Not a lot going on during a Sunday morning after a bye week. The Wildcats spent their Saturday volunteering with Hunger Resource Network in Northbrook, Illinois. Cannot ask for anything more from your student-athletes. And hopefully they all went 1-0 on their mid-terms this week.
There was football being played Saturday. Many of us were disappointed that Michigan State could not hold on and defeat Nebraska to give NU an outside chance of getting into the Big Ten Championship Game and then got a second punch in the gut when Notre Dame completed the comeback against Pitt. But at least we did not need to fret or worry about things Northwestern could take care of.
The Wildcats get back to work this week against the Wolverines with kickoff set for 11 a.m. CT on ESPN at the Big House.
Northwestern’s idle week was not in vain though. The Coaches Poll has returned Northwestern to the Top 25 after several teams lost on a big showdown Saturday (more on that in my Blog Poll Ballot later today/Monday). Northwestern climbed to No. 21, one spot ahead of preseason No. 1 USC, the team that lost to Oregon at home this past weekend in Kenjon Barner’s wild ride.
This of course makes the Michigan game just a little bit bigger. The Wildcats have not performed well when ranked and the Wolverines should still open as favorites for this game. There will be a lot of pressure on NU with that number next to its name this week and (UPDATE ALERT) the ‘Cats cracked the BCS rankings checking in at #24 while Michigan did not make the cut!
Still, the ranking is a recognition of Northwestern’s accomplishments so far this season and a reminder NU is having a nice season. A win this week would be huge and help push the Wildcats forward in the bowl pecking order.
Northwestern secures preferred walk-on
A bit of recruiting news this Saturday too. Taylor Johnson of RantSports reports, and Rivals confirms as well, that 6-foot-7 offensive lineman Graham Bullmore has accepted an invitation to be a preferred walk-on at Northwestern. Bullmore plays for Kenosha (Wis.) Bradford High School and is already up near 300 pounds along with his considerable size.
Bradford runs a run-heavy offense and Johnson writes that his pass protections skills need some work before he can make it at the college level. He should get plenty of work though at Northwestern. Johnson writes that Bullmore is one of the top offensive linemen in Wisconsin. However, he has gained little interest from schools. Scout’s profile of him says that only Western Michigan was interested.
Really happy to have Bullmore on the team and hope he can develop nicely into a monster offensive lineman in the next 4-5 years!