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NIU announces 'SchedulePalooza'

Published: Monday, July 28, 2014 4:56 p.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 12:02 a.m. CST

Northern Illinois fans will hear plenty of football scheduling news during the next few days as part of what the school is calling "SchedulePalooza."

Starting Tuesday, the school will announce one future home-and-home football series every day this week. According to an NIU press release, the upcoming announcements will include contests between 2015 and 2023.

At NIU's annual Chicago Media Day last week, Frazier said upcoming schedule announcements would include teams from major conferences visiting Huskie Stadium. Since 2003, NIU has hosted just one major conference team at Huskie Stadium – Kansas in 2012. Frazier told the Daily Chronicle Monday that this week's annoucements will include at least one series with a BCS team at Huskie Stadium, and that multiple annoucement of such games are on their way.

NIU associate athletic director for communications Donna Turner said that the school decided to use the day-by-day announcement format to give each game more attention, and the timing was right with NIU football media day taking place Friday and the start of fall camp beginning Saturday. The name coincides with Lollapalooza, which begins Friday in Chicago.

"This wasn't something that we just invented overnight," Frazier told the Daily Chronicle. "We had the bones there. It was a great idea with the athletic communications staff."

The Huskies are currently scheduled to host Murray State, UNLV and Wyoming in 2015 and travel to Ohio State, according to fbschedules.com, so one of those agreements would have to be changed if one of the upcoming announcements is for next season.

The team has three open nonconference dates in 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2023. NIU has two open dates in 2018, and does not have any games scheduled in 2022.

Frazier said that scheduling has become exra important with the new four-team College Football Playoff, a system which includes giving a team from the "Group of Five" a berth into a major bowl game.

He also mentioned the importance of scheduling other Group of Five teams – the MAC, Mountain West, Confernce USA, Sun Belt and American – in order to be in the best possible position for that berth.

"The committee's got a tough job," Frazier said. "They've got an easy job if you don't play quality opponents that aren't recognized (or don't) have a body of work that makes them worthy of a championship structure."

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