Northern Illinois came in at No. 17 in the latest Bowl Championship Series rankings released Sunday night, moving up one spot from the previous week.
NIU was No. 18 in the initial BCS rankings published last week.
The Huskies got a boost in the Harris and USA Today Coaches polls as the Huskies moved up to No. 20 in both polls this week.
Fresno State, which defeated San Diego St. in overtime to remain undefeated, stayed one spot ahead of the Huskies at No. 16. Alabama remained the No. 1 team in the BCS rankings.
In order to automatically qualify for a BCS bowl game, the top non-AQ team has to finish in the top 12 or in the top 16 and ahead of the league champion from an AQ conference. Central Florida, which controls its own destiny in the Big East, is ranked No. 23.
The Huskies travel to Massachusetts for a road game on Saturday.