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MAC media day news and notes

NIU picked 3rd in West

Even the Mid-American Conference is piling on the Big 10.

The Mid-American Conference’s football media day was held this morning at Ford Field and Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish was asked about playing two Big 10 teams this season in Wisconsin and Purdue on the road.

“Last year we went Big 10 (at Minnesota) and SEC (at Tennessee) so it’s almost like a downgrade,” Harnish said.

Harnish was then quick to praise Wisconsin and Purdue.

“In all honesty, those are two great programs with great traditions,” Harnish said. “Purdue has the cradle of quarterbacks. Wisconsin has the great tradition of running backs and they’ve got another great one this year.

“But we’re going up there expecting to win. And that’s what you have to do. Obviously we’re going to be undersized but if we play with real heart and great technique we’ll have a great shot.”

Harnish said he spent time with Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour and Western Michigan quarterback Tim Hiller and learned from them.

“I watched those guys in high school so it was kind of cool to be in the same room as them,” Harnish said.

NIU coach Jerry Kill said he doesn’t expect running back Cameron Bell to be eligible for this season. Bell transferred from Iowa State and was released from his scholarship there.

The MAC preseason poll also came out, with Northern Illinois picked to finish third in the West.

West Division

1. Central Michigan (154 points)

2. Western Michigan (126)

3. Northern Illinois (103)

4. Toledo (71)

5. Ball State (58)

6. Eastern Michigan (34)

East Division

1. Buffalo (155 points)

2. Temple (144)

3. Akron (128)

4. Ohio (116)

5. Bowling Green (101)

6. Kent State (51)

7. Miami (Ohio) (33)

MAC Championship Game winner:

Central Michigan (18 points), Western Michigan (4), Buffalo (2), Temple (2).

There aren’t too many surprises in the preseason poll, but NIU safety David Bryant said he feels the Huskies are pretty close to the top two teams in the West.

“I think we’re fairly close,” Bryant said. “Each team lost important players from last year but have important guys coming back. But if you watch both of those games from last year, they both came down to the wire. And then they played each other it came down to the wire. I think all three teams are right there with each other.”

Look for more from MAC media day in tomorrow’s Daily Chronicle. NIU1981, your question on Furqan Muhammad will be in there, too.


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