Even with the stellar start to 2013, NIU only moved up two spots in the AP Top 25 and Coaches Poll after a dominating 59-20 victory over Eastern Michigan last Saturday. In both polls, the Huskies held the same rank for three weeks before moving up.
The reason Northern Illinois gets little respect in the polls could still be due to the backlash at their BCS berth last season from pundits like ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit. The national talking heads seem to not want to mention the Huskies much nowadays.
The previous week, NIU didn't even budge in the AP Top 25 after Huskies playmaker Jordan Lynch set an NCAA record for rushing yards by an FBS quarterback in a game with 316 yards en route to a 38-17 win over Central Michigan. Lynch is having a season deserving of a trip to New York.
"Obviously Jordan had a big day. I'm really proud of him, proud of our offense," head coach Rod Carey said after playing Central Michigan. "Anytime you do something like that, break a record that's been around over 20 to 23 years, I think that that's something that when time passes, that will be even more special for Jordan and the guys who were on the field."
Northern Illinois is on a dominant run in MAC play and has tallied the longest conference winning streak in the nation at 21 games. The Huskies are also impressively on a 24 game home winning streak. NIU hasn't lost a conference game since October 1, 2011 (Central Michigan) and hasn't lost a home game since September 26, 2009 (Idaho).
Of all the undefeated teams, the Huskies are the only one with a 5-0 away record and their offense is on a tear with averaging 41.9 points per game for 11th overall. The offense is also averaging 537.1 total yards per game (5th overall) and 307.5 rush yards per game (6th).
NIU defeated Iowa earlier this year, who gave them their lone loss last regular season and gave Herbstreit cause to go nuts on the BCS selection show a season ago. The Huskies are 2-0 against the Big Ten in 2013. It will be a shame for this squad to overlooked when they may end up being a better and more deserving team than last season. Northern Illinois is currently ranked No. 17 in the BCS, a spot below Fresno State, the media's darling for a BCS Buster. The Huskies were ranked No. 18 in the initial BCS Standings for the season.
Northern Illinois Gets No Respect in Rankings
AP Top 25
Preseason: NR, 16 points (35th)
Week 2: NR, 27 points (30th)
Week 3: NR, 21 points (30th)
Week 4: NR, 24 points (29th)
Week 5: NR, 9 points (31st)
Week 6: NR, 104 points (26th)
Week 7: No. 23, 138 points
Week 8: No. 23, 185 points
Week 9: No. 23, 220 points
Week 10: No. 21, 290 points
USA Today Coaches Poll
Preseason: NR, 19 points (38th)
Week 2: NR, 31 points (30th)
Week 3: NR, 27 points (30th)
Week 4: NR, 26 points (33rd)
Week 5: NR, 21 points (30th)
Week 6: No. 23, 169 points
Week 7: No. 23, 169 points
Week 8: No. 23, 224 points
Week 9: No. 22, 298 points
Week 10: No. 20, 373 points