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The Big Picture

October 12, 2003|Elliott Teaford

The Big Picture has been relocated to the Spotlight, leaving this space to be temporarily known as the Lesser Picture, a clearinghouse for news about one fine team from a non-BCS conference with two chances to join the big shots in the bowl championship series.

Those chance are slim and none.

Fresno State and Tulane have been down this rocky road before, both failing to shoulder their way into the big time from their non-BCS conferences.

Now it's Northern Illinois' turn to attempt the impossible.

Until this season, the Huskies were renowned for a 3-30 record during Joe Novak's first three seasons as coach. Now, with Novak in his eighth season at Northern Illinois, the Huskies are celebrated for knocking off Maryland, Alabama and Iowa State.

No. 16 Northern Illinois (6-0, 2-0 in the Mid-American Conference play) is nothing if not resilient. Trailing Central Michigan, 17-0, the Huskies rallied for a 40-24 victory, keeping alive dreams of something better than the GMAC Bowl on Dec. 18 at Mobile, Ala.

-- Elliott Teaford

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