2015 Northwestern Wildcats Football Schedule

Record: 10-3, 6-2 (Big Ten)
Date   Opponent Time/TV Tickets
Sep. 5
Cardinal Stanford Cardinal
Ryan Field, Evanston, IL
Won 16-6
Sep. 12
Panthers Eastern Illinois Panthers
Ryan Field, Evanston, IL
Won 41-0
Sep. 19
Blue Devils at Duke Blue Devils
Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, NC
Won 19-10
Sep. 26
Cardinals Ball State Cardinals
Ryan Field, Evanston, IL
Won 24-19
Oct. 3
Gophers Minnesota Golden Gophers
Ryan Field, Evanston, IL
Won 27-0
Oct. 10
Wolverines at Michigan Wolverines
Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
Lost 38-0
Oct. 17
Hawkeyes Iowa Hawkeyes (HC)
Ryan Field, Evanston, IL
Lost 40-10
Oct. 24
Cornhuskers at Nebraska Cornhuskers
Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE
Won 30-28
Oct. 31
Open Date
Nov. 7
Nittany Lions Penn State Nittany Lions
Ryan Field, Evanston, IL
Won 23-21
Nov. 14
Boilermakers Purdue Boilermakers
Ryan Field, Evanston, IL
Won 21-14
Nov. 21
Badgers at Wisconsin Badgers
Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, WI
Won 13-7
Nov. 28
Fighting Illini at Illinois Fighting Illini
Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
Won 24-14
2016 Outback Bowl
Jan. 1
Volunteers Tennessee Volunteers
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Lost 45-6

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    1. bwburke94
      July 1, 2016 at 5:44 am

      Seems like the worst of the P5s are playing each other. (Apologies to Kansas-haters.)

    2. Shep
      July 1, 2016 at 9:47 am

      There should be some kind of rotating series among Duke, NW, Stanford, and Vanderbilt.

      • Stuart
        July 1, 2016 at 3:32 pm

        They pretty much are, and you can throw in Notre Dame and Rice to your list. These schools tend to schedule each other for OOC because they have close faculty ties and often hire people from each other (similar experience in recruiting and operations).

    3. Nic
      July 1, 2016 at 10:12 am

      Im a B1G fan. Purdue is by far worst right now in the conference.

    4. Vegas Saxon
      July 1, 2016 at 12:49 pm

      Shep: Northwestern has said that they want to play teams that are top academic institutions also. There are some top academic institutions who will lower the academic admission standards a lot to get in a football player, but the teams on your list do not. Note that the list doesn’t avoid good football teams (playing Stanford who has been a consistent power) though on the gridiron, Duke has not been outstanding and Vandy is near the bottom of the SEC (academically, Vandy is the top of the SEC). None of these teams at ‘my’ team, but I admire the thinking behind this scheduling.

      • Shep
        July 1, 2016 at 1:41 pm

        Yep, very similar schools in terms of academic cache where it is quite feasible that these student athletes could be attending one of the others for graduate school. Just like I think everybody would enjoy a landgrant school pool – Michigan State, Texas A&M, Clemson, and Cal would be nice pairings across the country. You could also have a “State” one – Penn State, LSU, FSU, and ASU.

      • @dbrunstheworld
        July 2, 2016 at 5:38 pm

        I’m not in the US so you may need to state the obvious here – why is it interesting to have the schools that were given land play each other? Do these schools have resulting similar cultures or another similar resulting attribute? Thanks.

      • Shep
        July 5, 2016 at 9:35 am

        @dbrunstheworld I’m referring to more of a theme to lean on to generate interesting match-ups, similar to the “State” schools. Many of them share similar attributes, but they’re all vastly different but the pool of schools I chose would be entertaining on the field with one another.

    5. Tully
      July 3, 2016 at 3:33 pm

      While the ACC has a 8 game conference schedule Duke is in that group of ACC teams which normally play 2 OOC games against P5 opponents. Good to see that sort of scheduling.

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    Nevada to play at Northwestern in 2017

    By Kevin Kelley -
    1. Dave
      May 3, 2016 at 6:45 pm

      Is it true that Northwestern U. does not own any lawn mowers and uses goats to keep their playing field manicured?

    2. Mark Kowalsky
      May 4, 2016 at 7:03 pm

      That is a big chunk of change for a non conference game. Now that the Big 10 is not allowing it’s members to play FCS teams, it will only continue to drive up the price of OOC opponents since they will be limited to FBS programs

      • lost in Va.
        May 5, 2016 at 12:13 pm

        agree, Mark. Play a top-25 1-AA team for $400K, put the rest of the $$ towards professor’s salaries, etc…

    3. Tony
      June 9, 2016 at 12:47 pm

      Game moved to Sept. 2, Idaho off Nevada schedule. Nevada to get 1.3 million now.

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    1. lost in Va.
      August 12, 2015 at 10:25 am

      So, the B-10 will pay MAC teams $850K + for games…..then in turn the MAC teams will pay 1-AA teams $300K or so for those games….

    1. Scott
      March 16, 2015 at 10:13 pm

      Please don’t start writing articles like this. Stick to scheduling.

      • @dbrunstheworld
        March 17, 2015 at 2:44 pm

        Whenever there is scheduling news, Kevin, Amy and the gang cover it. This is reasonable content for a slow week.

    2. Bill (the one that's commenting for years; not the newbie)
      March 16, 2015 at 11:57 pm

      Thanks for the great article Amy,

    3. Josh
      March 17, 2015 at 9:02 am

      My only question is why Georgia Tech is not considered here.

