The Bowl Page
Created
10/11/00;
Updated
1/23/17

 






'Cats Look for First-Ever
Back-to-Back Bowl Wins



Northwestern, fresh off of a great win in New York at the Pinstripe Bowl, is returning much of its talent from 2016 and has a strong shot at heading back to a bowl this year. If NU can make it to the postseason, the team could achieve a second straight postseason win, which would be a first for NU.

This year's postseason slate is similar to the one introduced in 2014, when the Big Ten bowl tiers were installed. As noted elsewhere, after initially stating that there would be a formal tier system, the Big Ten backed off of the idea, and the tiers are more of a guide. Nevertheless, there are significant differences in quality between tiers, and very little difference within a given tier.
Because of this structure, HailToPurple.com stopped predicting NU's chances for each individual bowl.  Instead, we  forecast in which tier NU will land (see below).

The 2014 arrangement involves 11 different bowl games that rotate to fill nine spots per year.  Nine landing places for the conference is a record for the B1G. When we add to that the possibility of the Big Ten filling multiple "New Year's Six" bowl games, it becomes clear that the conference will likely have fewer qualified teams than bowl slots. This has been the case for two years running, and it means that a team need only go 6-6 to virtually guarantee a bowl game.



HTP NU Bowl Projections

In 2017, for the 18th season, HailToPurple.com will post its bowl odds for NU.

The bowl projections will begin with a way-too-early post in April, followed by a projection after Camp Kenosha in August.



Schedule of Possible Bowls, 2017-18

AND Schedule for the 2017 Big Ten Championship Game
Postseason
Tier
Bowl
(and Date-- dates may change through spring)
Network
(may change)
NU's Chances
(will post in April)
West #1
vs. East #1
Big Ten Championship
Lucas Oil Stadium
Dec. 2, 2017
NBC
Sports
n/a
Tier One
Big Ten #1

Playoff semifinal game:
Rose Bowl - Jan. 1, 2018
Sugar Bowl - Jan. 1
ESPN n/a
Orange Bowl (vs. ACC)
Jan.
ESPN
Fiesta Bowl (at large)
Jan.

ESPN
Peach Bowl
Jan.
ESPN
Cotton Bowl
Jan.
ESPN
Tier Two
Big Ten #2-4


Citrus Bowl (vs. SEC)
tba
[If Orange Bowl does not select B1G]
ABC n/a
Outback Bowl (vs. SEC)
Jan.
ABC
Holiday Bowl (vs. Pac-12)
tba

ESPN
Tier Three2
Big Ten #5-7

Music City Bowl (vs. SEC)
tba
[Unlikely to select B1G]
ESPN n/a
TaxSlayer (aka Gator) (vs. SEC)
tba
[Likely to select B1G in 2017]
ESPN
Pinstripe Bowl (vs. ACC)
tba

ESPN
Foster Farms Bowl (vs. Pac-12)
tba
FOX
Tier Four2
Big Ten #8-9


Quick Lane Bowl (vs. ACC)
Dec. 26

ESPN n/a
Armed Forces Bowl (vs. MWC)
tba
ESPN
Heart of Dallas (vs. Big 12 or C-USA)
tba
ESPN
At Large
Non-Aligned Bowl
n/a n/a

Notes:

1. There are more bowl games in these tiers than there are Big Ten team slots.  It is likely that a Big Ten team will not be chosen for both the Music City and Gator Bowls in a given year (in 2017, the B1G will likely play in the Gator Bowl, not the Music City Bowl).  This is also the case with the Heart of Dallas Bowl and the Armed Forces Bowl, which will try to alternate B1G selections.

 


Northwestern Bowl History


Select a link to view details about NU's 13 bowl appearances, bowl records, and other special games.