Posted November 23, 2012 on AP on Fox
In line for a quality bowl, Northwestern has its ticket out and ready to be punched. That would appear to be little more than a formality for the Wildcats with a home game against Illinois on Saturday, except they know better. They know all about their recent history against the Illini, and it's not good. That explains why they're just a little apprehensive about Saturday's game, no matter how poor the Illini are playing. ''There is no question this is a huge rivalry,'' coach Pat Fitzgerald said. And there's no debate, either, that his team has come up short against Illinois the past two years. Now, Northwestern (8-3, 4-3 Big Ten) appears to be in a good spot after beating Michigan State 23-20 and shaking off a brutal overtime loss at Michigan. That's something the Illini (2-9, 0-7) can't say. The free fall that began after a 6-0 start under Ron Zook last season still is going strong under new coach Tim Beckman with eight straight losses ...
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.