School name: Northwestern University
Location: Evanston, IL
Mascot/nickname: Willie the Wildcat/The Wildcats
Colors: Purple & white
Distance from College Park: 716 miles
B1G Member since: Founding Member (1896)
Notable achievements: 1931 National Champions in men's basketball, eight B1G Conference Titles in football, seven National Titles in women's lacrosse
We’ve been in the ACC since forever. Tell us which ACC school this is most similar to and why.
Northwestern ranks 12th in the U.S. News’ 2014 rankings. The closest ACC school to that would be Duke, which checks in at #7. Northwestern is also similar to Duke in that historically, they haven’t really done very well in football, winning just eight B1G titles since 1896, or about once every 15 or so years. Also like Duke, their football program has seen a somewhat resurgence over the past several years, having winning seasons in four of their past six years. Northwestern is also similar to Duke in that their school's endowment is huge, checking in at just under eight billion dollars. It is also the only private institution in the B1G.
But unlike Duke, Northwestern don't have a prestigious basketball program to fall back on. They've had a few bright spots, including winning the National Title in the 1930-1931 season, but otherwise have finished the majority of their seasons with a losing record. They have never, not once, made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Here's a write up Northwestern's blog, Sippin' on Purple, did about that.
Northwestern and Penn State are the two teams you really don't want to lose to in basketball. Like, ever.
In terms of enrollment, Northwestern has by far the smallest enrollment of any B1G school. Think of them as the Wake Forest of the B1G in that regard.
Northwestern plays their football games at Ryan Field, which was built in 1926. It previously held as many as 55,000.
Welsh-Ryan Arena houses the men's & women's basketball teams, the wrestling team and the volleyball team. Its seating capacity is just 8,117. In 1956, the arena hosted the NCAA Final Four, which is as close as Northwestern has ever gotten to the NCAA Tournament.
Northwestern fields 19 athletic teams, with eight on the men's side and 11 on the women's. Their most successful non-revenue sport is arguably women's lacrosse, which is enjoying a national title run similar to Maryland's dominance from 1995-2001. But we all know who won this season.
Food, beer, & Town:
So Northwestern is in Evanston, which is just north of Chicago. So I'm just going to say deep dish pizza and steak are all you need to worry about food wise. Lou Malniti's is supposed to have some of the best deep dish.
But in seriousness, closer to campus, I hear Delbe's Corner is good, as is Andy's Frozen Custard.
If you're a beer snob, here's an awesome breakdown of the Chicago beer scene, which is really blossoming at the moment.
How likely is Maryland to develop a rivalry with Northwestern?
There are a few ways to look at this. Maryland hopefully won't develop a rivalry with the Wildcats, because that would imply Maryland would be losing to them which I really hope doesn't happen, especially in football and men's basketball. Plus, being in the West Division, the football team won't be playing Northwestern too often.
On the other hand, Maryland could definitely develop a nice rivalry with Northwestern in Women's Lacrosse. The two schools have been the only schools to win the women's lacrosse national title from 2005-2014, sans UNC's unfortunate win in 2013. That...is insane. If you go back to 1995, Maryland and Northwestern have combined to win 16 of the past 20 titles in women's lacrosse. And now the schools will be conference foes. You KNOW Todd is excited about that annual match up.
Also worth noting is that Northwestern is the center of some pretty significant and important union related stuff that could completely revolutionize and change collegiate athletics as we know it. So, keep an eye on Sippin' on Purple, who is doing a great job covering the issue.