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ISU over NIU listed as a possible FCS over FBS upset

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TIMMY
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Thu May 16, 2019 8:39 am

Gonna put some whoop ass on them puppies.
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chuckie1980
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Thu May 16, 2019 9:06 am

Go BIRDS!!
Jon99
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Thu May 16, 2019 10:54 am

Should be a great game, difference between the MVFC and MAC is minimal... this game just showcases why we need to be an FBS program as some point, we are the far superior and bigger school, yet in this one instance they are the more prominent program.
fourthandshort
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Thu May 16, 2019 12:38 pm

They were good MAC team a year ago ... not yet sure if they lost much. I expect an evenly matched game. A win would not be surprising.
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crazzymark
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Thu May 16, 2019 1:00 pm

I do believe the ISU has a more talented squad in all the skill positions and depth. A big win will get an invite to the MAC. In 2020 , Davis will be at his best and the o-line will be big and seasoned. If ISU ponds the illni into the turf, would CUSA or AAC invite ISU as well?
Jon99
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Thu May 16, 2019 7:23 pm

crazzymark wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 1:00 pm
I do believe the ISU has a more talented squad in all the skill positions and depth. A big win will get an invite to the MAC. In 2020 , Davis will be at his best and the o-line will be big and seasoned. If ISU ponds the illni into the turf, would CUSA or AAC invite ISU as well?
Lets pump the brakes a little bit, while NIU is just a directional school and a total dumpster fire with awful academics, declining enrollment and no fan base, their football program remains solid and will take a great effort to go into their place and get the win. Personally, I don't see the point of this game, if we are going to play an FBS team, lets play real FBS programs from the Big Ten or none at all. We are the better school, why give them a chance to beat us in the only area they are better?
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TIMMY
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Thu May 16, 2019 8:23 pm

Jon99 wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 7:23 pm
crazzymark wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 1:00 pm
I do believe the ISU has a more talented squad in all the skill positions and depth. A big win will get an invite to the MAC. In 2020 , Davis will be at his best and the o-line will be big and seasoned. If ISU ponds the illni into the turf, would CUSA or AAC invite ISU as well?
Lets pump the brakes a little bit, while NIU is just a directional school and a total dumpster fire with awful academics, declining enrollment and no fan base, their football program remains solid and will take a great effort to go into their place and get the win. Personally, I don't see the point of this game, if we are going to play an FBS team, lets play real FBS programs from the Big Ten or none at all. We are the better school, why give them a chance to beat us in the only area they are better?
Agree there are many schools I'd rather see us play. Scheduling is so hard. It takes 2 to tango. There's a guarantee and only a bus ride so maybe the net is OK.. It's a game that our fan base can get to so there's that.
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Jon99
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Fri May 17, 2019 7:14 am

TIMMY wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 8:23 pm
Jon99 wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 7:23 pm
crazzymark wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 1:00 pm
I do believe the ISU has a more talented squad in all the skill positions and depth. A big win will get an invite to the MAC. In 2020 , Davis will be at his best and the o-line will be big and seasoned. If ISU ponds the illni into the turf, would CUSA or AAC invite ISU as well?
Lets pump the brakes a little bit, while NIU is just a directional school and a total dumpster fire with awful academics, declining enrollment and no fan base, their football program remains solid and will take a great effort to go into their place and get the win. Personally, I don't see the point of this game, if we are going to play an FBS team, lets play real FBS programs from the Big Ten or none at all. We are the better school, why give them a chance to beat us in the only area they are better?
Agree there are many schools I'd rather see us play. Scheduling is so hard. It takes 2 to tango. There's a guarantee and only a bus ride so maybe the net is OK.. It's a game that our fan base can get to so there's that.
We are absolutely killing them in recruiting of students, our enrollment is up and theirs is down about 40%, so seems to be little purpose of us playing this game. But hey, maybe we can win this game twist the knife just a little bit more as that school dies a slow death..

Whats the payout on this game? Our athletic budget is bigger, so it can not be much.. they are heavily reliant on student fees and have lost a ton of athletic revenue with their declining enrollment. In addition, they average fewer football fans per game than us and around 1000 per basketball game. I am guessing in the near future they cut programs like baseball.


