The last time the Northern Illinois Huskies started a season 10-0 things were very different. Cell phones didn't exist, computers took up entire rooms, no one had landed on the moon yet, the US had just introduced ZIP codes, Russia was still the Soviet Union, and President Kennedy was in office (and still alive).
The year was 1963 and Howard Fletcher coached the Huskies to a perfect 10-0 record. NIU ended its season beating Missouri State in the Mineral Water Bowl and were crowned National Champions of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Sports Illustrated did a three-page spread on NIU, the New York Daily News had a full-page feature, and two of the three TV channels available (CBS and ABC) showed highlights.
Back then, they also had another record breaking quarterback. George Bork led the Huskies attack and was the first college football player to ever throw for 3000+ yards in a single season (which he did in 1963) and broke 16 NCAA passing records when his time in DeKalb was over. Today, he still holds over 15 passing records at NIU and his success directly lead to the building of Huskie Stadium and NIU moving up to Division-1 football in 1969.
Fast forward to today - when cellphones are better computers than the ones NASA used to land men on the moon and the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination is upon us. A lot has changed over the years, but one thing is very similar to the fall of '63.
The Huskies have a star quarterback, this time in Jordan Lynch, that has already broken a few NCAA records and over 14 Huskie records. Over the past two seasons he has started to garner national attention, just like Bork, and has established himself as a dark-horse Heisman contender. While the 1963 team threw the ball up and down the field, Lynch uses both his arm and legs. His passing stats aren't close to Bork's, but in total yards and TDs responsible Lynch has surpassed Bork. And when the Huskies defeated Ball State two Wednesdays ago, this year's team became the only other NIU team to start a season with ten straight wins.
But they weren't done yet, as this past Wednesday night they did something that no other Huskie team had ever done. Lynch led the Huskies (throwing for 202 yards and running for 161 more with three total TDs) to a 35-17 victory over Toledo. The win marks the Huskies fourth straight trip to the MAC Championship game (only Marshall has more consecutive games, going from 1997-2002) but it also took NIU to a place it has never been before. 11-0.
There are still games left to be played, and the Huskies can't afford to overlook any opponent. But it means that 11-0 isn't the limit - the 2013 team can push its record even further. Jordan Lynch has already solidified his spot in NIU history, but, with these next three games, he has a real chance to make sure no one in DeKalb ever forgets what he has done for the Huskies. Unlike Bork and the 1963 squad, the Huskies will not win the National Championship game this year. But with Lynch in charge another BCS game is more then possible.
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