Heading into Northwestern's opening week game against Stanford, all the talk out of Evanston was about how a win would open up the Wildcats to national attention that they hadn't received since October of 2013. But while the 16-6 win over Stanford, one of Northwestern's "academic comparables" as Pat Fitzgerald likes to say, may impact the national recruiting landscape as far as the Wildcats' perception is concerned, the program's national perception this season has already begun to change.
Before the season, it is widely believed that Northwestern would struggle to become bowl eligible. Now, some "experts" even have the Wildcats playing in New Year's Day games. Here's a roundup of what the bowl projections look like from around the web:
Jason Kirk: Pinstripe Bowl vs. Louisville, Dec. 26
Mark Schlabach: Outback Bowl vs. LSU, Jan. 1
Brett McMurphy: Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl vs. Georgia, Jan. 1
Brian Bennett: Foster Farms Bowl, Dec. 26
Erick Smith: Heart of Dallas Bowl vs. Rice, Dec. 26
Jerry Palm: Heart of Dallas Bowl vs. Western Kentucky, Dec. 26