B1G 2012 Bowl Game Updates & Other NU Nuggets

In Big Ten parlance today is the day before the next lowering of the boom against Penn State.  As expected, Penn State football is starting to dominate headlines this summer in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky verdict. Next up is the release of the independent investigation of former FBI head Louis Freeh, which will be released at 9 am et tomorrow. All reports are that it is not going to be favorable to Joe Paterno or the culture of the program as several reports are implying that an element of administrative concealment was in play.  But today is much lighter fare, and the Big Ten Conference continues to release news on a daily basis that impacts on field matters.  We’ll start with Big Ten Bowl Alliances.

The B1G released its 2012 bowl schedule which is of obvious interest to every one of you as we’ve come to expect that we will be a participant in one of these games (and hopefully a BCS game for the first time) for the fifth consecutive season.  Clearly, the general sentiment among most fans is to just win one, any one, and end the nation’s (God, I can’t bear myself to use a negative superlative with NU in the same sentence) you-know-what.  Let’s review:

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (ESPN): Wednesday, Dec. 26, 7:30 pm et –  Big Ten vs MAC

Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas (ESPN): Friday, Dec. 28, 9pm et  – Big Ten vs Big 12

Valley of the Sun Bowl -aka Insight (ESPN): Saturday Dec. 29, 10:15 pm et –  Big Ten vs. Big 12

TicketCity (ESPNU) : Tuesday, January 1, noon et –  Big Ten vs. Conference USA

TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl (ESPN2): Tuesday, January 1, 12pm et – Big Ten vs. SEC

Capital One Bowl (TBD): Tuesday, January 1, 1 pm et – Big Ten vs. SEC

Outback Bowl (TBD): Tuesday, January 1, 1 pm et –  Big Ten vs. SEC

Rose Bowl (ESPN): Tuesday, January 1, 4 pm et – BCS vs. BCS (likely Big Ten vs. Pac-12)

From a Wildcat perspective the thing that jumps off the page to me are the bowls we’ve yet to play in, a list that keeps on dwindling. The ‘Cats have yet to play in the Gator Bowl, Capital One Bowl or the Valley of the Sun (formerly Insight Bowl, not to be confused with the Sun Bowl).  Granted the Capital One Bowl is really an evolution of the Citrus Bowl which we played in after the ’96 season, so if you want to stretch the bowl history here, you’re looking at the Gator Bowl and Valley of the Sun Bowl as the two “new” bowls. However, in the minds of bowl committees and Jim Phillips, recent bowl appearances are of much more consideration. When you consider outside of the Outback Bowl, we’ve really not played in any other marquee bowls (and don’t let the January 1 date of the TicketCity Bowl fool you).  This comes in to consideration for what I’d call NU bowl fatigue. It’s hard to get a fan base to motivate to return to say the TicketCity Bowl or the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas after being there so recently and it not being a major bowl game. I know, I know, you don’t care which one as long as we win the thing, I get it.
We’ve also become pretty Big 12 (formerly)-centric in our opponent base with Texas A&M (former Big 12), Texas Tech (Big 12) and Missouri (former Big 12) as three of our last four bowl opponents. If you want to have fun with this you could say we’re SEC-centric as Auburn, Missouri and Texas A&M are all members of the same conference moving forward. This shouldn’t be a surprise based on the SEC and Big 12 tie-ins with so many of our bowls. My dream scenario would be an NU -Stanford match-up in Pasadena.

Northwestern Link Love

There are several interesting stories that you’ve passed along as of late that I’d love to share with you. In no particular order:

Recruiting Tidbits

Danny Moran of WildcatReport.com posted a feature on LB Anthony Walker Jr., a 6-1, 210 lbs LB from the Miami, Florida area (Opa Locka Monsignor) who has Northwestern as a clear #1 on his list right now.  Walker Jr. has offers from Purdue, Minnesota and Florida International but once again the academic component is a differentiator in combination with the ability to play in the Big Ten.

