Imagine Duke won the ACC this season. No, that's not big enough. Imagine if Vanderbilt won the SEC this year. No, even that doesn't do it justice. If you're not old enough to remember - not just 1995, but also the seasons before it - I can't give you a comparison for how earth-shattering 1995 Northwestern was. Every other school in the BCS leagues had at least moments of competence in the previous 20 years. Most all of them had multiple bowl seasons.
It wasn't just that Northwestern hadn't won the league. It was that Northwestern hadn't won. Almost ever. Against almost anybody. In their opener, Northwestern stunned Notre Dame, ending a 14 game losing streak to the Irish and getting ranked for the first time in 24 years. After losing to Miami (Ohio), they beat Air Force and swept through the Big Ten. They ended a 19 game losing streak to Michigan. They got their first ever win over Penn State. They ended their 21 game losing streak to Iowa. They ended the regular season at 10-1 (8-0) and #3 in the polls. NORTHWESTERN!?! Northwestern.
No, college football didn't start in 1995. But, 1995 was the year the Wildcats actually joined the Big Ten.
And though they weren't part of the Big Ten, yet...
Nebraska had a VERY special year in 1995, too.