Amazingly, we still have about 10 tickets left to the LTP NU CFB 2013 Kickoff party MONDAY night at Howells & Hood at 435 N. Michigan Ave in Chicago. It’s in the Trib building, home to WGN and our man Dave Eanet. We’ve got Dan Persa, Zak Kustok and Steve Schnur on tap to answer some questions and about 150 fellow ‘Cat diehards ready to embibe and celebrate an open bar with good eats all for $25 per head. Simply click here and purchase your tickets. If there are any left on Monday, they’ll be $35 at the door. If you have any issues, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll take care of you.
Several of the Wildcat luminaries below will be joining us for the festivities on Monday. I reached out to ESPN.com’s Adam Rittenberg, Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein, WGN’s Dave Eanet, Chicago Sun Times’ Seth Gruen, Wildcat Report’s Louie Vaccher, PurpleWildcats.com’s Nick Medline, SippinOnPurple’s Rodger Sherman, InsideNU’s Kevin Trahan and of course Phillip Rossman-Reich to get their fearless predictions to six simple questions:
- What would you vote NU in the national preseason poll if you could?
- What will be their overall record and conference record?
- What place will they finish in the Legends Division?
- Who will they lose to?
- Who is your pick for surprise player of the year?
- What bowl will the ‘Cats land in?
Here is what our fearless forecasters said…
Now, let’s give out some props, context and commentary. In no particular order
- Teddy Greenstein and Louie Vaccher were the only two to call an upset of Ohio State
- Seth Gruen was bold enough to have NU win the Legends tiebreaker and then get to the Rose Bowl (with OSU beating us in the B1G title game). I really hadn’t even yet considered the implications of playing Ohio State twice in the same year.
- Dave Eanet gets props for “11 wins” as everyone else gave the record through the regular season.
- Louie Vaccher claimed that even though we’ll tie for first and win the tiebreaker, we’ll get leapfrogged by a bigger name program for the Capital One bowl.
- Kevin Trahan couldn’t pick a 3rd loss, but believes we’ll have one.
- PRR and I ranked NU the highest – at 16 – right where we left off in the Coaches Poll last year.
- Sippin’s Rodger Sherman picked #22 simply because he’s infatuated with Taylor Swift.
- Louie Vaccher on his Deonte Gibson (my pick too) pick – “I’m not sure if he qualifies as a surprise or not, but he is primed for a monster season.”
- Rodger had the same sentiment, questioning what a “surprise” pick really is and explained it as only he can:
It’s really tough to find a “surprise” because everybody comes back, yanno? Does Dan Vitale count? Dude had 28 catches last year, but I really see him being quite Dunsmore-y with all his versatility to either split downfield or wreak havoc on a shovel play. Slightly more tackle-able, although he was just a freshman and Drake Dunsmore was an unstoppable force of nature.
On defense, I think Traveon Henry is going to step up nicely in the secondary and make that a unit that’s three-fourths competent, which is pretty good, so far as Northwestern’s history in the department goes. – Rodger Sherman’s explanation for his “surprise pick”
- Teddy Greenstein gets the wisecrack award for picking NU #22 in the preseason poll.
- Gruen, Eanet and Vaccher had the ‘Cats getting to Indy. When you consider that, the math doesn’t work out, b/c there should be a 14-game total for those entrants, but you get the point. All of us, except for Dave Eanet picked the total regular season record.
- Everyone who picked the ‘Cats as the Legends Division winner had NU tied for that mark. No one had them as an outright winner.
AND THEN THERE IS THIS LEVEL OF EXPECTATION…
OK, the NU pundits are one thing. You expect high expectations. But, check out what was gracing the front page of Yahoo! (not just Yahoo! Sports) today – Northwestern as the super sleeper team to win the BCS.
Meet The Team Night – TONIGHT!
Ryan Field should be buzzing tonight as Northwestern Football hosts the annual Meet the Team Night (6pm ct, Randy Walker Terrace at Ryan Field). It’s always a family friendly way to get fired up for the season. Fitz will speak and the 2013 captains will be announced. You can grab some eats and let the kiddies run loose for a bit. I won’t be attending this year, but in the past my family has “shopped” around for ONE player to meet an have a longer conversation with and we adopt said player as “our” player for the season. Guys like Bryce McNaul and Brian Peters have been the lucky winners in past seasons. It makes it pretty fun during the season.