LTP Bowl Mania Winner Announced; ‘Cats Finished AP #17, Coaches #16

Well, that was anticlimatic. Alabama’s national championship thumping of TTFSB last night likely made a lot of smiles from this group. However, one reader, “The REAL Purple Wildcats”, won the inaugural Gary Barnett Purple Jacket, our traveling trophy awarded to the winner of the LTP Bowl Mania. “The REAL” took home the prize with 484 points. He nudged “Etang” who came up short just 3 points shy with 481. DB took home the bronze with 477.  Congratulations to The REAL Purple Wildcats for taking home the crown and thank YOU for playing!

Meanwhile, Northwestern finished the year JUST outside of the Top 15, finishing at 16th in the USA Today Coaches Poll and 17th in the AP. You can peruse the teams that beat us out here.  Regardless, it is the highest finish for any team in the Fitz era.

  • NUMBalumDave

    Highest finish in the B1G, too.

    • David

      Ohio State was higher in the AP.

      • NUMBalumDave

        Right, you are! I was just looking at the bowl participants. Thanks for the correction.

    • NU had best overall winning percentage in Legends…10-3

  • NUMBalumDave

    Gratuitous game comment: I’m finally watching it as broadcast, and I love those helmets.

    • zeek

      I thought that was the best alternative uniform combination we’ve ever had.

      It was a classy look.

    • Alaskawildcat

      Agree, but many have opined they would prefer that the interior of the “N” be white to better contrast with the black helmet? Agree?

      • NUMBalumDave

        Matter of taste, IMO. I still love ’em. The matte look is in, and the helmets and uniforms showed well.

  • ‘Catatonic Tim

    Congrats to the winners. As a whole I thought our group scores were pretty impressive. Our top 50 were all in 90th percentile and our median score was 71.4.

  • pfoley

    Congrats to NU for being the highest ranked bowl eligible team out of the B1G at the end of the year. I wonder when the last time that happened was.

    Side note: does anyone else find it strange that Oregon jumped OSU in the AP poll?

    • zeek

      Not really, Oregon dominated a legit Kansas State squad while OSU was at home for the holidays.

      Voters took that into account fairly heavily given.

  • CliffG

    Considering all the preseason doomsayers, this was quite a satisfying season. Congratulations to Coach Fitz and the whole team for a job well done. I’m already looking forward to kickoff in August.

  • CatAlum06

    SEC Bias: Vanderbilt is only a few spots behind us in the final rankings, a team whose “big wins” include Ole Miss and NC State. Please.

    • skepticat

      Nah, I’m fine with that. We played a close game with them and they finished the season with a 7-game win streak.

      SEC bias is claiming Notre Dame didn’t belong in the stadium while noting that Florida didn’t show up for their game. Or breathlessly extolling the supremacy of the conference while making a brief aside that the Big East went something like 4-0 against them this year. Or being the only conference where you can lose a game and next week be a shoe-in for the national championship game.

    • cece

      there used to be a bias against southern schools. now we know that there is no longer that bias. totally wrong to have Vandy up there.

      • Chasmo

        Really? Are you too young to remember Tricky Dick Nixon and AP picking Texas over Penn State for the national title when both teams finished the season undefeated and won their bowl games?
        It’s difficult to remember southern schools ever getting the short shrift when it came to polls or All-America teams. The south has always been a bastion of college football and sportswriters have never been biased against southern teams or southern players.

        • cece

          perhaps I’m older than you and, yes, there was a bias against the south. Tricky Dick is just a few years ago. Also, ND, years of ratings inflation.

    • NUCATS04

      They went 9-4. You can’t argue that is not a good record? Our big wins were against Vandy and Cuse. Between you and cece I don’t know who whines more.

