The above gif is the game winning TD scored by Northwestern to defeat Cal 20-14 in the 1949 Rose Bowl. Notice the grainy film. This game was played 64 years ago and up until the 2012-13 bowl season this was Northwestern’s last bowl win. I really don’t even know what to say. Good for them I guess since it ended a 9 game bowl losing streak, but then I looked into it further. Not only was this only their 2nd bowl win in 65 years it was only their 2nd bowl win of all god damn time.
According to good ol’ Wikipedia “Football made its debut at Northwestern University on February 22, 1876″. They’ve been playing football for about 137 years so they’re averaging a bowl win every 68.5 years. Good God Almighty. Look, I know bowl games didn’t start til around 1930 so I’ll drop that average down to one win every 41.5 years (2 wins in 83 years of bowl possibility for those wondering where my thought process is).
I’m still not done though. Let’s take a look at all of their bowl games. Also taken from Wikipedia:
|1948||Rose Bowl||California||W, 20-14|
|1995||Rose Bowl||USC||L, 32-41|
|1996||Citrus Bowl||Tennessee||L, 28-48|
|2000||Alamo Bowl||Nebraska||L, 17-66|
|2003||Motor City Bowl||Bowling Green||L, 24-28|
|2005||Sun Bowl||UCLA||L, 38-50|
|2008||Alamo Bowl||Missouri||L, 23-30 (OT)|
|2009||Outback Bowl||Auburn||L, 35-38 (OT)|
|2010||TicketCity Bowl||Texas Tech||L, 38-45|
|2011||Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas||Texas A&M||L, 22-33|
|2012||Gator Bowl||Mississippi State||W, 34-20|
Notice that gap from their first bowl game to the next bowl game they played. 47 years. Let that sink in for a little. I may have to come back to this some time and compare it to some of the other all time cellar dwellers of BCS conferences. It should also be noted Northwestern’s basketball team is the only member of a BCS conference to have never made it to the NCAA tournament.