The Bowl Page


'Cats Will Watch Bowl Season from Home
For Second Straight Year

Coming off of one of the most disappointing seasons in the last 40 years, NU football had a lot to work though in 2022: finding consistency on offense and repairing a defensive unit that underperformed dramatically in 2021. The program clearly has yet to make the right improvements to be successful.

Recap of HTP Weekly Bowl Odds,
2016 - 2022

Ever since the summer of 2000, HTP has posted the likelihood of NU playing in a bowl game, typically updated in April, during the August preseason, and weekly during the season until NU's postseason is determined. Here are the weekly odds during the most recent six seasons:

Obviously, 2020 is an outlier: we did not have any idea if the season would even be played, let alone if there would be bowl games. Even at the end of the truncated season, when NU claimed the Big Ten West title, there was only a 74% chance that the 'Cats would bowl, because total cancellation was still a real possibility.

Taking out 2020, the most recent seasons began with high hopes for a bowl appearance-- with the notable exception of 2022. 2022 stands out as being the only "normal" season recently during which the preseason odds actually dipped below 50%. The win against Nebraska bumped the bowl likelihood to 66%, and then the odds went into the quickest freefall since 2002.

The trend of when during each season the odds became certain-- 100% or 0%-- is also stark:
  • 2017: 100% by week 8
  • 2018: 100% by week 10
  • 2019: 0% by week 7
  • 2021: 0% by week 8
  • 2022: 0% by week 5