Northwestern v Illinois Postgame Breakdown (1:08)
14mAustin Ward

Northwestern clinches 10-win season with rivalry win over Illinois

Pat Fitzgerald is making even more history with his alma mater.The former Northwestern linebacker and current coach continues to add to his impressive list of accomplishments with the program, once again putting his mark on the record book by playing a prominent role in a 10-win season.

Northwestern celebrates winning the Land of Lincoln Trophy (2:19)

Adam Rittenberg ESPN Staff Writer 

No team junks it up like Northwestern but the Cats are 10-2. Impressive turnaround by Pat Fitzgerald after consecutive 5-7 seasons. As a Big Ten assistant told me, "They're making chicken salad out of ..." you know the rest. But the defense is tremendous and they know how to win. Today's win secures a top bowl game.

David Lombardi ESPN Staff Writer 

Notre Dame RB CJ Prosise out for game against Stanford -- here in sweats with crutches.

David Lombardi ESPN Staff Writer 

Alex Rodriguez sports a Stanford sweater on the sidelines ahead of the Cardinal's game against Notre Dame

Austin Ward ESPN Staff Writer 

Pat Fitzgerald and No. 16 Northwestern right on pace to finish up a 10-win season. The Wildcats once again doing a fantastic job on defense, and Illinois isn't doing itself any favors by dropping a bunch of passes when it does find some open spaces.

David Lombardi ESPN Staff Writer 

Calm before the storm at Stanford Stadium, where the No. 9 Cardinal will host No. 6 Notre Dame in a game with huge College Football Playoff implications.

ESPN Stats & Info

Texas could be tiebreaker for CFP spot

No. 3 Oklahoma shares a common opponent with No. 6 Notre Dame. The Sooners' loss to Texas could be costly.


Jackson doubles Northwestern's lead

The 16th-ranked Wildcats are up 21-7 on Illinois on ESPNU, after this 3-yard TD run by Justin Jackson.


Vitale's catch is awesome, baby!

Northwestern's Dan Vitale was a real PTP'er on this TD catch, batting the ball to himself and pulling it in for a 19-yard TD against Illinois.

AP Photo/Jeff Haynes

Watch: (16) Northwestern vs. Illinois

Since 1900, Northwestern has won nine or more games six times, five of which Pat Fitzgerald has been a part. Fitzgerald has coached the Wildcats to three such seasons (2008, 2012, 2015) and was a player on the 1995 and 1996 teams that won or shared the Big Ten title. Live on ESPNU/WatchESPN

David Lombardi ESPN Staff Writer 

AccuWeather reports that kickoff temperature for Notre Dame-Stanford will be 54 degrees. It'll drop to a chilly 44 degrees by game's end. Expect a lot of sun throughout the day for tailgating in the Bay Area.

Illinois gives Bill Cubit 2-year agreement

Cubit was named interim head coach Aug. 28 after coach Tim Beckman was let go. Cubit has led the Fighting Illini to a 5-6 record with a win needed over Northwestern today to become bowl eligible. The extension will keep the length of his contract at two years and pay Cubit $1.2M per year.

Mitch Sherman ESPN Staff Writer 

Comment from interim Illinois AD Paul Kowalczyk with announcement of Bill Cubit's two-year deal to remain head coach.

Irish to make playoff statement against Stanford? (0:52)

Typical afternoon in the Windy City

It will feel like the upper 20s by the second half of Northwestern-Illinois at Soldier Field. How might 10-18 mph wins impact the game? AccuWeather forecast

How does Notre Dame get back into CFP? (1:53)

Heather Dinich ESPN Staff Writer 

TCU's double OT win over Baylor knocked the Bears out of the CFP and race for the Big 12 title, leaving Oklahoma vs. Ok State the de facto Big 12 title game. The league needs the Sooners to win because they are currently No. 3 and its best shot at a one-loss champ in the top four. The Cowboys sit at No. 11, clearly not a top team right now in the eyes of the committee. If Bama, Clemson and Big Ten take three spots, Ok St could be left out in favor of ND, or possibly even Stanford. Big 12 fans should root for Stanford tomorrow, and then for Stanford to lose in Pac-12 title game -- just to be safe.

George, Pacer take down Bulls (0:45)