Football: Northwestern ranked No. 22 in College Football Playoff rankings

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Football: Northwestern ranked No. 22 in College Football Playoff rankings

Nate Hall tackles an Iowa player. The Wildcats’ win over Iowa help boost NU to No. 22 in the College Football Playoff rankings.

Nate Hall tackles an Iowa player. The Wildcats’ win over Iowa help boost NU to No. 22 in the College Football Playoff rankings.

Daily file photo by Noah Frick-Alofs

Nate Hall tackles an Iowa player. The Wildcats’ win over Iowa help boost NU to No. 22 in the College Football Playoff rankings.

Daily file photo by Noah Frick-Alofs

Daily file photo by Noah Frick-Alofs

Nate Hall tackles an Iowa player. The Wildcats’ win over Iowa help boost NU to No. 22 in the College Football Playoff rankings.

Andrew Golden, Assistant Sports Editor

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For the first time this season, Northwestern is ranked No. 22 in the latest college football playoff rankings.

After beating Iowa, clinching the Big Ten West and securing a spot in the Big Ten championship game, the Wildcats (6-4, 6-1 Big Ten) were placed in the rankings for the first time since being ranked No. 17 at the end of last season. NU was also ranked No. 24 in the Associated Press rankings on Sunday.

The Cats got off to a rough start to begin their season. After beating Purdue to open the season, NU lost three straight games to Duke, Akron and Michigan, who is ranked No. 4 in the CFP rankings. Since their 1-3 start, NU has gone 5-1 with their only slip up being against undefeated Notre Dame, who came in right above the Wolverines at No. 3 in the rankings.

The Wildcats have relied on a balanced offensive attack in their last 6 games, giving more carries to freshman running back Isaiah Bowser to take the pressure off of senior quarterback Clayton Thorson.

Aside from Michigan and NU, only two other Big Ten teams made the top 25 rankings: No. 10 Ohio State and No. 14 Penn State.

NU has two more regular season matchups against Minnesota and Illinois before looking ahead to the Big Ten Championship game, where they will get a rematch with the Wolverines or face the Buckeyes, who the Cats haven’t faced since 2016.

Email: andrewgolden2021@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @andrewcgolden

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