As Northwestern’s football team sinks into oblivion, it claimed — in fitting with what it is as a school — an academic triumph.
The NCAA released its annual graduation success rates on Thursday, and the Wildcats topped FBS programs with a 97 percent GSR. That’s certainly something coach Pat Fitzgerald is proud of, given how he’s built a solid program at a top-tier academic school.
Unfortunately for the 4-3 ‘Cats, things may get worse before they get better. Already staring down a three-game losing streak, Northwestern gets road dates at Iowa and Nebraska before returning home to face Michigan and Michigan State. If they can’t beat Iowa this weekend at Kinnick Stadium, they’ll have to pull out of their tailspin in a tough four-game stretch before a should-be layup at Illinois to end the year.
And if they can’t do that, the Wildcats may fail to be bowl eligible this year.
Getting Kain Colter and Venric Mark back would certainly help those efforts. Colter said he’ll play at Iowa, hopefully turning things around for an offense Fitzgerald bluntly said has “played like garbage” the last three games.
But anyways, back to the GSR rankings. The top 10 in football:
1. Northwestern (97)
2. Rice (95)
3. Boston College (94)
3. Notre Dame (94)
5. Air Force (93)
5. Stanford (93)
7. Duke (92)
8. Boise State (91)
9. Army (89)
10. Miami Fla. (86)
10. Wake Forest (86)