When the first ever Huskie Football Schedulepalooza came to an end last month, Northern Illinois Huskies athletic director Sean T. Frazier said this:
"There is still work to be done. Every good concert deserves an encore, right? Well so does SchedulePalooza! Stay tuned!"
The encore began Tuesday, when Frazier announced a home-and-home series with the Boston College Eagles. The new series will begin next fall, with the Huskies heading to Boston next September and hosting the Eagles either Sept. 23, 2016 or Sept. 2, 2017.
To accommodate the move, the Wyoming Cowboys were kind enough to re-arrange their home-and-home with NIU, which was slated to begin in DeKalb next September. Now, the Huskies will head to Laramie on Sept. 3, 2016 and host the Cowboys in 2021.
BC will be the first "Power Five" school to come to DeKalb in the new College Football Playoff era and the first ACC opponent to come to Huskie Stadium since Maryland in 2003. Utah and Maryland (the B1G version) were announced in the week-long Schedulepalooza last month as other "Power Five" schools that will head to NIU in the next decade.
The Eagles have been an average at best club over the past five years, and with Frazier's relationship with current BC athletic director Brad Bates, NIU was able to land not just another "Power Five" school, but one the Huskies could realistically pick up a win or two against. It also brings the NIU brand to an area of the country that NIU has only tapped into when Buffalo or UMass are on the schedule. The schools have only met once, with BC beating the Huskies 20-10 in 1971 in Massachusetts.
A small, yet interesting, note to pay attention to as we move along: Sept. 23, 2016 is a Friday. The ACC's mega-deal with ESPN includes a handful of Friday night games per season, meaning hosting BC that date would almost assuredly put DeKalb on in a showcase window during the college football season. Here's hoping Frazier and Co. make a strong push to lure the Eagles to town in 2016.
For those keeping score, NIU has added San Diego State, BYU, Utah, Maryland and Boston College to future non-conference schedules in the span of a month. And, as with any good encore, Frazier and the Huskies athletic department have teased that more news is coming within the next month.