      • mrvandy212
        March 17, 2015 at 12:47 pm

        They used the US News Rankings and took the Top 10 FBS-playing Universities. The next few would have been: Wake Forest, Michigan, North Carolina, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Wisconsin, Penn St., Florida, Miami (FL), and Washington.

      • chrisnd
        September 2, 2015 at 4:29 pm

        Because Georgia Tech is not ranked among the Top 25 schools according to USN. Therefore, they do not qualify for this list despite fielding an FBS school.

        Re-read the intro again to see the qualifications for being included in this list.

    4. JackStriker
      March 17, 2015 at 7:18 pm

      I would find a bottom ranked list interesting as well.

      • PeteF3
        March 17, 2015 at 11:53 pm

        US News doesn’t really rank top-to-bottom. After the top schools, they have Tier 2 and Tier 3, and those aren’t ranked, they’re just all in a bunch.

    5. jhasting
      March 20, 2015 at 10:26 am

      If you have another slow week, could you expand this to a top 25 list?

    6. Eric the Wildcat
      March 26, 2015 at 11:45 am

      Great article and thanks for taking notice of the rivalries between some of the best schools in the country. Northwestern is deliberately scheduling more games against peer schools that share this academic commitment. Our students want to compete both in class and on the field.

    7. Dave
      April 5, 2015 at 11:32 am

      No Boston College, No Georgia Tech. I like the premise of the article just don’t agree with all the schools in the article

      • chrisnd
        September 2, 2015 at 4:27 pm

        Apparently you didn’t read the intro to the chart:

        “Of the Top 25 schools in the USN National University Rankings, 10 of them field FBS football teams.”

        Neither Boston College nor Georgia Tech are ranked in the top 25 school listing, and therefore are not included on this list.

        Read the article again, and follow the link to USN to find out where BC and GT rank.

    8. Someone Who Actually Knows Something About Football
      October 23, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      Great concept but completely bogus rankings after the obvious top two, ND and USC. Vanderbilt, Duke and Virginia all have historically weak teams but enjoy high rankings here because they only play each other. Next to Rice, they are clearly the three worst teams on this list by any plausible measure. Only the most ignorant fool would say that Vandy has had a better football team over the years than UCLA! If these two schools had played each other for the past 50 years, I guarantee you that UCLA would have won at least 48 of the 50 games (and the Bruins would have been favored to win all 50, but I’m assuming a couple of upsets).

      Here is the correct list, with the schools also divided into three very obvious tiers:
      1. ND
      2. USC
      3. UCLA
      [Big gap here]
      4. Stanford
      5. Northwestern
      6. Cal
      [Another gap here]
      7. Vanderbilt
      8-9. Duke-Virginia (take your pick)
      10. Rice

      As Eric the Wildcat pointed out, Northwestern deserves credit for going out of its way to schedule these games. Since 2012, NU has won five of six (with two other games cancelled), beating Notre Dame, Stanford, Cal, Duke and Vanderbilt while losing the return match vs. Cal. Sadly, after losing to NU in both 2010 and 2012, the cowardly Commodores bought their way out of rematches in 2013 and 2014, in order to play football weaklings Austin Peay and UMass instead.

      • Richard Manso
        November 16, 2015 at 8:03 pm

        you need to re-read the article, they didn’t start with fb rankings they started with USN rankings of top 25 schools from academic perspectives, then identified those with an FBS fb team, of which there was only 10, then ranked those 10 by the records against each other.

    9. Hugh
      November 15, 2015 at 11:59 am

      No Michigan? NU is my favorite as my alma mater, but didn’t beat Michigan a top 20 school.

    10. Grady
      November 23, 2015 at 1:51 pm

      Hard to believe neither West Point, Navy, nor Air Force are included in this list of top “brain schools”

      • Kevin Kelley
        November 23, 2015 at 2:27 pm

        You misread the article.

      • James O'Rourke
        March 16, 2016 at 8:54 pm

        Actually, Grady has a point. It’s clear that these rankings are derived from a set of National University Rankings that do not include the federal academies, I think Grady’s observation makes sense. Just because the Air Force Academy, West Point, and Annapolis choose not to participate in those ranking systems doesn’t mean they’re not among the very best of collegiate institutions in this country.

      • Gabrownfam
        March 18, 2016 at 12:53 pm

        Grady makes a good point, but the academies didn’t choose to not be ranked by USN, USN excludes the academies because of their political nomination and appointment criteria. They would certainly be top 25 otherwise as they are in other publications

    11. Oski55
      March 19, 2016 at 1:37 pm

      In what world is Cal a #20 ranked university? It is the #1 public university in the country. Are all of the rest of these private?

    12. Jane Webster
      May 18, 2016 at 10:19 pm

      Oh, please. The only one of those schools that belongs in a “Brain Bowl” is Stanford.

    13. L. Roy Hershey
      July 1, 2016 at 11:31 pm

      Great article! How about a Brain Bowl All Star team based on 1st team, 2nd, etc. All-Americans?? Hope to see it here!

    14. BDR
      October 22, 2016 at 10:08 pm

      Not sure where these academic ranking come from, but of the ranking service MOST used in academics, the ARWU, the top 10 ranked universities in the WORLD for 2016 are:

      1. Harvard
      2. Stanford
      3. Cal
      4. Cambridge
      5. MIT
      6. Princeton
      7. Oxford
      8. Cal Tech
      9. Columbia
      10. University of Chicago

      Notre Dame? 201 – 300 (when you’re *that* low, they start grouping by 100’s, lol)
      Northwestern? 26
      USC? 49
      UCLA? 12
      Vanderbilt? 60

      Calling Notre Dame an “academic institution” is just plain embarrassing. The ONLY two FBS schools in the Top 10 of academics are Stanford & Cal.

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