Northwestern in the College Football Playoff? Fans, media think it's possible
As if 2020 couldn’t get any weirder, Northwestern — who went 3-9 last season — could be moving towards a berth in the College Football Playoff.
The Wildcats took a big step toward CFP candidacy on Saturday, defeating Wisconsin 17-7. Northwestern picked off Graham Mertz three times and were rarely threatened by the Badger offense.
All of the sudden, Northwestern in 5-0 with wins over the Badgers, Iowa, Purdue, Nebraska and Maryland.
Iowa has won three straight games by a combined score of 126-35 since losing to the Wildcats. After losing 43-3 to Northwestern, Maryland scored 45 and 35 in wins over Minnesota and Penn State, respectively.
Looking ahead, Northwestern’s schedule looks manageable for making a run to the playoff. It includes three winnable games (Michigan State, Minnesota and Illinois) but the Wildcats would also have a date with Ohio State on Dec. 19 in a potential de-facto College Football Playoff quarterfinal.
The Buckeyes looked beatable on Saturday, edging out a 42-35 win over Indiana.
After Northwestern’s big win over Wisconsin, fans and media took to Twitter to voice support — and optimism — for a potential run to the CFP for the Wildcats.
It’s 2020, nothing matters and at this point I’d be cool with this #CFP ranking:
— Matt Lively (@mattblively) November 22, 2020
Northwestern to the CFP send tweet
— Carmen Vitali (@CarmieV) November 22, 2020
I've been working and just saw that Northwestern beat Wisconsin 17-7, and I know I shouldn't be shocked, but I am shocked and I need to know the Wildcats' new odds to make the College Football Playoff.
— Mitch Sherman (@mitchsherman) November 22, 2020
Upset! Northwestern has beaten Wisconsin and will almost certainly now project to play Ohio State as an unbeaten CFP contender.
— CFP Resume Rankings (@CFPResumeRanks) November 22, 2020
The CFP committee releases its first rankings in 3 days:
— Jonathan Rifkind (@JonathanRifkind) November 22, 2020
Northwestern is going to beat Ohio State and go to the playoff. pic.twitter.com/R1FUL3sEe2
— Guar Cleveland (@GuarCleveland) November 21, 2020
Northwestern is anchored for Indianapolis. To likely meet Ohio State. For the right to be in the CFP? Probably. https://t.co/Me7ksrIS7c
— Dan Bolsen (@DanBolsen) November 22, 2020
Northwestern really are legit playoff contenders. Surreal.
— Ian McCafferty (@Itmccaf52) November 22, 2020
Northwestern to the College Football Playoff!?!
This season has the feeling of the magic of 2018. The Wildcats could get their shot at redemption vs. Ohio State and the Buckeyes in the Big Ten Championship, where they lost to Dwayne Haskins & Co. 45-24 2 years ago.
— Bradley Locker (@Bradley_Locker) November 22, 2020
We are living in a world where Northwestern is a playoff contender.
There’s no end to the wildness of 2020.
— 💫🅰️♈️🆔 (@ADavidHaleJoint) November 22, 2020
Northwestern. College Football Playoff. Collision Course.
— Sam Stejskal (@samstejskal) November 22, 2020
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF BOUND NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) November 21, 2020
Put Northwestern in the playoff you cowards
— Wyatt Crosher (@wcrosher) November 22, 2020
The Northwestern-Ohio State B1G Title Game for a spot in the playoff is going to be wild
— Jeff Parles 😷 (@jeffparles) November 22, 2020
Northwestern CFB Playoff bound pic.twitter.com/SHF7BEi9Hu
— Matt Ginger (@ChicagoStation) November 22, 2020
PUT NORTHWESTERN IN THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS YOU COWARDS! https://t.co/j0RbxNYGE0
— Luke Drase (@LC_Drase) November 22, 2020
Funniest timeline: Northwestern makes the CFB playoff and none of the insane freaks I know who follow this team religiously get to go see it in person bc of COVID.
This is a subtweet and they will definitely see this.
— Corey McMahon (@cdmcmahon) November 22, 2020
Northwestern is 5-0 and Sean McDonough just mentioned their name and the college football playoff in the same sentence. Let’s fucking GO.
— Jeremy Layton (@JeremyLayt0n) November 22, 2020