Dave Doeren will coach NIU in the MAC championship game Friday in Detroit.
But will he coach the Huskies in a bowl game a month later?
This is not the first time such a question has been pondered at Northern Illinois, which knows it is at times a steppingstone for coaches and athletic directors, and would like to someday change the perception of NIU to one of destination.
Doeren could help if he doesn't leave in December for what he perceives as a better job, but already his name is being mentioned at Purdue, and that might be just the beginning.
Under Doeren the last two seasons, the Huskies have gone 22-4 and won 16 straight conference games, not to mention last year's MAC title game and the GoDaddy.com Bowl.
Doeren told College Sports on SiriusXM a few weeks ago that he would listen, but it doesn't mean he would automatically leave for a bigger program.
"I have a great job, my family is happy, I like the kids I coach and they take care of me here. I'm not leaving here for something that I don't think is better than what I have," Doeren said. "I really have enjoyed the process at NIU, and they gave me my first chance to be a head coach.
"So I'm going to do everything I can to make this the best school that I can make it. If something comes along that I know is better for me and my family, I'm going to have to listen to it, but we're not there yet."
That may change in the days and weeks to come.
With a victory Friday over Kent State, NIU could be eligible for a BCS bowl if the dominoes fall correctly.
According to BCS rules, a MAC team secures an automatic BCS bowl bid if that team finishes top 16 in the BCS and also ranks ahead of a champ from any of the six major conferences. Right now Kent State is No. 17 in the BCS, while NIU is No. 21, and representatives of the Sugar and Orange Bowls will be in Detroit.
"If you lose this game, we don't talk about it next week," Doeren said during a Monday news conference. "When you're playing the championship for a chance to maybe play in the BCS, there's not a lot you need to say. These guys are gonna be ready."
The USGA is likely to announce a ruling Wednesday on anchored putters. Prevailing thought is that it will outlaw anchoring, which has helped Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els win majors the last two years.
"The research has shown that under pressure on a Sunday afternoon, the long putter takes one extraneous movement out of the putting stroke," 2010 U.S. Open champ Graeme McDowell said earlier this month while in Australia. "It just makes it physically easier to stroke the putter when the nerves are there. I think we should be leveling the playing field.
"They probably should have nipped it in the bud many, many years ago."
Ian Poulter -- one of the great clutch putters in Ryder Cup history -- agreed, saying, "Ban it. End of story. I mean, don't anchor the butt end of the club. It's simple, right?"
Fehr and loathing
NHL owners should know that on more than one occasion, the late Marvin Miller criticized Don Fehr publicly for being too accommodating in negotiations with baseball owners. Gary Bettman is lucky he never sat across a table from Miller, who would have had Bettman for supper.
Canucks goalie Corey Schneider, part of the 31-player negotiating committee, told the B.C. Province that the NHLPA has tried everything to avoid decertification.
"We've viewed that as a last means, and that's why we've always pushed to negotiate," Schneider said. "(The owners) don't take us seriously and don't have any motivation to negotiate.
"One of the only options we have to apply a little pressure on them, and show we're serious, is to decertify. I can't speak to whether it's going to happen."
The Rockford IceHogs visit the Allstate Arena Wednesday (7 p.m.) for the last time until late February, so if you're looking for a chance to see some Blackhawks in Chicago, this is it for a while. Visit chicagowolves.com for ticket info.
NFL Network's Michael Irvin: "The 49ers have reached their ceiling with Alex Smith. They are at their floor with Colin Kaepernick."
No one had a better eye than Jerry Angelo for drafting first-round tackles, never knowing they were guards.
This just in …
Jay Cutler is better than Jason Campbell. Stay tuned for further updates from the national media as details emerge on this stunning development.
Emailer Schaumburg Pete: "Devin Hester sustains concussion in off-season; takes team 12 weeks to diagnose it."
Emailer Rick Aronow: "For how long did Jay Cutler contemplate tying J'Marcus Webb's shoes together?"
And finally …
Omaha World-Herald's Brad Dickson: "A huge on-field brawl broke out during the Cincinnati-Oakland game Sunday. Because it involved players from the Bengals and Raiders, technically this was considered a prison riot."
•Hear Barry Rozner on WSCR 670-AM and follow him @BarryRozner on Twitter.