Unofficial Results
and Games Page


NU Unofficial Games
and Results

NU's official football results (which can be found in the media guide)  include the dates of each game, the opponent played, the location and the score.  However, there are a few discrepancies and some information not given in the official history. 

The following page lists some of this information, including unofficial games NU played that are not given in the official history, unofficial results and assorted info from the NU records that differs from other sources.

Unofficial Games:

Here is a list of games NU either played or might have played.  These games are not on NU's official list of games, nor are they included on my game-by-game Adobe file (see below for the game-by-game file).  My opinion is that the 1876, 1879, and 1903 games listed, as well as the October 8, 1892 game should all make their way into NU's official history.  The other 1892 games listed and the 1899 game are too uncertain to be considered official. 

1876: Game with The Chicago Football Club.  See separate page.

1879: Possible game vs. Evanston H.S. (the forerunner to Evanston Township H.S.)  Date and score unknown.  Played at NU, Evanston H.S. won.  NU used the game as a practice for an upcoming game vs. Racine College, which was canceled. [source: Robert Pruter, Ill. High School Assoc.]

1879: According to an article by Janne Carle in the Oct. 29, 1943 Daily Northwestern, NU's newly-formed varsity squad played a game with the alumni at NU.  Varsity won, 25 to 0.

1880: Game vs. Lake View H.S. Date, outcome and score all unknown.  Only one half played [source: The Story of Northwestern, by Ward, 1924]

1881: Also according to Carle, the varsity and the alumni played a game in 1881 at NU.  This time the alumni won, 8 to 0.

1892: Three games not in NU's records.  While the official record for 1892 is 5-3-2, with the unofficial games, the record would be 7-4-2.

  • Sept. 30 vs. Lake View H.S. at Sheppard Field.  NU won 14-10.  NU has no record of ever playing Lake View. [sources: Howell; NU football programs; NU Syllabus; Chicago Tribune]
  • One other H.S. game in September.  Opponent and score not known, but was an NU win. [source: NU football programs; however, not shown in contemporary sources.]
  • Oct. 8 vs. Chicago Athletic Association, played on the Club's grounds in Chicago.  NU lost 10-0.  NU has no record of this game. [source: NU Syllabus; Howell; Chicago Tribune].   The Tribune account of the game leaves no doubt that the team that played the C.A.A. was indeed NU's varsity team, listing every player (the list matches the varsity players at the time).

Chicago Tribune's account of NU's win vs. Lake View H.S.,
left off of NU's official record

Game vs. Lake Forest Academy (Prep) not included in official records.  Played at L.F.A. Oct. 4.  NU won 24-5.  However, confidence is rather low that this was NU Varsity; it was more likely the NU scrubs team, and should therefore remain unofficial.

1903: The Sept. 19 game vs. N. Division H.S. was actually the first game of a double-header.  The second game was with the Marshall Field Wholesalers team, and the final score was  0-0.   NU would occasionally play early season double-headers, with the varsity taking one game and the "scrubs" taking another  (an example of this occured on Sept. 30,1903,  when the varsity took on the Alumni in an official game, and the scrubs played W. Division H.S.).  However, for the two Sept. 19 games, Coach McCornack divided his teams equally; in other words, there was no "scrubs team," but two equal varsity squads playing.  The Marshall Fields Wholesaler game does not appear in the records.

Early 1900's and early 1990's: Several other games with alumni teams are (rightly) not kept in NU's official records, since they were considered scrimmages at the time they were played and were never meant to be counted as official.

Unofficial Results and Game Locations:

There are a few discrepancies between NU's official history and other sources where it is clear that the other sources are correct.  I have changed this information on my game-by-game list to match the other (contemporary) sources.  Until 2009, the most important error was the outcome of the 1903 Chicago Dental game.  See the page describing the Chicago Dental game.

