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MAC -- BGSU vs. No. Illinois

Don't look away from this usually forgotten conference title game. If Northern Illinois wins, we could see a startling second straight BCS appearance for the Huskies -- and a last-ditch Heisman Trophy charge from running quarterback extraordinaire Jordan Lynch. That last one might be a long shot, sure, but the first is a distinct possibility -- if the Falcons don't pull the upset in the Motor City.

Which team will win the MAC championship game in Detroit?

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  • Will Northern Illinois play in another BCS bowl game this season?

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  • Is Jordan Lynch a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender?

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  • What is Jordan Lynch's most likely pro football future?

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  • Will a player from a non-AQ school (not Notre Dame) ever win another Heisman Trophy?

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You might not have noticed amid the Alabama/Florida State/Ohio State jockeying and the numerous big games for big schools, but a certain Jordan Lynch -- who led his Northern Illinois Huskies to an Orange Bowl berth a season ago -- is playing better than ever. His latest exploit: running for 321 yards in a snowy 33-14 win over Western Michigan on Tuesday night, breaking his own record for most rushing yards in a game by an FBS QB.

With Johnny Manziel sputtering (if only slightly) and controversy surrounding Jameis Winston, can a QB from a small school -- one whose team entered the week ranked 14th in the BCS standings -- make a legitimate run for the Heisman Trophy?


DeKalb domination

Held to just 39 passing yards Tuesday, he still has thrown for more than 2,450 -- along with 1,755 rushing yards (and 42 total TDs).

SportsNation

Is Jordan Lynch a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender?

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    54%
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    46%

Discuss (Total votes: 44,200)


BCS-bound?

NIU is two spots ahead ahead of fellow non-AQ Fresno State, and needs only a top-16 finish if it stays in front of the AAC champ (UCF is 19th).

SportsNation

Will Northern Illinois play in another BCS bowl game this season?

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    75%
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    25%

Discuss (Total votes: 15,760)


National Football Lynch?

Mel Kiper and Todd McShay say Lynch might have to change positions in order to make it in the NFL.

SportsNation

What is Jordan Lynch's most likely pro football future?

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    19%
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    43%
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    7%
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    21%

Discuss (Total votes: 15,559)

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video

A lot of college football fans will tell you their two favorite teams are their team and whoever plays their rival that Saturday. But it sure feels like Boise State is gaining ground on the latter part of that equation.

There are a lot of things working in Boise State's favor as it builds a nationwide network of fans. The Broncos play at least five games on ESPN or ESPN2 this season, all on weekday nights when college football fans are craving something to tide them over until Saturday. And since it's safe to say the BCS isn't America's most popular institution, it only makes sense to support the team whose diverse playbook has helped poke holes in the system's flaws. Plus, let's be honest, who doesn't love them some blue turf?

So as long as they aren't playing your team, is Boise State America's team?

Brian (Greensboro)

Ivan, pretend that Boise State is any BCS conference this year...where do you rank them? Is it still third (AP), fifth (Coaches) or something else?

Ivan Maisel
Ivan Maiisel

I understand your point. But Boise State has won two Fiesta Bowls in the last four years. They have 20-plus starters returning from an undefeated team. I don't think anyone need apologize for ranking the Broncos high. And if they lose, we'll be wrong and we'll all move on. Full transcript

Jeremy (Corvallis)

How do you think Boise would do in the PAC-10? It's much easier to get up for 1 (max. 2) games per year, compared to having to show up every week (except against Wazzu).

Pac-10 blogger Ted Miller
Ted Miller

Hard to say: Boise is a good team, and it is particularly good at preparing for big games. But as you say, playing a quality foe just about every week is something the Broncos have not done. I do think this year's Boise State team would finish in the top-third of the Pac-10, perhaps even win the conference. Full transcript

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