February came into our little Purple Planet like a wildcat.
On the basketball side of things, three straight wins for Carmody’s Cats and Tourney Talk was heating up. (Yes, those are capital “T”s. It’s just THAT important here.) And in football, Signing Day featured the two highest rated players to ever join Willie’s World – defensive stud Ifeadi Odenigbo and 6-5 transfer-from-USC-wide-receiver Kyle Prater.
Of course, we’re all aware that the hoops team suffered a crushing loss to Purdue on Sunday that tamed the tourney talk and brought back questions about Coach Carmody’s future in Evanston, even including some speculation by ESPN’s Andy Katz that he might be out even if NU makes the Big Dance.
However, excitement’s still raging about the football team, and for our latest podcast, we caught up with one of the most respected minds on the college football beat today, SI.com Senior Writer Stewart Mandel, Medill ’98 and thus, yet another member of the Purple Mafia. We talked about all kinds of things, including the impact of four and five star phenoms arriving on the shores of Lake Michigan, offensive changes in the wake of Kyle Prater’s arrival, when and how a college football playoff will happen, an early look at what we can expect at Ryan Field in 2012, and what he thinks will happen to Bill Carmody at season’s end. And yes, we even connected today’s hottest sports meme, Jeremy Lin, to Northwestern… via the 1995 Rose Bowl team.
We encourage those of you in the Chicagoland area to go see Stewart in person next week at Medill. He’ll be part of a panel with Pat Fitzgerald, ESPN’s Rachel Nichols (Medill ’95), and the New York Times’ Pete Thamel. The panel will discuss how covering college sports has changed and how it will continue to evolve in the future. The event is on Wednesday, February 22nd, at 4 pm. And for those of you elsewhere, the event will be streamed live as well. You can learn more about the event here. It is part of Medill’s Gertrude and G.D. Crain Jr. Lecture Series.