Some discrepancies in the official NU records are by choice.  For instance, any NU home games that the team played off-campus used to be listed with the actual site where they were played.  NU now lists most such games as having been played at a neutral location.  In reality, the only times NU has played on a truly neutral field are in its bowl games and in one game with Purdue in 1931. 

The 1997 Pigskin Classic is one example that shows that most games listed as neutral should either be regarded as home (or away) off-campus games.  At the time, the Pigskin Classic was played at a host team's school.  NU hosted Oklahoma at Soldier Field.  Even though NU officially lists the game as having been played on a neutral field, it counts NU's 24-0 victory in the school's 12-game record home winning streak!  I do not list out here the other examples of off-campus sites, but I do list them at the bottom of the Home Sites page.

Other discrepancies include:

1882: Paulison's Tale of the Wildcats describes NU's first intercollegiate games with Lake Forest, and mentions that NU's first game was a loss at Lake Forest, followed by a win at home.  These locations have been used by other sources ever since.  The 2005 ESPN Encyclopedia also uses these locations.  NU's official record simply leaves the locations blank.  Unfortunately, Paulison mixed up the locations in his description.  The only surviving contemporary source for these games is the NU student newspaper, which clearly shows that the first game was a loss played at NU, followed by a win at Lake Forest.

1886: Chicago Tribune article shows the Harvard Prep game occured Oct. 30 at Evanston (32-4 Harvard win).

1890-1891: Wisconsin games were both on Thanksgiving.  In 1890 Thanksgiving was Nov. 27; in 1891 it was Nov. 26.

1892: The dates of the two Wisconsin games are swapped in the official records.

1898: Location of Michigan game given as Neutral.  Game was on campus, at Sheppard Field.

1900: The date of the game with Knox is Saturday, Nov. 3.

1903: Score vs. N. Division H.S. should be 22-5.   Lombard score should be 23-0. Naperville game was played on Sept. 26.

1905: N. Division H.S. game was played at NU.

1905: Official records have NU playing at Beloit.  Other sources also have Beloit as an away game, possibly because of NU's records.  The Beloit game, however, was the Dedication Game for Northwestern Field!  The game program and the contemporary reports of the game confirm this, and that the game was indeed played at Northwestern Field  In fact, Chicago Tribune accounts show that every game except for the season finale at Minnesota was a home game.

1917: Chicago game was played at Chicago.

1929: Previously, NU's records gave no dates for the 1929 games with Cornell (IA) and Butler.  Beginning in 2002 NU lists the 1929 Cornell game as Sept. 28 and Butler on Oct. 5.  These games were NU's only official "double header," and were BOTH played on Oct. 5.  NU played no game on Sept. 28.

1931: Iowa game was away.

1932: Notre Dame game shown as neutral.  This game was played at Notre Dame Stadium and was an away game.

1933: Indiana game listed as neutral.  This game was a home game played at Dyche Stadium.

1944: The September game vs. DePauw was not played on Sept. 23-- it was played on a Friday night, September 22.  This was confirmed using an Associated Press account of the game.

1995: Indiana game was played on Sept. 30.

1997: Wisconsin and Michigan dates should be Oct. 4 & 11.

In addition to the corrections I've entered onto my game-by-game results list, there are further discrepancies between Northwestern's official records and other sources (despite which, the information in the media guide was still used).  I did not, for instance, add any game to the game-by-game list if the official NU list makes no reference to the game whatsoever (I consider these games unofficial, and list them above).  Other discrepancies are listed in the Adobe game-by-game file in orange.

Among the facts listed in orange is the 1994 MSU game.  NU officially considers the Michigan State game an NU loss.  Michigan State violated NCAA eligibility rules that year and was forced to forfeit all games.  The Big Ten, Mich. St., and the NCAA recognize MSU's forfeiture and credit NU with a "win."

Game-By-Game Results:

Click the following link to view the current "work in progress" list of official NU games (Note: this file is NOT a Web page, but an Adobe Acrobat file, which may be downloaded or simply invoked to view online.) history.pdf