Pat Fitzgerald describes his Northwestern team in NSFW fashion


If you’re 30 years old or younger, your perception of Northwestern football is pretty favorable. You know the Pat Fitzgerald era of five straight bowl games. You also know what NSFW means. If you’re over 50, you have a a very different, much less favorable view of Northwestern football. Also, you maybe don’t know that NSFW stands for “Not Safe For Work.”

That means naughty language and/or pictures of a person’s naughty bits. This post has some of the former, but sadly, none of the latter.

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Drew Hare: NIU finds Jordan Lynch successor vs Northwestern

drew hare


(Update: here’s my segment from this morning discussing Northwestern on 1620 The Zone KOZN)

There’s nothing quite like the Northwestern secondary to cure what ails ya. In Drew Hare, NIU’s third quarterback to play in Evanston that day, the Huskies have found the guy to replace Jordan Lynch. Hare fired two touchdown tosses to Da’Ron Brown, the second of which was by far the most aesthetically pleasing play of the entire game.

Although that’s not saying much when you consider neither team even scored until midway through the third quarter. Drew Hare led Brown perfectly on a 59-yard scoring, splitting the mediocre at best Northwestern secondary.

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Northwestern WR Kyle Prater needs to be team’s “star” now


For Northwestern WR Kyle Prater, “it’s now or never.” (Apologies to Elvis Presley on that)

He had a breakout game Saturday, 87 yards receiving and his first collegiate touchdown. Unfortunately, it came in a very bad loss to a mid-major school, so it was a very bittersweet day for Prater.

“Unfortunately, I had to get my first touchdown with a loss, but like I said I’m humbled,” Prater said.

“I’ve overcome a lot.”

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Northwestern Wildcats Football: lack of talent, not the union source of problems


Let’s take a pre-emptive strike right now against anybody who commences the “Kain Colter/Unionization movement became a distraction and ruined the team” narrative.

You and I and everyone else who follows the team everyday know that storyline (which is coming from somewhere at some point this season) is a bunch of malarkey. And not Tennessee Titans Tight Ends Coach Mike Mularkey. Northwestern Wildcats Football is suffering right now- and it’s due to a lack of depth and talent. It’s the competency of the labor itself (players, coaches, assistants, Pat Fitzgrald) not a labor rights movement.

This may sound like a straw man argument, but trust me, some national writer desperate for a “hot take” (and possessing just an entry level knowledge of the program), or some Big Ten blogger doing a cliche power rankings, lazily typing in the first thing he associates with Northwestern, or an inexperienced student daily scribe, or someone in this vein, will make this flawed assertion.

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VIDEO: Pat Fitzgerald makes Olbermann’s “Worst Person in the World”


Northwestern Coach Pat Fitzgerald made “the worst person in the sports world” tonight on Keith Olbermann’s show “Olbermann” on ESPN2.

Fitz got runner-up, why?

Press play on the embedded YouTube below:

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Northwestern Wildcats vs. NIU Huskies: Jim Phillips Bowl Preview


On Saturday we’ll see to quote Dr. Peter Venkman in “Ghostbusters,” “cats and dogs living together!” as the Northwestern Wildcats host the NIU Huskies. It’s the team who markets itself as “Chicago’s Big Ten Team” versus “Chicago’s #MACtion Team.”  NU opened up as a 2.5 point favorite, and now the spread is up to 7.5 for some inexplicable reason.

Apparently, Las Vegas thinks very highly of Jordan Lynch and overrates the impact of his graduation. This match-up of programs striving to be Chicago’s second favorite team after Notre Dame is also the “Jim Phillips Bowl.”

Prior to arriving in Evanston in 2008, Phillips served as Northern Illinois’ athletic director for four years beginning in 2004. 

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Have we seen the best of Trevor Siemian at Northwestern?


Before he suffered his “lower body injury” in 2013, Northwestern QB Trevor Siemian was one of the best pure passers in the Big Ten. However, his production slipped in midseason as his ankle/foot etc slowed him down. His accuracy and efficiency declined. In a couple games, Siemian made the critical mistake of staring down his primary receiver when near his own South end zone. Those plays were critical in home losses to Minnesota and Ohio State.

Trevor got right versus Illinois, but then again who doesn’t? The Illini corners were very young and showed zero progress as the season went on in 2013. Trevor Siemian put up 4 bills + on one of the worst secondaries in college football.

Still, throwing for 400 yards was a great way for Trevor Siemian to end this season on a positive note, and to be optimistic for this year.

What happened in week one versus Cal makes everyone less optimistic.

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Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald and Cal’s Sonny Dykes bury the hatchet


Given what transpired last year, one might have expected a somewhat tense, maybe a bit uneasy post game exchange between California Head Coach Sonny Dykes and Northwestern Coach Pat Fitzgerald today. When NU beat Cal 44-30 in the 2013 season opener, Dykes accused NU of faking injuries, in order to stall time and slow down the fast paced Bear Raid offense.

Fitzgerald responded to those comments as any one of us would, had someone questioned our professional integrity.

He wasn’t happy about the flopping accusation.

sonny dykes cal golden bears

Today, was a very different story though. Now, all is well.

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Northwestern, Illini football 2014 season prospectus


Lots of rapid fire and hot seat type of stuff as we enter week one for both the Illinois Fighting Illini and the Northwestern Wildcats. You have questions, I have answers. You can catch me talking Illini and NU every Tuesday morning at 10:40 AM CST.

Here’s my segment from this morning on KOZN 1620 The Zone, NBC Sports Radio Omaha. 

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Cal Golden Bears vs NU Wildcats: brutally honest preview


Yes, we have real football again! FINALLY. College football begins in four days. Northwestern football is back! The Cal Golden Bears are back! The Big Ten is back! The Pac 12 is back!

And NU (remember it’s NU, STOP saying NW) vs Cal is one of the better games of this college football weekend. The spread is between 5 and 6 points, depending on who you talk to. Or don’t talk to. This is a family show here! The point is, most Big Ten and Pac 12 teams are loading up on cupcakes in week one, while Northwestern  and Cal Golden Bears are playing each other squad.

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New Northwestern football landscape evaluated by ESPN pundits

jim phillips-northwestern-football

So where does Northwestern football go now? For the receivers, your big playmakers need to be Mike McHugh and Cameron Dickerson. I know, right? Totally underwhelming. Actually, it will be Tony Jones and Kyle Prater. And as you know it’s been all hype and little production from Prater. Replacing Mark will Justin Jackson (Pat Fitzgerald hates burning a kid’s shirt, but he has to) backing up the feature back Trayvon Green.

Here’s ESPN’s Jesse Palmer and David Pollack discussing how NU football moves on from this latest saga. I joined them on media conference call yesterday to get an overall outlook on where the season could be headed.

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Venric Mark, Josh Freeman, Jameis Winston and the curse of jersey #5


Venric Mark is just the latest example of how every star football player who wears #5 will inevitably get into some major off-the-field drama. At least, he’s a local example, Jameis Winston is obviously the perfect national example.

I know this because #5 was my number when I played high school football, and I still use it in all my internet handle/email things paulbo05 etc.

Details of the curse of #5 articulated here.

Examples include: Everett Golson, Manti Te’o, Josh Freeman, Reggie Bush, Rashard Mendenhall, Kerry Collins, Paul Hornung, Mikel Leshoure, Donovan McNabb Jameis Winston, and Chris Kluwe.

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