But kudos to their football program, its about the only thing the school has going for them right now and they probably need that before their fans start jumping over bridges.
Reggie Redbird
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Fri May 17, 2019 7:54 am

Jon99 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 7:14 am
TIMMY wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 8:23 pm
Jon99 wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 7:23 pm


Lets pump the brakes a little bit, while NIU is just a directional school and a total dumpster fire with awful academics, declining enrollment and no fan base, their football program remains solid and will take a great effort to go into their place and get the win. Personally, I don't see the point of this game, if we are going to play an FBS team, lets play real FBS programs from the Big Ten or none at all. We are the better school, why give them a chance to beat us in the only area they are better?
Agree there are many schools I'd rather see us play. Scheduling is so hard. It takes 2 to tango. There's a guarantee and only a bus ride so maybe the net is OK.. It's a game that our fan base can get to so there's that.
We are absolutely killing them in recruiting of students, our enrollment is up and theirs is down about 40%, so seems to be little purpose of us playing this game. But hey, maybe we can win this game twist the knife just a little bit more as that school dies a slow death..

Whats the payout on this game? Our athletic budget is bigger, so it can not be much.. they are heavily reliant on student fees and have lost a ton of athletic revenue with their declining enrollment. In addition, they average fewer football fans per game than us and around 1000 per basketball game. I am guessing in the near future they cut programs like baseball.


But kudos to their football program, its about the only thing the school has going for them right now and they probably need that before their fans start jumping over bridges.
I believe they went to a plan where they basically opened the floodgates for enrollment, figuring more students equals more money. I think we play the game of "Going over X students means we have to hire Y more staff and build Z new facilities to hold them all." I would venture that is one of the reasons NIU's enrollment is dropping.

I believe the payout is $300k-$350k. It's less than we would get for a B10 game but likely more winnable unless we were playing U of I in their current form. NIU buys a "cheap" home opponent because their fans don't buy tickets and attend games like most D1 schools do, while they rake in a lot of money playing on the road. Last year, FSU paid them $1.6 million.

I can only imagine what will happen to NIU's attendance if they hit a rough patch.
Jon99
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Fri May 17, 2019 8:13 am

Reggie Redbird wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 7:54 am
Jon99 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 7:14 am
TIMMY wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 8:23 pm

Agree there are many schools I'd rather see us play. Scheduling is so hard. It takes 2 to tango. There's a guarantee and only a bus ride so maybe the net is OK.. It's a game that our fan base can get to so there's that.
We are absolutely killing them in recruiting of students, our enrollment is up and theirs is down about 40%, so seems to be little purpose of us playing this game. But hey, maybe we can win this game twist the knife just a little bit more as that school dies a slow death..

Whats the payout on this game? Our athletic budget is bigger, so it can not be much.. they are heavily reliant on student fees and have lost a ton of athletic revenue with their declining enrollment. In addition, they average fewer football fans per game than us and around 1000 per basketball game. I am guessing in the near future they cut programs like baseball.


But kudos to their football program, its about the only thing the school has going for them right now and they probably need that before their fans start jumping over bridges.
I believe they went to a plan where they basically opened the floodgates for enrollment, figuring more students equals more money. I think we play the game of "Going over X students means we have to hire Y more staff and build Z new facilities to hold them all." I would venture that is one of the reasons NIU's enrollment is dropping.

I believe the payout is $300k-$350k. It's less than we would get for a B10 game but likely more winnable unless we were playing U of I in their current form. NIU buys a "cheap" home opponent because their fans don't buy tickets and attend games like most D1 schools do, while they rake in a lot of money playing on the road. Last year, FSU paid them $1.6 million.

I can only imagine what will happen to NIU's attendance if they hit a rough patch.
Good points, I am sure their game with us will be the only game even close to a sellout because a number of ISU fans.

Their priority and concern needs to be their enrollment and inability to attract students, especially from the suburbs. I work at a SW suburban school , of our senior class right now we have about 85 kids with plans to go to ISU and a whopping 2 kids going to NIU, and that is a huge problem for them. Their campus is awful, Dekalb is an armpit with high crime and the social life is weak at best. Right now, who chooses NIU over ISU?? They have so many barriers, I have no idea where they even start. But hey, at least they win 7 or 8 football games a year!! LOL
fourthandshort
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Fri May 17, 2019 8:45 am

NIU is a top 4 MAC program most years. Given how many good FBS games we've got slated, I am perfectly ok playing a good MAC footbal program every once in a while, instead of a P5 FBS program.

