Making His List…Checking It Twice…

Christmas day is always one where I get all kinds of mushy. In light of so many terrible events this past year, compounded by a rough health year, it might be extra full of cheer this year. Right now, I’m working on a list of things to share tomorrow under the LTP community tree. But, as a teaser, here a few things I’ve found – both naughty and nice – that are currently on the list…

Naughty – The Big Ten Office – The schedule makers in Park Ridge were extra tough on Northwestern this year, scheduling a record four opponents who had bye weeks before facing the ‘Cats. The ‘Cats went 2-2 in those games.

Nice – The gift of Venric Mark at RB was a joy that lasted throughout the year. His first team All-American award as a punt returner was actually second to his play at RB, in most ‘Cats fans minds – and that is saying something. Venric posted 1,310 rushing yards with a 6.15 ypc average and a per game average of 109, 23rd in the nation. He missed nearly the entire Michigan State game which killed the average, but he became the first 1,000-yard rusher since Tyrell Sutton and carried the ‘Cats with his play.

NaughtyThe 4th quarter – The ‘Cats let a hat trick of games slip away after having double digit leads in two of them and a double-digit late 3rd quarter lead in the other. The disturbing trend of not finishing finally stopped with our road win in Spartyville.

Nice – Fitz emptying the bench against Illinois on senior day and seeing guys 4th on the depth chart roll over our “rivals”.

Naughty – The Lou Groza Award committee – It is simply imcomprehensible that Wildcat PK was left off the finalist’s list for the nation’s best placekicker after the near perfect season he put together.


OK, so here is where you take over and start adding to the list. We’ll be dishing out Christmas cheer in the morning. Merry Christmas everyone…

  • Alan Casey

    Naughty – Dr. Jim for remaining silent about plans for the basketball arena when he finally pulled the trigger and announced “Phase 1.”


      Nice – If the University decides to use the ‘Dyche’ Model (original football stadium financing) and finance the renovation of Ryan and the construction of a new basketball arena through a bond issue. The interest on financing is very low and the construction cost are especially low. With the $220M + already committed for practice facilities on the lakefront ALL through fundraising initiatives…we could be waiting another decade before Ryan is renovated and the basketball arena is built. The current loss in revenue each year moving forward (a football stadium without appropriate amenities/luxury boxes/expanded seating capacity + basketball arena with expanded capacity and luxury boxes) will easily top $10M/year. Bite the bullet, NU, be bold and issue the bonds and get the job done over the next 3-4 years.

      • Al

        We do NOT need expanded capacity at either W/R or Ryan Field. We can’t fill at 47,000 seat venue now, without the help of the visiting team.

        • Alan Casey

          I think that Luxury Boxes are the key point. IIRC the added fees for luxury boxes stay with the school (are not shared revenue). Hence the big jump in realized revenue.


            Northwestern is positioned to easily lease its luxury boxes to major corporations as the central location to see big 10 games. Though I would have wished the Nebraska game to have more of a 70/30 mix (NU to UNL)…I actually think the ‘bowl-like’ atmosphere for big games could work to NU’s advantage. The last facet to the marketing approach is to work with Loyola, Depaul and even Marquette (Kenosha stop on Metra) to bring big time college football to students who do not have a football program at their schools. Improving the amenities at Ryan will improve attendance at Ryan.

      • NUMBalumDave

        Good points.

        It has been my opinion that they should build a comprehensive complex on the lake – stadium, practice facility, office, and integration with Allen Center. A bigger bullet to bite, and parking is an issue. But only imagine football games with views of the lake, the downtown skyline, and adjacent hotel facilities for monied donors and KGSM students. BE REALLY BOLD!

  • Alan Casey

    Nice – Dr. Jim for finally pulling the trigger and announcing the first phase of athletic renovations. Should be a recruiting boost for Football!

  • Guest

    Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday with family and friends! A quick PSA:

    I have an extra Gator Bowl ticket that I’d be happy to give away to any ‘Cats fan who needs it. The only catch is that whoever takes it has to sit next to me. Please respond if interested–first to claim it gets it.

    • CatInTheHat

      The above post was by me. I was having some issues with Disqus and the post was made anonymous.

  • Peter Skillz

    I think we went 3-1 in conference games against opponents coming off a bye (beat IU, MN, and MSU; lost to NE).

  • Mark

    Nice – LTP’s unending work on this blog.