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Northwestern bowl projection roundup, Week 9: Wildcats head in right direction

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The Wildcats' win over Nebraska on Saturday stopped Northwestern's rapid downward turn from the two games prior.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

After two straight weeks of precipitous dropping of games, poll rankings and bowl projection prestige, Northwestern finally righted the ship with the win over Nebraska this past weekend. While it's not going to have people put the Wildcats back in the College Football Playoff, it keeps Northwestern in the realm of respectable bowl games against good power-conference foes like UCLA and Oregon.

Heading into the bye week with four consecutive winnable conference games left to finish off their season, the Wildcats can still win 10 games and possibly play in a New Years' Day bowl. Even if they lose one of those games -- against Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin and Illinois -- they'll be in a good position to play in a game that heightens the program's prestige and helps with recruiting heading forward.

SB Nation

Jason Kirk: Holiday Bowl vs. UCLA, Dec. 30

ESPN

Mark Schlabach: Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl vs. Arkansas, Dec. 30

Brett McMurphy: Foster Farms Bowl vs. Oregon, Dec.26

ESPN Big Ten Blog

Brian Bennett: New Era Pinstripe Bowl, Dec. 26

CBS Sports

Jerry Palm: Outback Bowl vs. Texas A&M, Jan. 1