I’ve been waiting for this one for awhile. Taking a slew of stats and serving them up for you to live up to the subheader of serving up a daily dose of Wildcataganda. There will be a few things you know, a few you don’t and a few that will shock you as we dive in to some great Northwestern stats to help you add context to your Purdue invite. I’m getting tremendous response to my outreach for potential fans – mostly friends and acquaintances that don’t ever go to NU games – to attend the night game against Purdue on October 9. Here is a sample of the email:
You know me well enough to know how much I enjoy Northwestern football. You also know me well enough that I don’t harass you to attend games. So, I wanted to invite you to a game that I think might give you the ‘Cats bug. It is a night game – 6:30 pm kickoff on October 9 vs Purdue. The ‘Cats are 4-0 and are looking to move to 5-0 this weekend against Minnesota on the road in the Big Ten opener. Then, it’s a very rare night game at Ryan Field which guarantees one thing for sure – a helluva tailgate. I’ve partnered up with a good friend for a tailgate in the east lot and it’s going to be a blast. We’ll be kicking things off at 2:30 pm and be going right up until gametime. I’m working on getting a block of tickets so let me know if you’re interested.
You might not realize it but NU is 4-0 for the second time in three years – and for the second time since 1962. Fitz has elevated the program to a new level and the ‘Cats are seeking the first ever third straight bowl appearance (9-3 and Alamo Bowl in ’08 and 8-4 and Outback Bowl in ’09). Northwestern has put a ton of effort behind the marketing of football and the atmosphere is greatly improved. It should be a rocking Ryan Field and could be an incredibly fun night. I hope you join me!
OK, that is a template to work from buy you get the gist. Now, it is time to add some recipes that will allow you to freelance with stats and mix and match to cater to your own taste. Let’s start with the “Since 2008” approach.
Since the start of the 2008 season….
- In the Big Ten, only Ohio State (24-4) and Penn State (24-4) have better regular season records than Northwestern (21-7) (note: tied with Iowa at 21-7 during that span).
- Only Ohio State (14-2), Penn State (13-3) and Iowa (11-5) have better Big Ten conference game records than NU (10-6) (note: NU tied with MSU at 10-6).
- Northwestern has won 9 road games – more than any other Big Ten team.
- The 9 road wins is tied with Texas and Florida for 9th in the BCS during that span.
- Northwestern boasts the 9th best road record (9-3. .750) during that span, only Ohio State’s is better in the Big Ten.
- NU’s current 7-game regular season winning streak is the longest since 1995 when they won 9 straight.
- NU has scored in double-digits in 38 consecutive games
- NU has AVERAGED more than 400 ypg of offense since – get this – 2000!
- NU runs an average of 74.8 offensive plays per game – 2nd in the Big Ten
- NU’s pass efficiency is #1 in the Big Ten and 3rd nationally
- The ‘Cats have won 8 straight home non-conference games – the longest streak since the late 50s/early 60s
- NU has not trailed at any point in any game in 2010. I don’t have any data to support it, but my hunch is after 4 games that hasn’t happened in the past 50 years.
The 30,075 on Saturday for the CMU game has received quite a bit of love in the media when paired with the fact it is a 56% increase over last year’s second home game (Eastern Michigan). Of course, I had to dig in to the bag since my work will be done when 47,130 is the weekly attendance at which point I’ll turn the blog over to someone else. You can bet I’m maniacal about the attendance stats. Well, the CMU game was the highest attended non-conference game since NIU in 2005 (35,114 with a large NIU contingent)! It also marked the 8th best non-conference attendance mark since 1995. I’ll bet your wondering what the top 7 are. I thought you’d never ask. Without further ado, here are the top 20 (I have more, but cut it off there to share with you) attended non-conference games since 1995:
The purple cells represent games in the Pat Fitzgerald era. The Illinois State game of 25,471 comes in at number 13 which is both encouraging for the 2010 season but also embarassing for so many reasons. On a more positive note, check out this column by NU junior Meredith Wise who seems to have the sensibility of most of us as she describes prepping for a rant about lack of student support that turned in to a column of wonder realizing how powerful a packed student section can be. Click here for the Daily Northwestern column.
Big Ten Net Big Love
I caught some of the BTN’s Monday Night Breakdown last night and it was a Northwestern lovefest. Howard Griffith selected NU QB Dan Persa as his Big Ten Player of the Month (Chris Martin selected Denard Robinson). On defense Chris Martin selected NU LB Quentin Davie (Howard selected Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan). Also, Hunter Bates was highlighted as the most underrated player of the week.
Gopher First Look
Coming up….this afternoon.
NU narrowly missed on another key recruit. This time the Wildcats bowed in the recruiting derby for 6-8 standout Shelby Moats to Vanderbilt according to WildcatReport.com. Let’s hope some hoop recruits can make the Purdue game to feel the love.