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.