Too Early 2013 NIU Football Season Preview


Making the Orange Bowl and all the controversy surrounding that BCS bid still hasn’t made NIU football a household name. Having the longest home winning streak in all of college football, and the QB with the second most yards of total offense in the entire nation in 2012 still doesn’t put Northern Illinois front and center.

That quarterback who was #2 in the nation, behind Heisman Trophy winner and exciting party animal Johnny Manziel, is Jordan Lynch. And he returns for his senior year having been mistaken for his own coach Rod Carey at MAC media day last week.

I guess one member of the #MACtion media corps is pretty bad at his/her job.

This is Jordan Lynch:

jordan lynch-niu-football

And this is NIU football coach Rod Carey:


TAKE NOTE! Step your game up. As today is NIU football media day, Chicago chapter, I’m interested in asking both men about this incident.

NIU football reasons to get EXCITED! ALL CAPS! This program has won 23 games the past two years and got the MAC it’s first ever BCS bid. 11 starters return. The whole OL is back. Safety Jimmie Ward is the real deal.

Jordan Lynch is being marketed as a Heisman Trophy candidate by the school; and that is about as likely as when Northwestern sold Dan Persa to us as a Heisman Trophy candidate in 2010. No one from NU or the MAC has ever won the Heisman. Lynch and Persa both had the statistics though; entering that fall. You just have to win 10+ games at a high profile Big Ten, SEC, Big 12 or Pac 12 school to win the Heisman- that’s the rules. Lynch did finish 7th in Heisman voting last year and look at his numbers: FBS record 1,815 yards rushing by a QB, 3,138 yards passing, 25-6 TD-INT ratio. So although it’s not likely he’ll be invited to the Downtown Athletic Club in NYC this year; it is still possible.

There’s no reason to think NIU football doesn’t own the MAC again this year. And I can’t see anyone ending their home game winning streak either.

NIU football reasons to be worried :( double digit wins and owning the MAC again still won’t make them an elite top 20 team. Are they TCU or Boise State? Maybe, we won’t be able to answer that for at least a few years yet. But 34 wins in three years and five consecutive bowl berths is a great start. On the other hand, who other than Lynch is going to run the football?

Three returning starters on defense? That’s it?

NIU football key games: chance to avenge the only regular season loss from last year, opening at the Iowa Hawkeyes August 31st. Home opener is September 21st versus Eastern Illinois. The NIU Huskies play four of their first five on the road, with the home #MACtion beginning October 12th versus Akron. But the real deal is at Kent State and Western Michigan- if you follow this team you already know the main NIU football storylines there.

NIU football bottom line: This year brings more enthusiasm along with upgrades to Huskie Stadium, a new Athletic Director in Sean Frazier, a new coach in Rod Carey and most importantly, much higher expectations. Double digit wins for sure. Probably another conference title. Another BCS bid? Probably not.

the 2013 College Football rankings 1-51

Big Ten Season Previews (and other teams of interest now too):


Ohio State




Michigan State









Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports, a Fox Sports affiliate. He is also an analyst for 95.7 The Fan, and writes on Chicago sports media for Chicago Now. President Obama follows his Twitter account (@PaulMBanks)

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  1. If you are going to write about NIU maybe you should know that the safeties name is Jimmie Ward

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