Before Northern Illinois can think about upcoming back-to-back games that likely will determine the West Division champion of the Mid-American Conference, it can't afford to overlook another seemingly less-formidable league opponent Saturday.
The No. 21 Huskies attempt to extend their FBS-high conference winning streak to 22 games while trying for a 14th consecutive road victory when they face Massachusetts at Gillette Stadium.
Off to the program's best start since the 1965 team went 9-0, Northern Illinois (8-0, 4-0) is one of eight undefeated teams in the FBS. The Huskies, who crashed the BCS party en route to an Orange Bowl-berth last season, are 17th in the BCS standings.
However, NIU still must host an 8-1 Ball State team that's 5-0 in the MAC on Nov. 13, then a week later visit a Toledo squad whose only league loss came against the Cardinals.
While those games are likely to have division-title implications, Huskies coach Rod Carey is making sure his team's only focus is on ...