Due to the Big Ten beginning a nine-game conference football schedule in 2016, the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Northern Illinois Huskies have canceled their 2016 game at Soldier Field in Chicago.
The Soldier Field match-up was part of a three-game series that was announced in December of 2012. The game was scheduled for Sept. 24, 2016, along with two more games at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln on Sept. 2, 2017 and Sept. 14, 2019.
Nebraska needed to cancel the 2016 game vs. NIU because they needed to get down to three non-conference games due to the Big Ten’s move to a nine-game schedule.
As a result of the cancellation, Nebraska has completed their 2016 football schedule. The Cornhuskers open the season with three straight non-conference games at home against Fresno State (Sept. 3), Tennessee (Sept. 10), and Wyoming (Sept. 17).
Although Nebraska and NIU will not meet in 2016, the two schools did add two additional games to the contract which means they will now meet a total of four times.
“The Big Ten schedule necessitated these changes, and we are happy that the Cornhuskers will remain on the Huskie football schedule going forward with the addition of the 2021 and 2023 games to the 2017 and 2019 contests,” NIU Deputy Athletic Director Christian Spears said. “We have reached out and are actively working on returning to Soldier Field against a quality opponent in the future.”
Adding to the games in 2017 and 2019, Nebraska will also host NIU in Lincoln on Sept. 4, 2021 and Sept. 16, 2023.
Nebraska now has two non-conference games scheduled in 2017 (at Tennessee, vs. NIU), three in 2019 (vs. South Alabama, at Colorado, vs. NIU), two in 2021 (vs. NIU, at Oklahoma), and two in 2023 (at Colorado, vs. NIU).
Earlier today, it was revealed that Nebraska had scheduled a home-and-home football series with the Cincinnati Bearcats for 2020 and 2025.
The games against Nebraska are the only announced non-conference games for Northern Illinois in each of the 2017, 2019, 2021, and 2023 seasons.