So the story of Northwestern Football has always seemed to leave the Wildcats as a Cinderella, or an unexpected, fun-but-not-real contender that comes from that “smart school” in Evanston.

Not any more.

Coach Pat Fitzgerald has his Wildcats on a collision course with Ohio State, who this past weekend against Indiana showed they could be vulnerable – particularly where the Wildcats are strong.

The Northwestern defense kept the Wisconsin offense and quarterback Graham Mertz at bay on Saturday, forcing five Badgers turnovers to come away with a 17-7 victory. The win earned the Cats recognition from the FWAA as this week’s “Team of the Week.”

While the Northwestern ground attack wasn’t impressive, Peyton Ramsey and the Cats offense was good enough to post a pair of touchdowns, throwing for just 203 yards. Northwestern’s rushing game totaled just 24 yards on 23 attempts against the Badger defense.

Northwestern entered the Wisconsin game ranked No. 19 in the AP Poll, behind mid-majors Coastal Carolina and Marshall and two-loss Iowa State and Oklahoma.

Expect things to change.