Kansas will come calling on Northern Illinois

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Kansas football coach Charlie Weis is introduced during halftime of an NCAA college basketball game against Ohio State in Lawrence, Kan., Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Iowa and Kansas highlight the 2012 Northern Illinois football schedule, released Thursday by the school and Mid-American Conference.

The Huskies have seven home games, but only six will be played in DeKalb. They open Sept. 1 in what has become their home away from home, Soldier Field, against Iowa. New coach Charlie Weis brings the Jayhawks to DeKalb on Sept. 22, the week after Northern travels to West Point, N.Y., to take on Army.

“Obviously, there will be a lot of attention on the fact we have a Big 12 team at Huskie Stadium, which is something our fans have been looking forward to,” NIU Athletic Director Jeff Compher said. “I am really hoping some of our fans will make the trip to the Army game. I’m looking forward to experiencing all the traditions of a game at West Point.”

NIU’s remaining non-conference game is a Sept. 8 date against FCS Tennessee-Martin in DeKalb. Home conference games include Central Michigan (Sept. 29), MAC newcomer Massachusetts (Nov. 3) and Toledo (Nov. 14).

Northern opened the 2007 season against Iowa at a sold-out Soldier Field that was two-thirds Hawkeyes fans. The Huskies played there last year against Wisconsin.

The only non-Saturday dates for the Huskies are a Wednesday game with Toledo, followed by a Friday (Nov. 23) date at Eastern Michigan. Both will be televised on one of the ESPN networks.

The only game with a start time so far is the 8 p.m. Toledo game. Start times and televised games will be determined later.

“We get to play at home [twice] in November, which is the month when champions are crowned,” said second-year coach Dave Doeren, whose team is coming off back-to-back MAC West titles. “It’s a great schedule for fans to have almost all Saturday home games. Compared to last year with back-to-back-to-back Tuesdays, we’ve got a Saturday-Wednesday-Friday this November.”

NIU opens the season with the nation’s longest winning streak (nine) and has a 15-game home winning streak.

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