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One day after leading Northern Illinois to its second consecutive Mid-American Conference title and into contention for a BCS bowl berth, Dave Doeren has emerged as one of the hottest coaches in the country.
Auburn, North Carolina State and Purdue have all expressed interest in the second-year Huskies coach, industry sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Doeren, 40, declined to discuss job openings until after Friday’s MAC title game, but will now begin meeting with schools as early as Saturday in DeKalb, Ill.
[Related: Kent State BCS dreams die in overtime]
The level of discussions and interest from both parties are varied. No offers are believed to have been made at this early stage. Additional schools also could begin to inquire, and Auburn, North Carolina State and Purdue could also focus on additional candidates.
Doeren has earned the attention. He’s 23-4 in two years as a head coach, winning the conference both times. His current team is 12-1, with its only blemish a one-point loss to Iowa back in September. The Huskies, ranked No. 21 last week, still have a shot at reaching a BCS bowl game if the standings shake out on Sunday.
Despite Doeren's background as Wisconsin's defensive coordinator from 2006-10, NIU's offense has been high-powered, averaging 40.8 points a game this season. Doeren also was an assistant at Kansas from 2002-05.
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