Northwestern was almost an Ivy League school

Northwestern was almost an Ivy League school
October 4, 2013, 10:15 am
Share This Post
CSN Staff

By Paul Roumeliotis

Life for Northwestern football could have been a whole lot different if talks progressed a little more over three decades ago.

From 1976 to 1981 Northwestern struggled, having a combined record of 3-62-1 in those six seasons including a 34-game losing streak which is the longest in major-college football history.

Due to the lack of success, Northwestern officials considered dismissing all major-college sports. The school had conversations to move the Wildcats to the Ivy League to end the misery.

"I don't think too many people remember how very close it came at that point," said Frederick Hemke, Northwestern's former faculty-athletics representative at the time.

[MORE: Big Ten previews: A lot riding on Northwestern-Ohio State]

Northwestern revived the football program as time went on, especially in recent years. Current head coach Pat Fitzgerald, signed in 2006, has led the team to five straight bowl games including a 2013 Gator Bowl victory.

And just like that, Northwestern has a life of its own in the Big Ten Conference.

On Saturday, the No. 16 Wildcats host the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes who haven't lost in 17 games dating back to last season. Prior to the match, ESPN's College Gameday will visit Northwestern's campus in Evanston for the first time in history.

I'd say the patience for Northwestern seems to be paying off, wouldn't you?