Kansas-NIU set for 2011-12 home-and-home series

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Kansas and Northern Illinois have announced a two-game football series in 2011 and 2012. The Huskies will travel to Lawrence, Kan., for the Sept. 10, 2011 game, while Kansas returns the trip to DeKalb, Ill., on Sept. 22, 2012.

Northern Illinois officials are excited about attracting their first home game against an opponent from a BCS conference since 2003, when Maryland and Iowa State visited Huskie Stadium.

"Getting a home-and-home series with a BCS conference opponent has been a priority since I came to NIU a year ago," Northern Illinois athletics director Jeff Compher said in a prepared statement. "We know what it means to our fan base to have Kansas come to DeKalb, and this series is something that has been in the works for several months.

"We appreciate the willingness of (Kansas athletic director) Lew Perkins and his staff to work with us on these games. It's always a challenge, knowing that we have to schedule our non-conference opponents many years out, but this is a scheduling philosophy that we want to continue over time."

The only previous meeting between Northern Illinois and Kansas came on Sept. 3, 1983, with NIU claiming a 37-34 win in Lawrence.

The announcement also adds another opponent for Kansas' 2011 schedule, with one still needed.

The Jayhawks will have home games against North Dakota State, Georgia Tech and New Mexico State and a road game at Southern Mississippi in 2010. And in the following season, Kansas still has one opening with home nonconference games against Northern Illinois and UTEP and a road game scheduled at Georgia Tech.

Kansas also will switch South Division opponents in those two seasons, swapping Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma for games against Oklahoma State, Baylor and Texas A&M.