Created:Thursday, August 4, 2011 11:24 a.m.CDT
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NIU gets 4 votes in USA Today preseason coaches poll

Northern Illinois received four votes to place in a tie for 44th in the USA Today preseason coaches poll, which was released today.

Among the voters are Toledo coach Todd Beckmann, Ball State coach Pete Lembo, Central Michigan coach Jeff Quinn, Ohio coach Frank Solich and Akron coach Rob Ianello, all from the Mid-American Conference. Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema also has a vote. The Huskies will play the Badgers on Sept. 17 at Soldier Field, and first-year coach Dave Doeren was Bielema's defensive coordinator the past three seasons.

Teams get 25 points for a first-place vote and one point for 25th. First place votes are listed in parentheses. Here is the full poll.

Record Pts Pvs 1. Oklahoma (42) 12-2 1454 6 2. Alabama (13) 10-3 1414 11 3. Oregon (2) 12-1 1309 3 4. LSU (2) 11-2 1296 8 5. Florida State 10-4 1116 16 6. Stanford 12-1 1101 4 7. Boise State 12-1 1065 7 8. Oklahoma State 11-2 933 10 9. Texas A&M 9-4 885 21 10. Wisconsin 11-2 829 8 11. Nebraska 10-4 814 19 12. South Carolina 9-5 779 22 13. Virginia Tech 11-3 767 15 14. Arkansas 10-3 750 12 15. TCU 13-0 687 2 16. Ohio State 12-1 631 5 17. Michigan State 11-2 536 14 18. Notre Dame 8-5 440 — 19. Auburn 14-0 329 1 20. Miss. State 9-4 301 17 21. Missouri 10-3 266 18 22. Georgia 6-7 260 — 23. Florida 8-5 240 — 24. Texas 5-7 162 — 25. Penn State 7-6 161 —

Others receiving votes: Arizona State 158, West Virginia 149, Utah 50, Miami 49, Iowa 41, Northwestern 30, Arizona 28, UCF 22, Michigan 19, Air Force 15, North Carolina 14, Houston 13, South Florida 9, Hawaii 8, Clemson 7, Tennessee 7, Southern Miss. 6, BYU 5, N.C. State 4, Northern Illinois 4, Oregon State 4, Pittsburgh 3, Washington 3, Georgia Tech 1, Nevada 1.

Given a full slate of games against Big Ten teams, which team finishes with the best record?
NIU
Purdue
Northwestern