Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

Northwestern headed to Gator Bowl to play Mississippi State

Reports of NU's trip to the Capital One Bowl were greatly exaggerated: The Cats will head to Jacksonville to play in the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl.

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8 Total Updates since December 2, 2012
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NU confirms Gator Bowl bid

Northwestern has announced that they'll play in the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl on New Years' Day.

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Northwestern going to Gator Bowl

With Nebraska headed to the Capital One Bowl and Michigan now officially headed to the Outback Bowl, Northwestern is locked into the Gator Bowl.

We don't have a fun official confirmation from the bowl, but Northwestern probably won't fall further - although it is still hypothetically possible the Gator picks Michigan State (two-win rules don't apply here) but we're not going to even consider that thought. So we sort of backed into this one, but we'll take it. I understand some frustration from fans that Northwestern got the least attractive of the bowls available, but whatever, we're headed to a warm place to play a game Northwestern can win. We don't have to give ourselves false hope that we can beat Georgia for a few weeks.

There's also still no official word from anybody as to who Northwestern will play, but pretty much everybody projects Mississippi State and the fightin' Cowbells. That's okay.

Now Northwestern has to end its 64-year bowl win drought, hopefully preventing us writers from having to stop bringing it up.

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Report: Northwestern headed to Gator Bowl

Northwestern will play in the Gator Bowl against an as-of-yet undetermined opponent, likely Mississippi State, reports Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune.

The report from Greenstein will likely pan out after everything went kablooie sometime between last night and this morning. The widespread thought after the end of the Big Ten Championship game was that Northwestern would face Texas A&M in the Capital One Bowl, but like we just wrote, there was some backdoor dealing by both the Big Ten and SEC to pit the losers of their two championship games against each other in Orlando. That left NU with either the Outback Bowl and the Gator Bowl, and the Outback Bowl has long been assumed to prefer Michigan over Northwestern.

So the Wildcats slid down a few spots, but this leaves them in a more winnable game. The most likely opponent for Northwestern is Mississippi State, which, no offense to the Bulldogs, is a much more palatable opponent than Georgia or Texas A&M. They've lost four of their last five after a 7-0 start.

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Northwestern likely headed to Gator Bowl

WELP

So, yeah, apparently all the speculation about the Capital One Bowl taking Northwestern from all sorts of people who are usually right like Teddy Greenstein was inaccurate.

The good news is Northwestern will probably face Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl, whom they have a much better chance of beating than Georgia.

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