I love it in the football offseason when so much news pops up that I get to put some posts on hold. It enables me to get out in front for the weeks to come. Thanks to Manti Te’o, Chip Kelly and the ‘Cats shocking win in Champaign, this was one of those weeks. So, let’s start winding down the week with a bunch of odds and ends that are worth sharing.
Bears/’Cats Connections Grow
In the “oh by the way” news in Chicago, the Bears have a new head football coach, Marc Trestman. The Manti Te’o story actually stole the thunder from what normally would be akin to a presidential inauguration party, at least from the media perspective, but the Te’o story completely dilluted the Bears big news here in Chicago. One bullet point that may have been overlooked is the fact Trestman hired Aaron Kromer as his offensive coordinator/offensive line coach. Kromer was the OL coach at Northwestern from 1999-2000, before bolting for the NFL where he most recently ascended to interim head coach of the New Orleans Saints for the first six games of the year. Congrats to Kromer, who coincidentally has three Wildcats on the roster, but all of them on the other side of the ball.
WildcatReport.com recently featured Cameron Queiro, younger brother of 2013 Wildcat commit, Kyle Queiro, as he accompanied his big brother on a recent recruiting visit. The junior LB from Bergen Catholic (NJ) admitted to Louie Vaccher that in his mother’s mind he is already committed to Northwestern and he was extremely impressed on his visit to the Evanston campus. Quiero’s father, however, is wisely telling his son to visit some more schools before making his choice. That list includes the like of Vandy, BC, Rutgers, Pitt and NC State among others. However, it is clear that Northwestern is the school to beat in the recruiting race.
You knew this was coming. This news story in The Daily Northwestern outlines the story that has the Evanston Preservation Commission at least temporarily halting a six-story parking garage on north campus that is one of the first dominoes before prepping for what will be the Ryan Fieldhouse complex on the lakefront. The votes came out to a stalemate (three “yes” votes, two “no”s and an abstention) so the gargage building, slated to begin in February is at least temporarily on hold. Separately, three Evanston residents have sued Northwestern in attempt to thwart construction of a seven story parking garage and visitor’s center which is proposed to be built in the southeast corner of campus along the lake and Sheridan Road.
ESPN.com’s Brian Bennett recently gave a shout out to Venric Mark as a potential 2013 Heisman candidate as part of a B1G look at who may seriously in the running for college football’s biggest individual prize.
Opponent Coaching Changes
A couple of B1G assistant coaching changes that you should be aware of as it impacts our competition. First, Ted Roof, the DC for Penn State has continued his carpetbagging ways and bolted from Happy Valley to become the DC at Georgia Tech. Roof has owned Northwestern, beating us in 2007 as the head coach of Duke and then adding to his mastery of us as the DC of Auburn (Outback Bowl) and again last year as the DC of Penn State. However, with Georgia Tech still in the rumor mill as a B1G add, we may not have seen the last of him.
This one has all kinds of 2013 ties. Illini head coach Tim Beckman fired co-offensive coordinator Chris Beatty and demoted the other, Billy Gonzales (to WR coach) and brought in Billy Cubit as the new OC. Cubit was recently fired by Western Michigan, a 2013 Wildcat non-conference opponent, and at one time about a decade ago, was the OC at Stanford. Cubit employed a Northwestern-like hurry-up, no-huddle offense at Western Michigan and presumably will bring that style of play to Champaign.
Quentin Williams Nets ESPN All Bowl Award
Let’s face it, ‘Cats DE Quentin Williams and/or Tyler Scott should have won the Gator Bowl MVP honors (instead of Jared Carpenter). However, it’s great to see the departing senior DE Williams get some love on a national level as he was recently named to the ESPN 2012 All Bowl Team. Click here to see the company he joins.
Gator Bowl Photo Op
Just one day after NU unveiled a fancy schmanzy upgrade to the food at Norris Center with Rick Bayless’ Frontera Grill, the no-matter-how-hard-they-try-we-need-a-new-student-center-to-get-people-to-go-there facility will be buzzing with cameras again. This time, Pat Fitzgerald, VP of A&R Jim Phillips and NU president Morty Schapiro will be on hand with the 2013 Gator Bowl Championship trophy to share with students and fans. The event begins at 4pm and all are invited. Click here for details.