Yet Another Day Of More Gator Bowl Lift For 2013 Perception

For some reason, this stuff doesn’t get old. All week long Northwestern football has been picking up props in various media outlets for their potential prowess in 2013. ranked the ‘Cats (Adam Rittenberg specifically) #2 of all 12 B1G teams in the 2013 power rankings. The Chicago Sun-Times did a feature on the rosy future of Wildcat football as well as the Wall Street Journal waxing on about our efforts to save the conference pride. Many of you forwarded me this tidbit – 25 College Football Teams That Will Shock Us In 2013 – from the Bleacher Report, an online entity that had the best week of sports online entities (they have become the sports content arm of CNN, replacing Sports Illustrated). Spoiler alert, the slide show goes from 25 to #1 and Northwestern is that “one”. Also, from The Bleacher Report, Northwestern was ranked “same” in the 2013 Better, Worse or Same feature of the top 50 teams, meaning they predict a 10-win seaon. also published their All B1G Bowl Team and not surprisingly, Northwestern was very well represented. Amazingly, we nearly took a clean sweep of every secondary spot as Nick VanHoose, Ibraheim Campbell and Jared Carpenter all were named to the team, which might have won you a ton of dough had you predicted it back in August. Additionally, Tyler Scott and Quentin Williams (to me, the Co-MVPs of the game) made the list. On offense Dan Vitale and Brian Mulroe were named to the squad.

Finally, Fitz got extensive airtime on the local Chicago WBEZ’s The Afternoon Shift. It’s about a 20-minute interview and goes pretty in-depth in to Fitz’s childhood and his journey to NU and the impact his childhood had on shaping his coaching approach. It’s one of those rare, casual interviews that has enough time to really get in to some depth. Nothing really new, but a fun listen.

Silver Lining Anniversary

Miami Marlins play-by-play voice, Glenn Geffner, emailed me yesterday to remind me that yesterday was the 25 year anniversary of probably the most famous Wildcat hoops win since beating Magic and Michigan State in 1979.  That’s right, it was 25 years ago yesterday that Northwestern upset defending (’87) national champion Indiana at Welsh-Ryan Arena thanks in part to deadly shooting from the free throw line.  Geffner also shared with me that he remembers interviewing then head coach Bill Foster several years later and Foster earnestly believed (as did most fans) that that was the moment NU basketball had turned the corner. Dick Vitale was in the house as the analyst on the ESPN telecast and dubbed the insanity that was the student section, the “Zoo Crew”, which stuck and was embraced for half a decade.  For those of you that never had the chance to see an Indiana game with Bob Knight on the sidelines in Welsh-Ryan Arena, it really was an indescribable environment. Thanks for the prompt Glenn…man, are we getting old.

Marketing Magic

Northwestern football’s marketing efforts really are relentless. They’ve begun to follow the lead of our friend NUHighlights and send out customized NU highlights after every football game to the season ticket holders. Today, I received an email with a special video message from Fitz. I’ve yet to decide if I want to do another NEW season ticket holder campaign and I’ve already received emails putting six new season tickets up on the board. If you want to see the simple, yet nice touch video message, take a look here.


  • DT

    Nice video message and “thank you” from Fitz and the marketing crew to season ticket holders this morning…

  • David

    I was at NU for that IU game. I forget why I couldn’t go to the game…but I recall the excitement after the game.

    • CatInTheHat

      I danced Gangnam Style after that game and posted it on Facebook. Yeah. I think that was the moment we began to realize that this might be a special season.

      • vaudvillain

        I think David’s referring to a basketball game in 1988, which predated Facebook by a few years. Don’t get me wrong, I was pretty pumped after the 2012 football game against IU, too…but I don’t think it was quite the same magnitude.

  • zeek

    It’s far too early to predict next year’s win/loss record, but I’d use some caution because of how different teams will be on next year’s schedule.

    We were 9-3 in the regular season this year; to repeat that we basically have to win 2 of these games (Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Michigan State) and then win the rest for sure (Minnesota, Syracuse, Cal, Iowa) while not dropping any of the gimmes (Illinois, Maine, Western Michigan).

    I think 8-4 is the floor for next season with a realistic ceiling of 11-1 (loss to Ohio State but run the table and face Ohio State in a rematch in the Big Ten Championship, wouldn’t that be an incredible scenario?).

    So there’s a chance that we could have a worse record with a better team (8-4), but a fairly realistic chance that we could get some things to go right against MIchigan and Nebraska to take the division.

    • zeek

      Having Michigan State and Minnesota at home is a big key to next year, winning those two is important because they’re probably the best two teams on the schedule behind Ohio State/Michigan/Wisconsin/Nebraska.

    • Richard

      Actually, 7-5 is possible, but 9-3 is still most likely, IMHO.

  • cece

    good stuff and great links about all kinds of Gator Bowl things, LTP!

  • Catatonic Joe

    I may be overthinking this, but if you combine the two Bleacher Report stories, doesn’t that mean that they expect us to have as good a year next year, and they consider that the most shocking story in college football?

  • CatInTheHat

    Remarkable how well represented our D, and especially the secondary, is on that ESPN team. I hate to be greedy, but I think Jeff Budzein deserved recognition too.