Get ready for those little numbers next to Northwestern's name this season: the Wildcats begin the season ranked in the USA Today Coaches Poll, at No. 22.
It's a little bit of a drop from the end of last season, when Northwestern was ranked No. 16, which is kinda weird based on the fact that nothing about this team has changed since last year, but it also generally makes sense: NU should be ranked after a 10-3 year, but the top 15 would really be overvaluing them based on what we know.
Looking around the B1G, NU is the third of three ranked teams from the Legends Division, but Michigan (No. 18) and Nebraska (No. 19) aren't considered wayyyyy better. As expected, Northwestern's two big cross-division opponents are ranked, with Ohio State up at No. 2 and Wisconsin at No. 23 -- just a tad below the Wildcats, which may or may not be accurate.
Here's more analysis:
And the full rankings:
|2||Ohio St. (3)||12-0||1427||NR|
|6||Texas A&M (1)||11-2||1215||5|
|Schools Dropped Out|
|No. 11 Kansas State (11-2), No. 17 Utah State (11-2), No. 20 Vanderbilt (9-4), No. 21 San Jose State (11-2), No. 22 Cincinnati (10-3), No. 24 Northern Illinois (12-2), No. 25 Tulsa (11-3).|
|Others Receiving Votes|
|Kansas State (11-2) 113; Miami (Fla.) 101; Michigan State 89; Baylor 80; Virginia Tech 65; Fresno State 62; Arizona State 51; Mississippi 32; Vanderbilt (9-4) 29; Utah State (11-2) 23; Brigham Young 20; North Carolina 19; Northern Illinois (12-2) 19; Tulsa (11-3) 9; Ohio 8; San Jose State (11-2) 8; Arizona 5; Cincinnati (10-3) 3; East Carolina 3; Kent State 3; Mississippi State 3; Washington 3; Central Florida 2; Arkansas 1; Arkansas State 1; Rutgers 1; Tennessee 1; Toledo 1.|
Gonna be an exciting year, y'all.
More from Sippin' On Purple:
- Northwestern at Big Ten Media Days: What Pat Fitzgerald, Kain Colter, Venric Mark, and Tyler Scott had to say
- Pat Fitzgerald at Big Ten Media Days: 'It's Time For Action'
- Linebacker Eric Wilson to transfer from Northwestern
- Tuesday Sips, ft. MORE MARKNADO, Big Ten Media Days Comin', and more
- Mike Trumpy, Northwestern Wildcats football, No. 32