Watch out people, John Sahly is working the phones and he's got Roady's Humanitarian Bowl Director Kevin McDonald on right now:
"If we can avoid it, we will," McDonald said. "And that's nothing to say about NIU. If a deal with the MAC gets made down the line (for a future bowl tie-in), NIU is the type of team we would want to have."
The bad news for the Huskies is because they played Idaho on Sept. 26 (a 34-31 NIU loss at Huskie Stadium), Bowling Green would provide a fresher matchup.
"I've been talking to a lot of people and, right now, I think we're going to have Idaho," McDonald said. "We're looking at NIU and Bowling Green, but [we] probably lean a little more towards Bowling Green because NIU has played Idaho."
The Huskies and Vandals also went head to head in Moscow, ID way back in 2007 when we won 42-35 for one of only 2 wins that season. Idaho has improved and so have we, so that loss earlier this year will have to be avenged at a later time. My hope: never. The all-time record between UI and NIU is 3-3. Talk about one of the all-time great rivalries!
The attendance for the Idaho game: 16,320. And that was the week after we beat Purdue! I think maybe 8 Huskie fans would make the trip to the northwest for this one.
Bowling Green is no stranger to the blue turf as they played against Boise State in Boise and lost 7-20 in 2008. They're more familiar with traveling there, which may have some correlation. The Humanitarian Bowl is also looking to bring in a MAC team starting in 2010, so why not start right now to get things all acclimated.
So where does this leave us?
This pushes NIU more toward the EagleBank Bowl, the International Bowl or the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, depending on any negotiations among MAC teams and the three bowls (GMAC, Little Caesars and International) with MAC tie-ins.
Well, I'm just relieved that Boise, Idaho and Albuquerque, New Mexico are out of the travel destinations that I might be booking this holiday. Whew! Bring on D.C., Toronto or the short drive to Detroit.