The Mid-American Conference championship game could have a national impact. Friday night at Ford Field in Detroit the Northern Illinois Huskies (11-1, 8-0 MAC West) take on the surprising Kent State Golden Flashes (11-1, 8-0 MAC East).
Should Kent State win they very well could finish inside the top 16 of the final BCS standings. It is a little more difficult for Northern Illinois to crack teh top 16 as they are currently unranked.
That is significant because of a clause that allows for a non-automatic qualifying league to receive a BCS bid if they finish inside the top 16 and finish ahead of an automatic qualifier. Currently the Big East’s champion, Louisville, is unranked.The game is set for a 7:00 p.m. EST kickoff and can be seen on ESPN2.
So who is favored in Friday’s game between Northern Illinois and Kent State? Northern Illinois is a 6 point favorite. The over/under or total points for the game is set at 58.
Kent State Keys Kent State is one of the best in the country in creating turnovers, 35 total, and have a +20 turnover differential. The Golden Flashes are one of the better teams at running the ball as they average 241.5 yards per game. Northern Illinois is aware of this and will look to stop the run forcing Kent State to make some players though the air. If Kent State can not convert though the air at all then their path to victory becomes tougher.
Northern Illinois Keys There is little question that Northern Illinois will attack with Jordan Lynch. Lynch has thrown for 2.750 yards this year and has 23 touchdown passes to four interceptions. He also has been a force on the ground running for 16 touchdowns and totaling 1,611 yards. He has topped the 100 yard mark on the ground in ten straight games.
Kent State will earn a Bowl Game this year for the first time in 40 years. In the schools history they are 0-2 in bowl games losing the 1954 Refrigerator Bowl and the 1972 Tangerine Bowl.
Northern Illionis has made appearances in Bowl games the last five years, a number they will extend to six this year. Last year they defeated Arkansas State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl.