We haven’t done a bowl projection roundup since before the season started, so in the midst of a bye week, we figured it was time. A 2-1 start has Northwestern, for the most part, firmly entrenched in the bowl picture. For now, we’re obviously looking at mostly lower-tier bowls — if any at all — but a win over Wisconsin (*crosses fingers*) would make analysts take this team a little more seriously.
ESPN (Kyle Bonagura) - Foster Farms Bowl vs. Colorado
On Dec. 27 in Santa Clara, Calif., this game would be a lot of fun. Colorado is coming off a 10-win season and a trip to the Alamo Bowl, its first winning season since 2005. The Buffaloes are 3-0 to start the year, albeit against inferior competition. With second-year starter Steven Montez showing promising growth from his freshman season and dynamic running back Phillip Lindsay back for his senior year, this would be a great matchup. This game would serve as an extremely early preview for a 2026, 2027 home-and-home that the teams agreed upon back in August. The connections between the two programs run deep, as we have documented.
ESPN (David Hale) - Music City Bowl vs. Tennessee
Hahahaha. Round two? In Nashville? Get ready for more BigVolDaddy.
SB Nation (Jason Kirk) - Quick Lane Bowl vs. Western Michigan
Who’s in for a post-Christmas trip to Detroit to watch the Wildcats in MACtion?
CBS (Jerry Palm) - Heart of Dallas Bowl vs. Texas-San Antonio
Who’s in for a post-Christmas trip to Dallas to watch the Wildcats play a Conference-USA opponent?
Sporting News (Bill Bender) - Foster Farms Bowl vs. Stanford
I’ve always liked Bill Bender. A rematch of the 2015 season opener when Northwestern won 16-6 would be a terrific way to end the season. Stanford has lost consecutive games on the road at USC and San Diego State, but they’ll try to get back to their traditional winning ways at home against UCLA this week. With the game in Santa Clara, the Cardinal would have no body clock excuse this time. We would love to see this happen.
Sports Illustrated (Eric Single) - None
Single has Maryland, Michigan State, Purdue and Minnesota making a bowl game over Northwestern. The Wildcats will get their chance to prove themselves against all four of those teams in the next two months.
USA Today (Erick Smith) - None
Erik is the right way to spell it, anyway. Smith has Nebraska playing in the Gator Bowl so we can take this with a grain of salt.