Nov. 21, 2007
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois and Ball State, two Mid-American Conference schools located in neighboring Midwest states, will make their annual MAC match-up the latest college football "trophy game" beginning next season, the schools announced Tuesday.
After discussions between the schools and in honor of one of the Huskies' and Cardinals' oldest, and closest, league rivalries, the teams will vie for "The Bronze Stalk" starting with the 2008 contest. The schools will seek a corporate sponsor for the rivalry and the trophy will go to the winner of the football game each year.
A model of the trophy, which is being designed by local DeKalb artist and nationally-recognized sculptor Renee Bemis, will be on display Saturday at Huskie Stadium when Northern Illinois and Ball State meet in the final game of the regular season for both teams. The trophy will depict several cornstalks in tribute to the locales of both universities. DeKalb, Illinois and Muncie, Indiana are cities located just outside of the major metropolitan areas of Chicago and Indianapolis, respectively, which are famously surrounded by corn fields. The wooden base of the trophy will feature the Ball State Cardinals' logo on one side and the Northern Illinois Huskies' logo on the other.
Northern Illinois and Ball State first played football in 1941, met every year from 1973 to 1988, and the 2007 game will mark the 11th straight season that the teams have played. Ball State owns an 18-14-2 lead in the all-time series although Northern Illinois has won seven of the last eight meetings.
Tickets to Saturday's game, which kicks off at 3 p.m. at Huskie Stadium, are on sale through the NIU Athletics Ticket Office in the Convocation Center, at the ticket windows prior to the game on Saturday or on-line at www.niuhuskies.com.
In addition, fans with a football ticket can attend the Huskie Basketball team's 2007-08 home opener against Stephen F. Austin, which tips off at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Convocation Center, for just $2 as part of the "Changing Seasons" Doubleheader at NIU. Between the football and basketball games, the Convo will be hosting a "chili" night with special food offerings at discount prices.
-- NIU --