Just getting to a bowl game no longer matters to Northwestern.
The 21st-ranked Wildcats want to win one and end a decades-long losing streak.
Northwestern (9-3) hasn't won a bowl since it beat California in the 1949 Rose Bowl. The Wildcats have dropped nine in a row since, matching the longest streak in NCAA history.
They get a chance to stop that skid when they face Mississippi State (8-4) in the Gator Bowl on Tuesday.
''It's the next step in where we want to go as a program,'' Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. ''The consistent success we've had in the program of being in the postseason for five successive seasons is something we're proud of. Winning a bowl game is the next step.''
Northwestern has come close the last four years, losing 30-23 in overtime against Missouri in the 2008 Alamo Bowl, falling 38-35 to Auburn in overtime in the 2010 Outback Bowl, dropping a 45-38 decision to Texas Tech in the 2011 Ticket City Bowl and then losing 33-22 to Texas A&M in last s...