Northern Illinois is essentially in control of its own destiny in trying to get to a second consecutive Bowl Championship Series game.
NIU, which defeated Western Michigan, 33-14, on Tuesday night, is ranked No. 14, remaining in the same spot in the latest BCS rankings released on Sunday night. The Huskies are the top non-AQ team and dramatically increased their lead on Fresno State after the Bulldogs fell to San Jose St., 62-52, on Friday. The Bulldogs are now ranked No. 23 in the BCS standings and have been almost certainly eliminated from BCS bowl contention.
NIU can earn its second straight BCS bid by finishing either in the top 12 of the final BCS standings, or in the top 16 and ahead of a champion from an automatic-qualifying conference.
The Huskies are currently ahead of American Athletic Conference champ Central Florida, which is ranked No. 16. Also, no undefeated team has ever finished outside the top 12 of the BCS standings.
Northern Illinois came in at No. 18 in the latest USA Today Coaches Poll, moving up two spots. NIU is ranked 15th in the Harris Poll, another component of the BCS standings.
In the Associated Press Poll, which is not a component of the BCS, NIU is ranked No. 16.
NIU will face Bowling Green on Friday night in Detroit at Ford Field and will be going for its third consecutive Mid-American Conference title.