Things are starting to look up for the Northern Illinois Huskies. With the end of the regular season upon us, the Huskies back-to-back national TV appearances, along with the follies of some other ranked teams, seem to have finally pushed them in the right direction.
NIU moved up a spot to No. 20 in the Coaches Poll, and up two spots to No. 18 in the AP Poll, two weeks after sliding in both. It's a small step in the right direction, but it's a step that should help NIU where it counts: in the BCS rankings. Even though the AP Poll doesn't count, the slight bump in the Coaches Poll should help NIU in the human element of the BCS rankings, as the computers have been championing NIU for weeks.
Northern Illinois beat Toledo 35-17 this past Wednesday, clinching a MAC Championship berth for the fourth consecutive year. Still, even with another impressive performance, it's become clear that the human voters will only give NIU votes if they have too.
The Huskies have two more nationally televised games left in the regular season. One this Tuesday against WMU on ESPN2, and the other the following Friday in Detroit for the MAC Championship. These two games are NIU's last hopes to move up high enough to somehow get into a BCS bowl. Standing in their way is still Fresno State, which was ranked one spot ahead of NIU in the BCS rankings a week ago, but took a 3-spot jump up to No. 13 in this weeks Coaches Poll.
Here's a look at the full USA Today Coaches Poll for Week 14:
|2||Florida State (6)||11-0||1,488||2|
|Others Receiving Votes: Notre Dame 17, Minnesota 12, Texas 12, East Carolina 11, Georgia 8, Nebraska 7, Miami (FL) 6, Louisiana-Lafayette 6, Arizona 2, Vanderbilt 2|
And here's a look at the full AP Poll:
|2||Florida State (4)||11-0||1,444||2|
|Others Receiving Votes: Georgia 15, Texas 10, Cincinnati 10, Mississippi 7, Nebraska 6, Arizona 6, Minnesota 5, Vanderbilt 1, East Carolina 1, North Dakota State 1|