Although they haven't exactly won in convincing fashion the last two weeks against Penn State and Purdue -- and have dropped to No. 20 in the College Football Playoff rankings -- Northwestern is 8-2 and still has an outside shot at a New Years' Six bowl, should the Wildcats win out and get a lot of breaks to fall their way in the final weeks of the season. But, as unlikely as that occurrence is, Northwestern should be able to find itself in a decent bowl against a good power-conference opponent in a month and a half.
Obviously, this team has flaws and probably won't fare too well against a top SEC school if it faced off with one. But, most college football writers project the Wildcats to play a middle-tier SEC team -- such as Mississippi State, which would be a 2013 Gator Bowl rematch, and Georgia -- which would be a nice challenge for this team. Now, if the Wildcats can beat Wisconsin at Camp Randall this weekend, the projections would get a bit more optimistic.
Jason Kirk: Outback Bowl vs. Tennessee, Jan. 1
Mark Schlabach: New Era Pinstripe Bowl vs. Pittsburgh, Dec. 26
Brett McMurphy: Outback Bowl vs. Arkansas, Jan. 1
ESPN Big Ten Blog
Brian Bennett: New Era Pinstripe Bowl, Dec. 26
Jerry Palm: Outback Bowl vs. Georgia, Jan. 1
Stewart Mandel: Outback Bowl vs. Georgia, Jan. 1
Zac Ellis: TaxSlayer Bowl vs. Mississippi State, Jan. 2