Could NIU go to a BCS game with a win in the MAC championship?

Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE

The MAC Championship Game could determine which MAC school becomes the first to play in a BCS bowl game.

No team from the Mid-American Conference has played in a BCS bowl game, but the Northern Illinois Huskies hope to change that in the coming weeks.

Northern Illinois will have to go through the Kent State Golden Flashes to get there, however. The two square off in the MAC Championship Game on Fri., Nov. 30, in a game where either school may land in a big bowl upon winning.

"It's a very balanced league with a lot of good football teams in it and very good coaches," NIU head coach Dave Doeren said. "It'd be deserving for the best team to get the opportunity to play for whatever BCS game they put us in."

Both schools are 11-1 overall and finished 8-0 in conference play. Currently ranked No. 17, Kent State does have the better chance to land a BCS bowl berth as the Golden Flashes are just one spot away from the auto-bid consideration that comes to non-automatic-qualifier conference teams once they reach the top 16.

But at No. 21, the Huskies may be able to move up into a BCS game with a win, as four of the five teams standing between NIU and the No. 16 spot are in action this week. As dynamic quarterback Jordan Lynch leads the Huskies' 16th-best offense, BCS bowl glory is definitely not out of the question. "We have to win," Doeren said. "We put ourselves in a position to make it a real argument and now we need to finish what we started here."

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