Northern Illinois faces Kent State in the Mid-American Conference championship game tonight (7 p.m., ESPN2) in Detroit. N.C. State's next football coach could come from one of those schools.
The Wolfpack's coaching search has turned to the young MAC coaches, Dave Doeren of Northern Illinois and Darrell Hazell of Kent State. Both teams are 11-1 and both are ranked in the top 25 in the AP poll.
N.C. State athletic director Debbie Yow has said she wants Tom O'Brien's replacement to have the Wolfpack in annual contention for the top 25 and to regularly compete for the ACC title.