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Top 5 Stories of the Past Month

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For whatever reason (I blame my accounting teacher, technology in general and women in that order), this blog had to be put on hiatus for this past month.  A lot has happened since then and hopefully I can get right back in the swing of things with a certain bowl game coming up on the 28th...

#5 - Winter Recruiting Season Underway

There were serious doubts about Jerry Kill's recruiting efforts early on before and even during the season.  Sure there were some commits here and there, but it looked like MAC West rivals CMU, Ball St and WMU were racking up commits like lightning.  Starting off the chain reaction was Florida RB Antoine Kirkland, who supposedly runs a 4.4 40 time (Rivals, Scout, ESPN).  Probably the best recruit so far that has commited to the Huskies is 3-star DE Anthony Wells out of North Chicago HS (Rivals, Scout, ESPN).  The next 2 dominoes to fall were the #8 ranked Wisconsin player in OT Jared Volk (Rivals, Scout, ESPN) and 6'4" 295 OG Matt Krempel (Rivals, Scout) out of Indiana. 

Rumor has it that we've come close to filling ALL of our scholarships we have available.

#4 - Men's Basketball's Slow Start

After 2 straight wins against Western Illinois and Indiana State, an away trip to Tennessee State went awry as we somehow lost by 2 points in a back-and-forth game 73-75.  Away we went to Alaska where our only win was over DII Alaska Anchorage Seawolves.  The highlight of that trip must have been meeting Governor Palin.  Next came an away game that we lost against a pretty good Air Force team 55-67.  The team must have been exhausted because they had to travel from Alaska back to Dekalb and then back to Colorado to face the Falcons.  Next came a home game where our high-powered offense towered over Chicago State and we won 93-81.  Finally, the Huskies came out flat last Sunday and got beat by the UALR Trojans, revenging their loss in Dekalb last year 97-85. 

At 4-6, we still can iron some things out and get back to .500 before conference play starts against the Toledo Rocket almost a month from now on Jan 10th.  It all starts with SIU coming to the Convo tomorrow @ 7 PM tomorrow night.

#3 - Larry English's NFL Draft Buzz

In a recent Sporting News, in ranking the overall top 99 prospects for the 09 draft, Larry English came in there right at #8.  More recently, English was #1 as part of a  Prospect Hot List by Draft Countdown.  NFL draft evaluator Mike Mayock ranked LE #12 out of all of the prospects on his list.  Not too bad for the 2-time MAC MVP.

#2 - NIU @ Illinois in 2010

Most of us were not expecting anything like this to happen, especially after the move Compher pulled sending the Wisconsin game to SF earlier in this year.  Credit to the AD for getting us a nice $650,000 payout for the game in Champaign.  It seems like the Illini had been dodging us ever since they barely beat us 17-12.  Here's our non-conf schedule so far for '10:

9/4 - NIU @ Iowa State

9/18 - NIU @ Illinois

#1 - The Independence Bowl

Nobody thought it was gonna happen.  Sure, people had it in the back of their minds, but the perfect storm happened and we're in the most prestigous bowl game that we've ever gotten in to.  It's kind of ironic how we weren't even invited to a bowl in 2003 when we were 10-2 and we get in this year at 6-6.  Also, it is the first Bowl game ever for NIU that isn't located in California.  Due to the decreased travel distance, I'm hoping for a huge turnout for the game in Shreveport, LA.  Obviously more coverage to come as bowl season unfolds...