2:39 AM

    Yes, the bowl is worth a Yay! Much better than last year when they got stuck going to Idaho…in December. Who on Earth decided to reward a school with having to go to Idaho in December? Yikes. Give me Mobile, Alabama in January any time. Nice escape from these freezing Illinois winters.

  7. makimaguro says: Dec 3, 2011 11:17 AM

    I enjoyed the post game interview – thought the head coach was very candid and happy and said a lot of nice things about the players.

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