The SEC has been at the forefront of the football scheduling topic this week due to their announcement on Sunday that they will stay with an 8-game conference schedule.
But SEC commissioner Mike Slive also added a strength of schedule mandate to the format beginning in 2016. All conference members must schedule at least one team each season from the other power conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12) or Notre Dame.
The Northern Illinois Huskies, a member of the MAC, wouldn’t satisfy the SEC’s strength of schedule mandate. But that didn’t stop Associate Vice President & Director of Athletics Sean T. Frazier from inviting SEC schools to have a little chat.
— Sean T. Frazier (@SeanTFrazier) April 29, 2014
NIU hasn’t faced an SEC team since 2008 when they lost to Tennessee 13-9 in Knoxville. The Huskies are 1-9 against the SEC, with their lone win a 19-16 upset of Alabama in Tuscaloosa in 2003.
Most of NIU’s seven losses to the SEC came in the 1990’s, and most weren’t close except for three tussles with Vanderbilt.
But since 2008, NIU has an overall record of 59-23 and has claimed two MAC titles and five division titles. During that period they beat Iowa, Purdue (twice), Kansas, and Minnesota.
Although NIU has proven to be a tough out lately, they would be better for strength of schedule than a good portion of the FBS and just about any FCS team.
A few SEC schools should step up to the plate and talk to Mr. Frazier about a future match-up. From the looks of it, NIU has several openings from 2016 and beyond.