Putting asside STX game, I think we've done a pretty good job "trying" to get good and lucrative FBS games most years. Key is to find one who will pay $$ and we can take a bus to ... budgets are what they are at FCS level, so that aspect is important. The STX game was unforgiveable, but we needed a home patsy game .. which I also favor. EIU h&h arrangement was "good get" as OOC rivalry game (100+ years can't be ignored) and used to be a more competitive game, even in years we were heavily favored .. so I thought that was fine and budget friendly .. go forward, I wouldn't mind mixing that up a bit and maybe going to a 2 out of 3 years h&h deal with EIU and finding another top 25 FCS team once in a while ... not just the years we play 12 games.

Anyway, I don't want a MAC game every year, but I like this NIU game for us once in a while. So kudoes to AD Lyons for his FBS game scheduling efforts. This is way better than the EMU game in 2012. As for CSU last year, they were much better the year prior. We kind of got screwed on the Ball St h&h, but they were good back then ... and smart for buying us out in 2014 ... translated $$$$.

So I give our FBS game scheduling a A- under AD Lyons ... so far, so good IMO.

p.s. but no more "STX" games ... period, exclamatiion points !!!!!!!!!!!!
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Jon99
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Fri May 17, 2019 10:14 am

Again, good point.. But to me they are our little brother, directional school and we are giving them a chance to beat us at the one thing they have the ability to do it in.

They have let their school slide into the dumpster while pumping up football, so why let them use this game as a marketing tool if they beat us? Though as bad of shape as that school is currently, I don't see anyone choosing NIU over ISU because of a football game. ISU fans that attend the game will quickly realize how lucky they are to be ISU alumni and didn't have to spend 4 years in Dekalb.
Jon99
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Fri May 17, 2019 12:52 pm

I was just reading their board, I love how they think that ISU fans consider playing a MAC school to be our Super Bowl.. LOL

In reality, it is an interesting game since its an in state directional school( kinda cool to play all 4 of them this year) and a nice tune up for the conference games, but thats about it. If it prepares us better for NDSU, SDSU etc, then mission accomplished.. Not to mention short trip and $300K into the athletic budget..
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Redbirdwarrior
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Fri May 17, 2019 3:23 pm

I remember us treating Colorado State as about the same as Southern Illinois and then actually having an easier time vs them than SIU. The gap between FCS and the non-power 5 BCS has never been so slim.

I am pretty sure that the top of the MVFC would look at NIU as an expected win. We need to have that same mentality. If NDSU were headed to Dekalb, it would be one of the top 4 most difficult games on the Huskie's schedule, I hope our team has that same swagger.
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Virginia Redbird
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Fri May 17, 2019 4:03 pm

Jon99 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 10:14 am
Again, good point.. But to me they are our little brother, directional school and we are giving them a chance to beat us at the one thing they have the ability to do it in.

They have let their school slide into the dumpster while pumping up football, so why let them use this game as a marketing tool if they beat us? Though as bad of shape as that school is currently, I don't see anyone choosing NIU over ISU because of a football game. ISU fans that attend the game will quickly realize how lucky they are to be ISU alumni and didn't have to spend 4 years in Dekalb.
I think this is a very winnable game but even if the Birds lose it I don't see it having all that much effect...as long as it is not a blowout. A close loss on the road against an FBS team...not really going to crush ISU dreams I believe. I may be in the minority but I like the idea of playing all the other Illinois schools (minus NW and U of I). If the Birds win great and if they lose what real impact does it have? Take one quick visit to Dekalb...tell me you would rather be there than in Normal/Bloomington. I made both trips in 1970 when I was looking for schools and even back then it was no comparison. I was in Dekalb just 4 years ago...dismal is the best word I can think of to describe the area and the most pitiful campus in the state of Illinois. Even so, the Football stadium is pretty nice. Too bad they can't get fans into it. A short trip, a few hundred grand in the bank, ISU fans get an easily accessible road trip and I think a likely win against an FBS opponent, even if it is Group of 5 FBS. I really don't see a downside...unless of course you are going to the game and have to venture into Dekalb...but that is on you!
I would rather see them play the Illini or Wildcats but that is not going to happen every year.
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Redbirds100
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Fri May 17, 2019 10:46 pm

Just reading the Huskie board, they are quoting Crazy Mark & the comment about playing only BIG teams, instead of MAC. And this Athlon article about a possible upset game, and how they have a great defensive line and will stop our running game, and how they are going to be in control and dominate us.

