Football: Northwestern ranked 23rd in final AP Poll

Max Schuman, Assistant Sports Editor


After a 10-win season and a blowout loss in the Outback Bowl, Northwestern came in at No. 23 in the end-of-season AP Poll released Tuesday.

The Wildcats (10-3, 6-2 Big Ten) fell from their No. 12 ranking they held prior to their 45-6 bowl loss to now-No. 22 Tennessee on Jan. 1, but finished the season ranked in the top-25 for the first time since 2012, when NU finished the season 17th.

The Cats defeated two teams that finished the season in the final rankings, No. 3 Stanford and No. 21 Wisconsin, and all three of NU’s losses came against teams that ended the season ranked: No. 9 Iowa, No. 12 Michigan and Tennessee.

Five Big Ten teams — No. 4 Ohio State, No. 6 Michigan State, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin — finished the season ranked above the Cats, and NU will play all of these teams except Michigan next season.

The Cats open the 2016 season with a Sep. 3 game against Western Michigan.

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