Falcons to be on across the nation

Teams from the Mid-American Conference have been making an impact on the national level this season.

Two teams from the MAC have defeated teams ranked in the top 10 and numerous schools have fallen out of the top 25 after being upset by a MAC team. The national media have taken notice of the MAC’s success this year and has given BG a chance to showcase their talents to a national audience.

The Oct. 25 game between the Falcons and Northern Illinois has been picked up by ESPN2. This will be the first nationally televised game from Doyt Perry Stadium and the first time the Falcons have played on national television since their game against Toledo during the 2000 season.

Northern Illinois is currently ranked 16th in the ESPN/USA TODAY Coaches poll and 12th in the Associated Press poll. The Falcons are 29th in the Coaches poll and 27th in the AP poll. The two teams are currently first and second in the MAC Western division.

The Falcons have been close to getting nationally ranked this season but have not been able to break into the top 25 thus far. They went into last weekend’s game against Western Michigan ranked 26th in the AP Poll but dropped a spot despite winning the game. Head coach Gregg Brandon is trying to avoid getting caught up in the polls.

“If we could get ranked it would be a great honor for us, but until it happens I really don’t think much about it,” Brandon said. “I just prepare to win the next game and let that take care of itself.” Before the Falcons can play this game against Northern Illinois, they must first travel to Ypsilanti, Mich. to take on Eastern Michigan. The Eagles come into Saturday’s game with a 1-6 record and a six game losing streak. Despite EMU’s struggles, Brandon knows that the Eagles will be ready for Saturday’s game.

“Playing at home, they’ll be fired up at the start of the game, and we will have to be ready to play,” Brandon said. “They came out and scored [on their first offensive drive] at Toledo. Our seniors have done a good job of keeping the guys focused, and they’ll have us focused and ready to go.”

Linebacker Mitch Hewitt realizes the significance that the Oct. 25 game could have for BG if they can get past EMU.

“It’s a great thing for this university and this program. It says a lot for our players and coaches … but, in order for that game to be as much as we want it to be we have to take care of business this week,” Hewitt said.

The Oct. 25 game will be the first of two appearances for BG on ESPN2 this season. The second comes when the Falcons take on Miami in Oxford, Ohio on Nov. 4.