SI.com columnist Holly Anderson wrote that NIU’s bowl game against Arkansas State could be “the sleeper hit” of the Bowl season. She also raved about NIU’s senior quarterback and all-around good guy, going so far as to mention the words Chandler Harnish and Heisman Trophy in the same sentence. She wrote:
Let us sing one last time of Chandler Harnish, who’s hovered on the fringes of the national hive mind as a dark-horse Heisman candidate for a couple seasons now, and who put his personal stamp on a thoroughly satisfying season of MACtion by leading a 23-point second-half rally to return from an 0-20 deficit and knock off Ohio in the conference championship game. Harnish ends his final season in a Huskies uniform as one of the top 20 rushers in the FBS and ranked No. 8 nationally in total offense. You can see him suit up one more time on January 8, as NIU takes on Arkansas State in Mobile.