The Blue Turf of Boise State will play host to the 14th annual uDrove Humanitarian Bowl, the second postseason college football matchup of 2010. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Saturday, December 18. Scheduled to compete are the 10-3 Northern Illinois Huskies from the MAC, and the WAC's 8-4 Fresno State Bulldogs.
It's been a hard fall for Northern Illinois to get to this point; not only did the Huskies get their hearts broken in the MAC Championship Game, they lost head coach Jerry Kill to the vacant job at Minnesota. Kill's replacement, Wisconsin DC Dave Doeren, will be busy coaching up his Badgers for the Rose Bowl; interim head coach Tom Matukewicz will steer the Huskies in the meantime. All this after a season that saw them lose their first two games against Big Six competition only to reel off a nine-game win streak.
For their part, the Bulldogs haven't lived up to their fearsome-ish reputation in the WAC; strong seasons from Hawaii, Nevada, and Boise State plus an unforgivable loss to Ole Miss dropped them to fourth place in the conference and handed them a second trip to Boise in as many months.
It's hard to imagine this year's contest living up to the Robb Akey Conqueror Hour of last year's Humanitarian Bowl, but it's the first day of bowl season and we takes what we gets. Expect to see hefty doses of running from the Huskies' 7th-ranked unit featuring Chad Spann, and a sterling individual effort from the Bulldogs' 13th-ranked Robbie Rouse. We give a hefty edge to Northern Illinois here, by virtue of boasting the nation's No. 13 scoring offense against a team that's not even good by WAC standards at defending the run.
The 2010 Humanitarian Bowl kicks off at 5:30 p.m. on December 18. Browse our complete 2010 college football postseason schedule, and connect with Northern Illinois fans at SB Nation's Red And Black Attack.