The two best football programs in the state of Illinois, Northwestern and Northern Illinois will face off at Ryan Field next season. Northwestern Athletic Director Jim Phillips served in the same capacity at NIU before he came to NU. He was there from 2004-08.
Northwestern and Northern have met seven times previous. Northwestern has won six of those with one tie. They last played in 2005, a 38-37 Northwestern win. NU defeated NIU's MAC conference for Western Michigan early this season.
Both schools are off to great starts in 2013. The Wildcats are 4-0 and ranked 16th, while NIU is 3-0 and received 25 votes this week.
Both programs have been to five consecutive bowl games and seven in recent seasons. NIU since 2004 and NU since 2003.
Northwestern will face a challenging schedule in 2014. The Big Ten will begin a nine game schedule next season.
Sat., Aug. 30 vs. California (Evanston)
Sat., Sept. 6 vs. Northern Illinois (Evanston)
Sat., Sept. 20 vs. Western Illinois (Evanston)
Sat., Sept. 27 at Penn State (University Park, Pa.)
Sat., Oct. 4 vs. Wisconsin (Evanston)
Sat., Oct. 11 at Minnesota (Minneapolis)
Sat., Oct. 18 vs. Nebraska (Evanston)
Sat., Nov. 1 at Iowa (Iowa City, Iowa)
Sat., Nov. 8 vs. Michigan (Evanston)
Sat. Nov. 15 at Notre Dame (South Bend, Ind.)
Sat., Nov. 22 at Purdue (West Lafayette, Ind.)
Sat., Nov. 29 vs. Illinois (Evanston)
Home games listed in bold.
Next season will mark the tenth consecutive year that the Huskies will play a Big Ten team. They won at Iowa earlier this season.