NIU has emerged from the shadows of the top conferences to rank among the best schools in the country, netting a bid to the Orange Bowl New Year's Day, where they will take on Florida State.
In his first full season as the starting quarterback for Northern Illinois, Jordan Lynch was named MAC Conference Player of the Year on Wednesday.
University of Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas ended the speculation about Tim Beckman possibly not returning as head football coach in 2013.
Notre Dame may not be the only Chicagoland team to play in a BCS Bowl game.
For the first time since 2010, Northern Illinois has cracked the Top 25 Rankings in both the Associated Press (24) and USA Today Coaches' Poll (23).