Starting last Thursday, Matt Brown of Sports on Earth counted down the top-100 college football teams of all time in a four-part series, and three historical Northwestern teams made the cut.
Using an entirely stats-driven formula, and nearly endless amounts of data from Sports Reference, Brown set out to determine which teams were the "most dominant" in a given season. The rankings are based on average point differential and strength of schedule.
The Northwestern teams included were:
No. 95 - 1940 Northwestern
Coached by Pappy Waldorf (!!!), the 1940 team shut out Notre Dame on the way to a 6-2 record. One of NU's losses was to Minnesota, who went on to win the national championship, so you know it was a pretty strange year in college football.
No. 93 - 1943 Northwestern
This was Otto Graham's senior year, and after the team finished 1-9 in 1942, Graham challenged for the Heisman Trophy and led NU to a 6-2 season in 1943. The Wildcats lost to top-ranked Notre Dame and Michigan, BUT BEAT ILLINOIS 53-6 HAHAHAHAHA.
No. 79 - 1930 Northwestern
The best team in school history, according to the model, the 1930 team lost to Notre Dame in November. Had the Wildcats won, they would've finished 8-0. Coach Dick Hanley and his players shared the Big Ten title with Michigan (whom NU did not play that season), and finished 7-1 overall.