Football: Northwestern ranked No. 25 in College Football Playoff rankings


Daily file photo by Jeremy Yu

Garrett Dickerson and Cameron Green celebrate a touchdown. The Wildcats made their first appearance of the season in the college football playoff rankings, coming in at No. 25.

Joseph Wilkinson, Assistant Sports Editor


Northwestern is ranked No. 25 in the College Football Playoff rankings, released Tuesday. It’s the first time the Wildcats (6-3, 4-2 Big Ten) have been ranked in any major poll this season.

NU earned the spot after securing its third straight overtime win Saturday against Nebraska. Two of those three victories came against current top-25 teams in the College Football Playoff poll — No. 12 Michigan State and No. 20 Iowa.

The Cats have also recorded wins over Nevada, Bowling Green and Maryland this season.

NU is joined by five other Big Ten teams in this week’s rankings. In addition to the Spartans and Hawkeyes, the committee recognized Wisconsin, Ohio State and Penn State.

This year, NU has been paced by senior running back Justin Jackson, who leads the team with 798 rushing yards and eight touchdowns, and junior quarterback Clayton Thorson, who has thrown for over 2,000 yards and 10 passing touchdowns while adding seven rushing scores. Together, they’ve accounted for 26 of the Cats’ 32 touchdowns on the season.

NU returns to action against Purdue on Saturday.

Twitter: @joe_f_wilkinson