Annual Review
Created 11/30/00;
Updated 3/20/20


HailToPurple.com Annual Archives

2018 Review
A lethargic start to the season made the Wildcats' dramatic B1G West title run all the more of a pleasant surprise. Click here for the HailToPurple.com 2018 Review.

The 2019 season, however, landed with a thud in the bottom of the West and stayed there. NU slogged through a disappointing 3-9 campaign that ended with the dismissal of the team's offensive coordinator. HailToPurple.com did not provide coverage during 2019, so there is no review for the season.
2017 Review
Think 2016's turnaround was impressive? It was just the preview for 2017's monumental team comeback. The 'Cats turned in another ten-win season and their second straight bowl victory. Click here for the HailToPurple.com 2017 Review.

2016 Review
Northwestern pulled off one of its greatest season comebacks, turning a sorry 1-3 start into a Pinstripe Bowl victory.  Click here for the HailToPurple.com 2016 Review.

2017 NCAA Tourney Page
HTP typically focuses only on NU football. At the end of the 2016-'17 season, however, we made an exception, when the men's basketball team made its debut in the NCAA Tournament. Click here for the special coverage of the NCAA Tourney...


2015 Review
The Wildcat defense stole the show-- and, quite often, the ball-- in a terrific ten-win campaign.  Click here for the HailToPurple.com 2015 Review.

2014 Review
A repeat of 2013: the season was cursed with injuries and limped to a second-straight 5-7 finish. It began with the nationally-watched union issue. It concluded with a fizzle against the Illini. In between, however, NU provided a moment of excellence and wonder in South Bend.  Click here for the HailToPurple.com 2014 Review.

2013 Review
It wasn't practice; it was ER triage.  The Wildcats were the walking wounded in 2013, as injuries wiped out the team and left expectations in tatters.  Click here for the HailToPurple.com 2013 Archive.


2012 Review
At last, the Wildcats claimed a bowl trophy!  NU dazzled through a ten-win season, a new All-American, and a Gator Bowl championship vs. Mississippi State.  Coach Fitzgerald became NU's winningest coach.  Click here for the HailToPurple.com 2012 Archive.


2011 Review
2011 was a season of great expectations, not all of which were met.  The Wildcats suffered a five-game losing streak midseason, only to knock off #9 Nebraska and claw back to bowl eligibility.  Click here for the HailToPurple.com 2011 Archive.


2010 Review
The Wildcats' third straight winning season had the makings of a special year until quarterback Dan Persa fell at the conclusion of the win over Iowa.  With Persa gone, the 'Cats limped to the finish and a close loss in the TicketCity Bowl.  Click here for the HailToPurple.com 2010 Archive.

HailToPurple at Ten:
A Look at Wildcat Football, 2000-'10
In a series of posts in July 2010, HailToPurple.com took a look at the past ten years of NU Football, as well as some of the historical research from the site and views of where the program is headed:


2009 Review
Under Coach Fitz the 'Cats continued to roll, and Mike Kafka rolled up huge numbers.  NU's second straight season with a Big Ten fourth-place finish landed the 'Cats in the Outback Bowl, which proved to be one of the wildest games ever played.  Click here for the HailToPurple.com 2009 Archive.


2008 Review
Coach Fitzgerald's third season at the helm was a watershed year for the 'Cats.  NU turned in a nine-win season and a fierce showing at the Alamo Bowl.  Click here for the HailToPurple.com Review of the 2008 Wildcat Season.


2007 Review
The 'Cats continued their recent run of six-win seasons and showed flashes of greatness, becoming bowl eligible, but ultimately staying home.  Click here for the HailToPurple.com Review of the 2007 Wildcat Season.


2006 Review
Northwestern endured one of the most challenging seasons in the history of the program, still staggering from the death of Head Coach Randy Walker in June.  Click here for the HailToPurple.com Review of the 2006 Wildcat Season.

2005 Review
Brett Basanez shattered most of NU's quarterback records, Zach Strief was named an All-American, freshman Tyrell Sutton tore through opposing defenses, and the Wildcats earned seven wins and their third bowl trip in six seasons.  Click here for the HailToPurple.com Review of the 2005 Wildcat Season.


2004 Review
Northwestern finished with six wins for a second straight year.  Despite missing out on a bowl game, the 'Cats did place fourth in the Big Ten, and the team will be remembered for finally ending the Buckeye Curse.  Click here for the HailToPurple.com Review of the 2004 Wildcat Season.

2003 Review
Jason Wright continued to set records, and NU finished the regular season with an improved 6-6 record and an invitation to a bowl.  Click here for the HailToPurple.com Review of the 2003 Wildcat Season.

2002 Review
The 2002 season was a disappointment for the team and its fans-- a 3-9 campaign that did have a few bright spots: the free-for-all qb style of Brett Basanez and breakout rushing performances by Jason Wright. Click here for the HailToPurple.com Review of the 2002 Wildcat Season.

2001 Review
A season of unprecedented expectations, setbacks and challenges, 2001 was a true odyssey through sport, adversity, failure and accomplishment for NU football.  Click here for the HailToPurple.com Review of the 2001 Wildcat Season.

The 2000 Season:
Relive the Madness

The Championship 2000 season was among the most exciting in Wildcat history.  We witnessed NU beating two ranked opponents on the road (for the first time in at least 40 years), Wildcat scores of 52, 54, and 61 points, and the greatest comeback in school history.   Click here for excerpts from HailToPurple.com from the 2000 season.