College Football Rankings Week 14: NIU Moves Up In Both the Coaches and AP Polls

NIU fans have plenty of reasons to celebrate. - Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

After another strong showing on national TV against a good opponent, NIU finally got some positive momentum in the AP and Coaches polls, albeit only slightly.

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:

Rank Team Record Votes Previous
1 Alabama (56) 11-0 1,544 1
2 Florida State (6) 11-0 1,488 2
3 Ohio State 11-0 1,428 3
4 Clemson 10-1 1,289 6
5 Auburn 10-1 1,268 7
6 Missouri 10-1 1,243 8
7 Oklahoma State 10-1 1,225 9
8 Baylor 9-1 1,009 4
9 South Carolina 9-2 1,003 11
10 Stanford 9-2 981 12
11 Michigan State 10-1 962 13
12 Oregon 9-2 777 5
13 Fresno State 10-0 687 16
14 Wisconsin 9-2 661 17
15 LSU 8-3 646 19
16 Louisville 10-1 603 15
17 Oklahoma 9-2 581 18
18 Arizona State 9-2 574 22
19 UCF 9-1 512 20
20 Northern Illinois 11-0 459 21
21 Texas A&M 8-3 410 10
22 UCLA 8-3 257 14
23 USC 9-3 210 25
24 Duke 9-2 203 24
25 Cincinnati 9-2 47 NR
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:

Rank Team Record Votes Previous
1 Alabama (56) 11-0 1,496 1
2 Florida State (4) 11-0 1,444 2
3 Ohio State 11-0 1,375 4
4 Auburn 10-1 1,294 6
5 Missouri 10-1 1,202 8
6 Clemson 10-1 1,196 7
7 Oklahoma State 10-1 1,177 11
8 Stanford 9-2 1,002 10
9 Baylor 9-1 976 3
10 South Carolina 9-2 960 12
11 Michigan State 10-1 929 13
12 Oregon 9-2 731 5
13 Arizona State 9-2 690 19
14 Wisconsin 9-2 684 16
15 LSU 8-3 642 18
16 Fresno State 10-0 619 15
17 UCF 9-1 588 17
18 Northern Illinois 11-0 470 20
19 Texas A&M 8-3 429 9
20 Oklahoma 9-2 386 22
21 Louisville 10-1 383 NR
22 UCLA 8-3 300 14
23 USC 9-3 262 23
24 Duke 9-2 135 25
25 Notre Dame 8-3 68 NR
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

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