Created:Monday, October 21, 2013 11:22 p.m.CDT
Updated:Monday, October 21, 2013 11:26 p.m.CDT

Ranking not a concern to Carey

Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch stiff-arms Central Michigan's Avery Cunningham during the Huskies' 38-17 victory Saturday over the Chippewas in Mount Pleasant, Mich. (Scott Walstrom – NIU Media Relations)

Rod Carey doesn’t want to talk about rankings.

All Northern Illinois’ coach is concerned about is this week’s game against Eastern Michigan.

NIU came in at No. 18 in the first Bowl Championship Series standings, which were released Sunday evening, and should the 7-0 Huskies run the table and have some things to go their way, they could find themselves in another BCS bowl game.

However, Carey has always been adamant that he doesn’t pay attention to where NIU is ranked. He’s never had much to say about where the Huskies are in the polls.

“You can’t think that way in this game. I know you guys do in the media and that’s great, you guys can,” Carey said during Monday’s Mid-American Conference coaches teleconference. “Football is such a funny thing. That ball is oblong, it’s not round like basketball, where you can dribble with your right and left hand and know where it’s going to come up off the floor.

“You can’t put the thing on the floor, you’ve got to worry about each and every day, each and every play, each and every practice.

“And if you lose sight of that, that thing is oblong man, it will bounce funny. So you’ve got to stay in the moment and stay right where we are.”

Eagles take the field in wake of tragedy: Eastern Michigan hosted Ohio a day after Eagles wide receiver Demarius Reed was found dead at an off-campus apartment complex after an apparent homicide.

The Bobcats defeated the Eagles, 56-28. There was a moment of silence before the game, and Eastern Michigan players wore decals of Reed’s No. 2 on their helmets. Reed went to Simeon High School in Chicago.

“I thought our coaches did a good job of leading. Our medical staff did a good job of supporting the players,” Eastern Michigan head coach Ron English said. “I thought [the team] really wanted to do well in remembering Demarius.”

Eastern Michigan visits NIU Saturday.

“Our hearts go out to them,” Carey said. “For that team to take the field and play with the energy they did this week against a good Ohio team, hats go off to their program, their coaches, but most of all their players for how they came out and played this week.”

Rockets, Falcons renew rivalry: Bowling Green was scheduled to move over to the MAC West in 2012 when UMass was added.

However, after Temple bolted to the Big East (now American Athletic), the Falcons stayed in their spot in the East Division. Bowling Green’s rivalry with Toledo is the one crossover game that’s played every season, and the schools, located roughly a half hour apart, will play for the Battle of I-75 Trophy Saturday.

“I think the most important thing (about the rivalry) is there’s such a great tradition between both schools,” Rockets head coach Matt Campbell said. “Both schools have an important tradition in their own right.”

A loss would basically drop the Rockets, who are 2-1 in league play, out of the MAC West race.

Will NIU football win the MAC this season?