Northwestern, which finished 10-3 and with the conference's second-best record, was the only Big Ten team to win on New Year's Day. A number of Big Ten stars such as Montee Ball and Denard Robinson played their final games for their respective schools.
The last time No. 20 Northwestern won a bowl game, a gallon of gas cost 17 cents, a new car cost about $1,420. RCA was perfecting a system for broadcasting color television and Harry Truman roamed the halls of the White House.