My answer to them - this is a cool aide board like Yours, and YOU ARE NOT OUR SUPERBOWL LOL, we play NORTH DAKOTA STATE. Good MAC teams play in a token FBS bowl game(Orange Bowl was awesome), FCS level has a 24 team playoff. Heard the same same stuff last year from the Colorado ST board. Looking forward to the matchup without the nasty...................
fourthandshort
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Sat May 18, 2019 6:55 am

NIU was certainly better than CSU in 2018 ... they were much more comparable in 2017 when CSU was a very solid G5 team, but CSU lost a lot from their offense in 2018 - this is why we won easily - that and we caught them by suprise.

I haven't yet checked for NIU roster losses ging into 2019 ... but I am expecting a close game. Our defense will surprise them, but they are a consistent top 4 MAC team, we are a fringe top 4 MVFC team. This is a very good match up, though on paper, they would have the slight edge.

I still think we will win a close game. Pressure is all on them and they will be surprised how close we are in talent and with our size/toughness.
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fourthandshort
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Sat May 18, 2019 7:18 am

crazzymark wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 1:00 pm
I do believe the ISU has a more talented squad in all the skill positions and depth. A big win will get an invite to the MAC. In 2020 , Davis will be at his best and the o-line will be big and seasoned. If ISU ponds the illni into the turf, would CUSA or AAC invite ISU as well?
Crazzy,

I haven't even looked into their roster or stats yet. But just based on their program history, I tend to assume our talent levels are about equal .. though RB Robinson will once again be the best player on the field .. after that, I assume it is about equal on offense, or slight advantage to NIU .. again need to see their roster losses. And I would certainly not say we have depth on offense at all .. in fact, that is my biggest concern with our roster is offensive depth. OL depth is ok and I like our 2 RBs, but we are thin beyond that and everywhere else.

Do agree with you on other side of ball ... I think our advantage in this game (after Robinson) will be our defense, particularly our size on defense, and then also our depth on defense. But our offense is pretty thin after our starters ... though I do like backup RB Proctor to surprise a lot of opponents this year .. after that, the offensive cupboard is bare and a good year away from knowing what we got for 2020. Getting that 6th year approved for QB Davis was huge .. it takes so much pressure off Davis and Beathard this year, and especially for 2020.
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fourthandshort
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Sat May 18, 2019 10:10 am

Just caught up on their message board .. it was pretty constructive until a couple posters apparently caught up on this thread .. then wheels kind of fell off. So I would say it is about 50/50 split in terms of their fans respecting our program versus otherwise ... sort of like our message board.

There are only 2 common opponents going back to 2016 ... when they beat WIU by 5 at home and we beat them by 5 on road, then 2017 against EIU when they bet them by 28 at home and we beat them 31 on road. Neither are good measuring stick games, but the games were very similar statistically in terms of marginal advantages in points, total yardage and first downs. So some of their fans don't think this will even be a close game .... they would seem to have short memories for their recent FCS games against common opponents.

What seems to be a consensus is they really like their own DL and that would seem to a strength for them .. very similar to us IMO. And statistically, they have been stronger defensively (than offesnively) in past couple years. I would say NIU defense is probably comparable to the top 4 MVFC defenses: NDSU, UNI, SDSU and our own ISUr ... so it will likely be a lower scoring and tight game. Maybe not like the 9-7 Northwestern game from 2016, but probably both teams under 20 points.

But we return a lot on offense, in particular our OL and we picked up SR RT transfer from U of I .. we'll see if that is an upgrade or not. So long as our Center establishes himself as reliable #1 this year, our OL should be improved and more consistent than a year ago.

But a lot of our success depends on whether we establish the short-intermediate pass game this year ... we do that, and it will take pressure off every other position group .. offensively for sure, but also defensively. NIU will be very good early test for our offense in terms of getting ready for MVFC top defenses, where we struggled last year. But NIU does not know us nearly as well as the big 3 in MVFC knew us when we played them all late in season last year ... and that will probably prove to be the difference in this game ... so playing week 1 should be to our advantage from scouting and prep standpoint, especially with a lot returning.

Going to be a fun game to watch if you like watching good defense.
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