Yesterday we posted the final rankings for Northwestern in both polls – #16 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and #17 in the AP Poll – and we then linked to Mark Schlabach’s “Way Too Early” 2013 preseason ranking that featured Northwestern at #22. While I debated that ranking as too low based on a number of factors, we’re still in the very discussion we had hoped to be in following a bowl losing streak win on New Year’s Day – a team with a lot of promise in 2013.
Today I’m posting yet another media spoil for Northwestern despite the fact it came out yesterday. Afterall, we’ve got to spread the wealth this time of year and milk the bowl win for every ounce we can. ESPN.com’s Adam Rittenberg posted his 2013 B1G Power Rankings and our very own Wildcats came in at #2, behind only Ohio State, heading in to next season. Rittenberg unfairly gets chided for being ANTI-Northwestern quite a bit as several of you claim he over compensates his criticism of the ‘Cats as to not show any hint of favoritism considering he is an NU alum and fan. Well, this should address those concerns head on. Admittedly, AR cites that there is “not much separating” Northwestern through at least the sixth ranked teams (he has Nebraska #3, Wisconsin #4, Michigan #5, Michigan State #6) while claiming Ohio State is in a league of their own. Northwestern plays all five of those top six ranked teams in 2013.
The 2013 recruiting season is quickly winding down and the ‘Cats may be complete with their 28th-ranked recruiting class (per Scout.com). The ‘Cats lost in an upset last week on the services of Cincinnati-area DB, Jaleel Hytchye to Kentucky of all schools. Northwestern appeared to be a frontrunner for Jaleel and obviously depth at that position is an area we need to really build up in the coming years. The current commitment list includes 20 players for 2013 and according to WildcatReport.com’s Louie Vaccher, there is really only one player left out there the ‘Cats may still add to the class. That player is WR James Clark, a highly sought after athlete from New Smyrna Beach, Florida who rated his Northwestern a perfect “10” last month. Clark, however, just picked up an offer from Florida and has narrowed his finalist list to Northwestern, Florida, Clemson and Texas. Obviously, we’re battling with some big dogs in that fight and landing Clark would be a huge finish to the already highest rated class in the Fitz era. Plus, Scout recently upped RB Godwin Igwebuike to a 4-star, giving the ‘Cats a pair of 4-stars (Matt Alviti) in this class.
Winding Up Recruiting – 2014
Northwestern has one recruit already committed for 2014 and with an estimated much smaller number of potential scholarships to go around for that class, you can bet it will be a highly selective process. DB Jordan Thomas from Klein, Texas is the lone 2014 commitment to date, but news keeps popping up of offers being made to the soon-to-be high school senior class of players. Dareian Watkins, a Galion, Ohio QB/WR/S/LB is drawing interest from a bunch of schools at various positions. Northwestern offerred the junior way back in September when he was on site for the Vanderbilt win. Watkins has Northwestern atop his list that includes Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Purdue and Illinois among others. Watkins is willing to play any position, according to a post today by Louie Vaccher on WildcatReport.com,, which is a good thing as he’ll likely not be playing QB for NU. We’ll be hearing much more about 2014 targets in the coming weeks.
Hoops Offer To 6’11 Serbian
The Serbian strategy continues for Bill Carmody. Chris Emma of PurpleWildcats.com reported earlier this week that NU has offerred 2014 big man, Miroslav Jaksic, a 6-11 center from Walled Lake, Michigan. Northwestern has long used the Serbian connections to bring in big men to Evanston, but this one will be a battle. Jaksic now has Duke and Michigan sniffing around among a list of current offers that includes NU, URI and Iowa State.
I’ll Take 10,000 Shares!
Darren Everson of the WSJ recently posted this feature on the “valuations” of BCS college football programs. It’s one of those non-sensical, water cooler conversation inducing deals, since football programs aren’t legally for sale. Regardless, Northwestern comes in at #35 with a “valuation” of $148.8 Million, just nudging out Stanford. Texas leads the way at $761.7 Million and there are a few surprises, like Iowa, that make you dig in to the metrics of how the list was put together.
PRR is working on a top 2013 storylines feature and tomorrow, yours truly is weighing in with a historical perspective of the laundry list of seemingly unbelievable bad luck and bad choices NU basketball has made over time. Plus, we’ve got some purple mafia profile requests out and about, but be sure to tell us what other content you’re itching for this time of year. Anything to take our minds off of the depressing basketball season.