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College Football Insider

Iowa, Northern Illinois scheduling 2018, 2020 series

Iowa and BCS-buster Northern Illinois are close to finalizing a football series to be played in Kinnick Stadium in 2018 and 2020, NIU acting athletic director Christian Spears said.

The sides have discussed playing three straight games during that span, Spears said, but the Huskies might opt to keep the 2019 spot open.

Some Big Ten schools are looking to avoid future FCS games while preparing for the league's nine-game schedule in 2016. Scheduling NIU is a way for Iowa to satifsy the non-conference need against a competitive team without committing to a home-and-home.

NIU is coming off back-to-back Mid-American Conference titles and an Orange Bowl berth. The Huskies open the 2013 season in Iowa and will likely start the season in the national top 25.

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