Northwestern, Notre Dame head South while Northern Illinois goes North for bowl games

SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 18: Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Kevin Stepherson (29) and teammates celebrate a Stepherson touchdown reception in the 3rd quarter during a college football game between the Navy Midshipmen and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on November 18, 2017, at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, IN. (Photo by Daniel Bartel/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

CHICAGO – If fans of the Huskies, Irish, or Wildcats wanted to sleep in a little bit, that would have been OK.

That’s because those team’s were out of contention for the College Football Playoff and the New Year’s Six bowl games which were announced around 11:30 AM central time. For Northwestern, Notre Dame, and Northern Illinois fans, the news arrived a little later in the afternoon, when each team got their bowl destination.

Out of the playoff race following losses in two of their final three games, the Irish were still able to secure a January 1st bowl as they will head to Orlando for the Citrus against LSU at noon CST.

It marks Notre Dame’s first time in the Citrus Bowl itself but not in Orlando itself, having played against Florida State in the 2011 Champs Sports Bowl. The Tigers are a familiar opponent in the postseason as well, since the Irish knocked off the Tigers for their last postseason win in 2014 in the Music City Bowl in Nashville.

That’s where Northwestern is headed for the first time in program history later in the month of December.

Following a seven-game win streak to end the regular season, Pat Fitzgerald’s Wildcats will face Kentucky in the 20th Music City Bowl at 3:30 PM on December 29th.

It’s the eighth time the Wildcats have made a bowl under Fitzgerald and they’ll try to win back-to-back postseason contests for the first time in school history. Last year Northwestern defeated Pittsburgh in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium for just their third postseason win in program history.

Northern Illinois is Detroit-bound again after they finished their regular season at 8-4 in 2017.

They’ll be headed to the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit at Ford Field on December 26th with kickoff at 4:15 PM CST.

Typically the site of a number of MAC Championship games for the Huskies in the past, this will be the first bowl game in the Motor City for the school. It marks the ninth time in the last ten seasons that Northern Illinois has qualified for a bowl, but it’s been a while since they got a postseason win.

They’ve lost four-straight since winning the 2011 GoDaddy.com Bowl over Arkansas State in Mobile.