Two up-and-coming football programs in the state of Illinois will face off against each other next season.
The Northern Illinois Huskies, defending Mid-American Conference champions, will travel to Evanston to play Northwestern next season.
Both teams are undefeated this season.
Northwestern University made the announcement Tuesday morning. Northwestern Vice President for Athletics and Recreation Jim Phillips says that playing a tougher nonconference schedule is a challenge within itself.
“This is a truly exciting time for Chicago’s Big Ten Team as we continue to upgrade our nonconference football schedule,” said Phillips. “Both Pat Fitzgerald and I have said repeatedly that Northwestern is committed to challenging itself in nonconference play, in addition to the always rigorous Big Ten slate."
Phillips, the former athletic director at Northern Illinois, also said that he has a tremendous amount of respect for what the Huskies have accomplished in recent seasons.
“We’re excited to add the two-time defending MAC champions and 2013 Orange Bowl participants, and an in-state program that I have the deepest respect and admiration for, to a list of future opponents that already includes teams such as California, Notre Dame and Stanford," Phillips said. There has never been a better time to be a Wildcats football fan.”
Among other opponents, Northwestern will take on Western Illinois, California and Notre Dame. The football schedule for next season can be found at nusports.com.
Northwestern is off this week. They take on Ohio State Buckeyes on Oct. 5.
Northern Illinois travels to West Lafayette to take on the Purdue Boilermakers.