‘Cat Tracks

Fitz ISO vs NEB 2012

The story of yesterday was definitely NU basketball related. Our preferred walk-on legend, Aaron Liberman, got a rare Wildcat feature hoops article that wasn’t angled on the fact we have never been to the NCAA Tournament. Instead, this 6-10 freshman from the Los Angeles area serves as the focal point of a rather interesting story. It turns out Liberman is only the third Orthodox Jewish basketball player to play at the Division I level and the on ramp in to his personal life, including the fact he lives in the family basement of a Jewish chaplain and that he once walked eight miles to practice on the Sabbath. I also learned that he has shin splints and will be redshirting this year, adding a seemingly ever-growing list of redshirts along with Chier Ajou and Drew Crawford. Take a read here and kudos to Ben Strauss for a neat feature.

‘Cats Hoops Schedule Just Got Harder

It seems almost impossible, but Northwestern men’s hoops schedule just got a bit harder. Michigan was named the nation’s #1 team in America when the rankings came out yesterday. Michigan’s top spot in the AP poll is their first since the Fab Five regime in 1992.  The ‘Cats got some back door pub as Wolverine’s head coach, John Beilein downplayed it a bit saying “I’ve been absorbed in Northwestern tape”.  Let’s hope that tape is stuck all around several key players as our team has a tall task on Wednesday night in Ann Arbor.

Recruiting Game Changers

An interesting read on ESPN.com about the communication rules changes that are coming on August 1.  It’s fascinating how the communication platforms, especially social media, are really changing the way recruits get contacted. Deregulation on communication devices is coming and as this article points out, it further puts an emphasis on real relationships surfacing as the key. With that in mind, I think we all know that it is another benefit to the Pat Fitzgerald approach.

10-Game Conference Slate?

Whoa. I’ll never say never, after what’s transpired in recent years, but man, this Brian Bennett feature from ESPN.com on Monday discussing a possible nine or ten game conference schedule is a daunting mental task.  There are all sorts of financial models that would need to be worked out as non-conference games are almost synonymous with “home gate” for most B1G schools.  When you look at Northwestern’s future schedules, this would actually potentially decrease our strength of schedule, considering the likes of Stanford, Notre Dame and other up-and-coming academic minded schools are on the slate.

2013 Coaching Connection

Western Michigan new head coach, PJ Fleck, hired Northwestern offensive grad assistant John Kuceyeski as the Broncos director of player personnel.

LTP N Flag Project

I’ve got a stack of the photos to get to so thanks for your patience. I’ve been having some issues inserting them in to the blog. We’ll get there and man, do we have some great ones.

 

 

 

  • NUCatFan

    NU Alum Tim McGarigle is also on the Western Michigan staff.

  • Alum Dad

    I for one would welcome additional conference games. As a season ticket holder I can’t say I’m thrilled to be paying to see Western Michigan and Maine as 2 of our 7 home games next season. I also find it irritating to have two bye weeks during the heart of the season that push two of our home games to potential cold weather dates in late November. A bye date for 11-9 makes little sense.

    • Stephen Zgrabik

      to be fair, our out of conference scheduling has been pretty good – and the western michigan game was added purely out of necessity as vandy wussed out on us.

      • Alum Dad

        I still don’t understand why we chose Western Michigan so quickly as a replacement opponent when other teams were supposedly available. Are we supposed to be excited about playing WMU and Maine in subsequent weeks? No one should complain that Ryan Field is only 60% filled when those teams are the opponents. Where is the rivalry? How did NIU and Iowa suddenly become a rivalry? Why isn’t NIU on our schedule? Think Ryan Field would be jumping for that game?

    • Ron

      I agree. Since going to the 12 game schedule in 2006, there have been 18 OOC games at Ryan Field. 7 of those were against FCS. Only 4 games were against BCS opponents, and 2 of those were in 2012. So yes, props for 2012, but in general, not anything to get excited over. Combined with the dreary atmosphere of the stadium without students yet on campus, I often tend to avoid the non-conference games.

      I also whole-heartedly agree about the bye weeks. The first Saturday after
      classes begin is a Bye? Does the Athletic Department know that the
      academic calendar at NU is on quarters? No one else is in the Big Ten,
      they ought to be able to have that annually as a home date.

    • Chasmo

      A 10-game Big Ten schedule could be a financial windfall for NU but most — if not all — other conference teams probably would lose money on the deal.
      It is very likely that NU comes close to losing money on its nonconference home games after it pays the visitor its cut of the gate because attendance is so low. Conference games fill the stands — albeit with opposing fans — and tickets to conference games cost more than nonconference games so both factors would be good for NU’s bottom line.
      However most of the rest of the league can sell out or come close to selling out their nonconference games even against Division 1AA teams so athletic directors might resist this proposal because it will cost them money.
      College football is all about money these days — although the players never get to see any of it — and for that reason it’s hard to imagine the Big Ten ever playing 10 conference games but it would be a good thing for NU.

  • Alaskawildcat

    Wow, what an opportunity we have Wednesday. Nothing to lose and yet if we eek out a win it will be monumental taking down the number one ranked team in the nation. GO CATS!

  • Mark

    I would like to see 10 conference games. Might force ND to join the Big Ten. Also, I don’t appreciate traveling from Ohio to see Maine play or even Western Michigan – but remember, big time programs fill much larger stadiums for games like these so we shouldn’t complain about having to fill 47K seats. If not ten conference games then alternate divisions with 4 home/5 away and 5 home/4 away so the division members aren’t handicapped by having fewer home games than divisional rivals.

West Division

TeamsW (Overall)L (Overall)W (B1G)L (B1G)
Minnesota0000
Northwestern0000
Wisconsin0000
Nebraska0000
Purdue0000
Iowa0000
Illinois0000

East Division

TeamsW (Overall)L (Overall)W (B1G)L (B1G)
Rutgers1000
Maryland0000
Michigan0000
Michigan State0000
Ohio State0000
Indiana0000
Penn State0000