Northwestern’s 50-14 win over Illinois at Ryan Field on Saturday will likely send the Wildcats to either the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., the Outback Bowl in Tampa or the Capital One Bowl in Orlando. They won’t know for sure until next Sunday. Northwestern hasn’t won a Bowl Game since 1949.
“Nine wins is a great year,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “Ten is special. To be a bowl champion would be a great exclamation point. It’s the only lingering negative in our program that you guys just love to talk about. The only thing I can do to get you guys not to talk about it is to win.”
Fitzgerald made sure to send a message to bowl officials by talking up his team and its fans.
“We’re a very hot football team right now,” Fitzgerald said. “If you look at all of our games we could very easily be undefeated. We were winning in every game. Whatever destination we get we’ll be very thankful and priviledged to have that opportunity but I think whoever makes the choice to bring the Wildcat and Wildcat Nation down to their home is going to get a very hungry football team, a very focused football team that understand what this kind of opportunity means for us and a fan base that’s going to go down and support the communtiy and spend a lot of money.”
Fitzgerald ended by saying: “That’s my infomercial.”
The Wildcats can expect to play a SEC opponent in whichever bowl gives them a berth.
“We’re going to play a great team,” Fitzgerald said. “You guys aren’t going to give us a chance. We’re kind of cool with that. that’s just the way it goes. We’re going to play it on the road, I assume in Florida somwhere. We’ll play an SEC team in their back yard, we’ll be underdogs by like 75 points. Nothing’s new in bowl season for us.”