"It's kind of like last year. You come back. It will be even better," NU senior Kaitlin Petersen said.
Northwestern's defeat came on a fake field goal attempt play which was stopped short of the end zone. Despite numerous rallies by the Wildcats, the Tigers clinched a 38 to 35 victory.
"I know that we have strong school spirit and we sold out the ticket block. I think that's a great sign for the future," Christina Choi said.
The 8-4 'Cats came into their first New Year's Day bowl game since 1997 thristing for a win. The team hasn't seen a bowl win since the Rose Bowl in 1949.
"When we all committed to Northwestern, we knew there was a challenge ahead of us. That was obviously our goal," said Erryn Cobb, former Northwestern football player.
The chance Northwestern's six-bowl losing streak might end had the faithful braving arctic cold to watch the game at the Lion's Head Pub.
"It's well worth the wait. I came here for three away games this year, so its a good time here," Dan Lindberg said.
Northwestern's gallant effort also fueled the debate of who's better: the Big Ten or the Southeastern Conference.
"I'll take a smart player over an athletic player any day. It's a game. It's not just about brawn, it's about the smarts," Laura Schmidt said.
Some say it was Northwestern's inability to hold off Auburn's pass rush and control the Tiger's running game that caused the loss.
Disappointed Wildcats fans will now have to be satisfied with the team's bowl appearance as they chase the legacy of a bowl win for yet another year.