  • Mike

    We just came in at #59 on Myerberg’s Pre-Snap Read


    • CatInTheHat

      That is bulletin board material. What an insulting “analysis.” Yeah, it’s reflective of how everyone thinks of us, but you’d think that a so-called expert would have something more salient to contribute.

      • buckyor

        You’re kidding, right?

        Still, the best thing about Myerberg’s post- Jim Narby is back!

        Nebraska is next.

  • CatInTheHat

    Wow–shame, shame, smame on Adam Rittenberg for raising “questions about administrative support.” Apparently, he has not been following his alma mater closely of late, as administrative support for our athletic programs is at an all-time high. Not that one line of text on the ESPN blog is going to sway recruits, but the last thing we need is the rumor mill churning among potential NU student-athletes and the sports journalism community that the school does not support athletics. Ugghhh!

    • willycat

      CIH, are you referencing the administrative support in regards to the Facilities Plan?

      • CatInTheHat

        Yeah, I was reacting to his assertion in his Big Ten coaching desirability rankings that the NU’s delay in announcing its facilities plan somehow equates to a lack of administrative support for football and other athletic programs. Perhaps I’m mistaken?

    • Ron

      I don’t see anything wrong at all with what Rittenberg said. The “delay in announcing a major facilities upgrade raises questions about administrative support.” Absolutely it does. It’s nearly two years of empty promises.

      • CatInTheHat

        It just seems a bit–odd–to be calling the administration out for lack of support of athletics when it’s about to spend well into the nine figures on upgrades to the athletic facilities. If it takes them an extra nine months to do their due diligence on just how that lofty sum is going to be spent, then so be it. Now, if they come back with a largely scaled back version of what was promised, then I’ll be willing to entertain notions of a lack of support. However, nothing is indicating that they are not going to implement a half-billion dollar facilities project.

        • VAWildcat

          Cat is right. Given the contract situations for Fitz and the AD, it’s pretty hard to back up “lack of administrative support.”

  • cebpd

    no, LTP. I want to win a GOOD bowl game. I could care less if we win the little caesars Pizza Bowl. Get us a marquee win not a win against a MAC program.

    as for the coaching rankings, its the JOB not the actual coaches. And i’m fine with that, frankly. facilities DO suck. it is tough to get a lot of players to come here and it requires a special kind of coach(which we have). We barely can fill our stadium half way. What about NU’s head football coaching job would you put ABOVE other big ten schools? be sure to answer that in your post. It really makes you appreciate how lucky we are to have Fitz.

    • Lake The Posts

      Thanks for teeing up tomorrow’s post!!! You beat me to it. You’ll see the pros/cons of NU coaching job which will address each of your points (and more).

  • AdamDG

    I couldn’t get past the first paragraph of that Big Red Network post without finding an grammatical error.


  • cece

    bowl yes, but, please, no more Texas!!!!

    • CatInTheHat


      Yeah, good teams should be able to beat anyone, anywhere. However, constantly going to Texas to play Texas-based Big 12 teams just gets old. Sorry, but playing Texas A&M in a “bowl” that is less than 70 miles from their home field and roughly 1,000 miles from ours (a bowl that, incidentally, treated A&M as the home team right down to the scoreboard graphics and hosted 50,000 of their fans) is far from a “reward” for a bowl-eligible season. Then again, I’m not sure that we deserved anything more than that with only six wins, five of which were over bad teams.

  • skepticat

    Interesting article on Demos. Personally, I feel his treatment by the general fan base after the Outback Bowl is something that we collectively should be deeply ashamed of. As we like to sit in our ivory tower pointing out the cultural failings of other scandal-plagued institutions, nothing is more symptomatic of the corrosive “win-at-all-costs” culture pervasive throughout all of college football as how we treated one of our own players after losing a single game — and heavy emphasis on the word “game”.

    As we try to get purple butts in stadium, how about stipulating a single condition: if you’re not there to support your team, stay the hell away. I’d rather have a stadium filled with opposing fans cheering the visiting team than one of our own “fans” ridiculing our own.