By Fred Mitchell, Tribune reporter
9:20 PM EST, November 18, 2012
Northern Illinois can check off another goal this season after being ranked in the Top 25 by the two major polls on Sunday.
The Huskies (10-1, 8-0 in the Mid-American Conference) are ranked 23rd in the USA Today coaches poll and 24th in the Associated Press poll.
This is the first time NIU has been ranked since 2010, when it spent one week in the listing. In 2003, the Huskies spent eight weeks in both polls, moving up to as high as 12th in the AP poll.
This week NIU received 144 points in the AP poll, ranking behind No. 23 Kent State. Northern Illinois and Kent State will meet in the Mid-American Conference Championship game on Nov. 30 at Ford Field in Detroit.
It marked the first time two MAC teams were ranked in the Top 25 in the same week since 2003.
The Huskies have won 10 straight overall and 15 conference games in a row -- the best streak in the nation.
With 1,504 rushing and 2,582 passing yards this season, NIU junior quarterback Jordan Lynch joined Michigan's Denard Robinson (2010) as the only quarterbacks to surpass 1,500 yards rushing and 2,500 passing in a season. Lynch already has surpassed Robinson's passing total (2,570) and needs 199 rushing yards to break the FBS single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback.
"I don't think you can say we are a flash-in-the-pan program," NIU coach Dave Doeren said. "Win, win, win...that's what you have to do when you are in the mid-majors. And that's what we've done. I think we deserve that attention (of being ranked) and the players deserve that attention."
The Huskies wind up their regular season at noon Friday at Eastern Michigan.