Beyond the Gridiron: Northwestern vs. Texas Tech

    Illustration by Emily Chow / North by Northwestern

    As the Wildcats ready to take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the TicketCity Bowl, Northwestern’s football reputation hangs in the balance. But why limit competition to the football field? See how the bowl game rivals match up in a grab bag of categories.


    Unfortunately for the Wildcats, it seems they only win the mascot war if the opponent’s representative is blatantly offensive (nice to see you again, Chief Illiniwek!), and thus, in their TicketCity Bowl matchup, they are plainly out of luck.  The “Red Raiders” is a badass name on its own, but when it’s combined with the two on-field mascots Texas Tech brings to the table (the cartoonish “Raider Red” and the awe-inspiring “Masked Rider”), Willie simply never stood much of a chance.
    ADVANTAGE: Texas Tech

    Bowl Game Success

    Everybody on campus knows by now about Northwestern’s bowl victory drought that turns 62 on New Year’s Day, but have the Red Raiders really been that much better? Of course, knowing our history of futility, the answer is surely yes.  Texas Tech boasts an 11-21-1 record in the postseason, a rather unspectacular winning percentage, but nothing nearly as meager as the Wildcats’ 1-7 record. That’s not to mention Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville’s personal postseason record of 6-3, dwarfing Fitz’s winless mark in two tries.
    ADVANTAGE: Texas Tech

    Holiday Tradition

    Come the start of December, students at both Texas Tech and Northwestern find themselves warming up their vocal chords for a campus-wide outburst of noise. In Lubbock, that tradition comes in the form of the “Carol of Lights,” a Christmas carol concert and lighting ceremony for the campus’ holiday decorations. In Evanston, however, the start of the holiday season is marked by a distinctly fiercer outburst: the Primal Scream, held to alleviate the pressure brought on by the start of finals.

    Bowl Commute

    Bowl games are billed as “neutral site” matchups, but they often fly against that fact and choose local teams whenever possible. So how much of a travel advantage does Texas Tech (and their fans) have? According to Google Maps, it’s nearly a six-hour drive from Lubbock to Dallas. No small distance, until you compare it to the whopping 16-plus hours Wildcats would have to drive to make it down to the TicketCity Bowl.  Hopefully some of the more well-off alumni can spring for plane tickets down to Dallas to help mitigate what is sure to be a sea of red and black on New Year’s Day.
    ADVANTAGE: Texas Tech

    National Championships

    Texas Tech’s flagship programs, like most schools, are football and men’s basketball; outside of those sports, however, they have found much higher levels of success. The non-NCAA sanctioned men’s polo and, in true Texas-fashion, rodeo teams have both won a national championship. The women’s basketball team also picked up the school’s one NCAA crown in 1993. On the Wildcats’ side, five consecutive Women’s Lacrosse National Championship teams blow all those Red Raider trophies out of the water.
    ADVANTAGE: Northwestern

    Fight Song

    At Northwestern we naturally take great pride in our fight song, the mighty “Go U Northwestern”, and while it does not make many changes to the “fight song” formula, it is not particularly generic either. Enter the Red Raiders’ fight song, aptly titled, “Fight Song,” which opens with “Fight, Raiders, Fight! Fight, Raiders, Fight!” and uses the word “fight” seven times in the first stanza. Carroll McMath’s lyrics, written 24 years after our own fight song, offer the same platitudes about “hitting high and low” and spreading fame and name that “Go U!” does, with a much lower threshold for originality.
    ADVANTAGE: Northwestern


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