Is Northwestern poised to be the surprise team of 2014? The Wildcats staggered to a 5-7 record in 2013, a gigantic disappointment given the team's 4-0 start. But a loss at home to Ohio State started a string of seven consecutive losses that finally ended with a season-ending victory over rival Illinois. There was not a lot of offseason buzz about Northwestern. It's certainly humbling and given the competitive spirit of Pat Fitzgerald, it no doubt served as motivation.