  • Mark

    Unlike some I’m not happy that Notre Dame got blown out. I wish they, and Michigan, had both beaten Alabama. I don’t think it helps recruitment in the Midwest or Big Ten when teams from our area get blasted by SEC teams. Results like last night make our schools less attractive to national recruits. Results like last night make most of the SEC teams look more attractive than the best Big Ten/ND teams to athletes interested in playing at the highest levels. I don’t know if that also applies to guys who are also excellent students, but I’d rather not risk the issue. I would like to see the Big Ten and ND go undefeated during bowl season. That will make all the teams in the Midwest look more attractive.

    • Alaskawildcat

      Maybe, but the fact that Two of The B1G’s traditional powerhouses were in eligible for the post season tempers the argument. I would like to think that Alabama’s win only established its dominance this year and not the SEC’s. In fact Clemson’s taking down of LSU, the falling of Florida State to a Big Least team, and even our convincing win over SEC MSU did much to take the tarnish off the SEC brand.

      • Alaskawildcat

        Make that “falling of Florida,” not Florida State.

      • Alaskawildcat

        An argument could also be made that Big 12 bred Texas A&M’s take down of its SEC brethren exposed the weakness of an ingrown conference.

    • gocatsgo2003

      I’m going to go ahead and say seven straight national titles in the SEC has already taken care of the conference comparisons…

    • TK98

      Crazy talk. I for one am more than happy to watch the golden domers get smoked. Any time, by any team.

      And, with that damnable monkey of ours now shredded, Brian Kelly’s bunch owns the nation’s longest bowl losing streak outright.

      What’s not to love?

      • Stephen Zgrabik

        I actually thing ND’s streak ended a few years ago, unfortunately.

        • TK98

          Dammit, you’re right. They beat mighty Hawaii back in 2008. Ah well. Still love watching them lose. Wonder who owns the streak now?

          • NUMBalumDave

            I always say it’s a good day in college football when NU wins and ND loses. And it’s a great day when NU beats ND.

  • WildcatSteve

    This is just the beginning…why not us playing in Pasadena…on Jan. 13, 14!

  • “The REAL”

    So do I actually get something for winning? Regardless, what a great way to start off the new quarter!

    • Yes, did you not see the mention of the fact you get the Gary Barnett traveling trophy – a 1996 game worn jacket. Please email me at and I’ll mail you the goods!

  • Slow LTP day, but man, am I unloading an epic post on NU hoops. Stay tuned.

    • Alaskawildcat

      Is there going to be a ray of hope at the end of the rainbow? Speaking of rainbows, Thursday while in HawaiiI had a chance to watch the Rainbow Warriors in an amazing come from behind effort take down Fullerton to place themselves as the leader of their conference. The irony though was that even with the win Northwestern’s overall record was better. We certainly pay a penalty for having to go through the door of a highly competitive conference on our road to an eventual NCAA selection.

  • Alaskawildcat

    Actually, it was AP 17 and Coaches 16 which means we were in reality tied given that the Coaches had to exclude OSU by rule. Amazing, this is the first time in memory that we have shared a tied (or even one differential) ranking in both polls! Clearly a confirmation of Northwestern’s performance and perception.

    • Alaskawildcat

      LTP – thought you would have caught it from my initial reference, but the headline ranking and your story rankings are transposed as to Coaches and AP.

      • Oops! Fixed. Always know that AP is lower than Coaches when it comes to Wildcats. Amazing, but very understandable. Media more discerning than the fraternity of coaches who respect him.

  • Alaskawildcat

    RE: “Almost in Top 15”

    We actually would have been #15 if The Coaches had put us over Boise State as the AP voters did. (Note the Coaches did rank us over Utah State while the AP had us under.). Trying to remember if the pre season mags only write features on the Top 15 or if we will get equivalent face time by just being in the Top 20?

  • cece

    so, now, finally, does everywhere know what Northwestern is, and where the school is located, and that WE are NU and some other school is UN-L, some lower ranked school. can you hear me now, ESPN?!?!?

    • NUCATS04

      Wow…someone holds a grudge.