Last year, The Northern Illinois Huskies were one play away from a 12-0 regular season.  The Rockets lost to Iowa in an 18-17 game in the season opener.  They had a 17-9 lead going into the fourth quarter, but gave up a 50 yard field goal and a 23 yard touchdown run with 2:15 left in the game.

The Huskies most impressive win of the season came against Kent State in the MAC Title game.  It was a double-overtime victory that earned Northern Illinois a spot in the Discover Orange Bowl where they would face Florida State.  The Seminoles dominated the Huskies in a 31-10 game.

The most impressive feat from last year was Northern Illinois margin of victory.  The Huskies had a 23.6 point advantage in their 12 wins.  They posted a 63-0 shutout against UMass and nearly held Buffalo and Eastern Michigan scoreless in blowout wins.

Last Season
MAC West
ATS Record
Points For
Points Against
2013 Schedule
2013 Northern Illinois Huskies Schedule
Date Opponent
Spread (Est.)
Win Chance
8/31 @ Iowa
9/14 @ Idaho
9/21 Eastern Illinois
9/28 @ Purdue
10/5 @ Kent State
10/12 Akron
10/19 @ Central Michigan
10/26 Eastern Michigan
11/2 @ UMass
11/13 Ball State
11/20 @ Toledo
11/26 Western Michigan
Estimated Wins: 8.07

The Huskies will have a chance at revenge against the Iowa Hawkeyes this year.  Preseason odds list Iowa as a 10 point favorite in the season opener for both teams.  While the Hawkeyes should show some improvement in 2013, they are still not a team that will finish above .500 on the season.  I like Northern Illinois to play another close game this year.

Northern Illinois should pick up non-conference wins against Idaho and Eastern Illinois before going back on the road to face Big Ten opponent Purdue.  Again, I feel like the oddsmakers are undervaluing this Huskies team, and I like a play on Northern Illinois in their matchup against Purdue if they are a touchdown underdog or more.  I expect to see the Huskies walk away from non-conference play posting a 3-1 record.

Northern Illinois is favored in all eight of their MAC games this season.  Their toughest wins will come on the road against Kent State and Toledo, but the remainder of conference play should be a cakewalk.  The Huskies are at home against Akron, Eastern Michigan, Ball State and Western Michigan.  They are touchdown favorites or more in each of those four home games.

They are also on the road when they face Central Michigan and UMass, but neither of those opponents are expected to be very good this year.  I like the Huskies chances of pulling off a sweep in conference play, but I have conservatively picked them to lose one game.  That loss will most likely come at the hands of Toledo, if at all.

Odds (Courtesy of Bovada)
Regular Season Win Total
MAC Championship Odds
National Championship Odds
1.5 to 1
700 to 1
Season Predictions

The Huskies should have their fourth consecutive double-digit win season if they can pull off an upset in non-conference play.  They have the talent to beat both Purdue and Iowa, but with the defense returning just four starters I don’t think they can match last years 19.9 points allowed.  They will have Jordan Lynch back at quarterback for his senior season.  Lynch threw for over 3,000 yards last year and had a 25:6 touchdown-to-interception ratio.  He also rushed for 1,815 yards making him one of the best dual threat quarterbacks in college football.  Even with the potential trouble on defense, I think the Huskies have enough offensive power to sweep their MAC foes.  Assuming someone steps up as a defensive leader and the Huskies remain healthy, they should make another appearance in a big bowl game.

2013 Projections
MAC West
MAC Record
Overall Record
Win Total Prediction
More College Football Predictions
Northern Illinois