Ohio is ankle-deep in its Mid-American Conference schedule this season and if it can find ways to win like it did in Buffalo, it should like its chances to have a successful run in the MAC.

For the MAC East division opponents, The Post has conducted a series called quick out, which highlights the last three games against each of the Bobcats’ division rivals.

For the Bobcats MAC West opponents, The Post will resume its five fun fact series as it did during nonconference play.

With that said, here are five fun facts about Northern Illinois University:


Famed voice actor Dan Castellaneta, better known as the voice of Homer Simpson from the 31-time Emmy Award-winning show The Simpsons, is an NIU alumnus. Castellaneta, who graduated in 1979, voices several of the show’s iconic characters aside from Homer, including Grampa Simpson, Groundskeeper Willie, Mayor Quimby and Krusty the Clown. The NIU alum has won four Primetime Emmy Awards for his work on the show.

A good boy

Northern Illinois’ athletic teams go by the nickname the Huskies, a tradition that started in January of 1940. The Huskies have an anthropomorphic version of a huskie who goes by Victor E. Huskie, but they also have had several live husky dogs over the years. The current live husky is an 8-year-old male named Mission. Not only does he make appearances at various sporting events, but he’s also a certified therapy dog and makes visits around campus during finals week and other stressful times of the school year.

Big timers

According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, NIU is the fourth-largest public university in the state of Illinois. Its main campus has a total enrollment of 16,609 students as of Sept. 13. Universities with a larger enrollment include the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (51,196), the University of Illinois at Chicago (33,390) and Illinois State (20,878).

Women in leadership

Northern Illinois is one of two MAC flagship schools that has a woman as the president of the university. Lisa Freeman has been at the helm of NIU since 2017 when she took over for Douglas Baker. Freeman’s counterpart is Sharon Gaber, who is the current president at the University of Toledo.

Reduce, reuse, race

The recycled boat race is one of the marquee events during the university’s annual homecoming celebrations. Students and organizations within the DeKalb community put together boats used with recycled material and race in Northern Illinois’ campus lagoon.

The event is typically held at the beginning of the week and the top three finalists are all awarded trophies.