Is Northwestern seeing progress in Chris Collins year 2?


Northwestern Wildcats Coach Chris Collins following his teams 65-56 loss at the #23 Butler Bulldogs.

“This was a step in the right direction, we have not been playing well, although we were disappointed in the end result, this is the best we’ve played in awhile. We were right there. We just played a really good team on their home floor that’s tough to beat.”

“I like the way we played,” he continued.

“I felt like this is the first time we played like the team that I’m going to be excited to watch grow. I haven’t felt that in previous games.”

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Pat Fitzgerald makes weird, inaccurate season summation statement

pat fitzgerald-fitzerland-nu

I’m very surprised that both the local and the national media overlooked this bizarre and grossly inaccurate statement Northwestern Coach Pat Fitzgerald made following the 47-33 loss to his hated intra-state rival on Saturday. Fitzgerald actually sounded a lot like the Coach on the other sideline, Tim Beckman. You could says that Fitzgerald “pulled a Beckman,” by doing a “if you take out X plays and Y points” and we finish….Let’s just get to the quote:

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Illini vs Northwestern: Foster Farms Bowl play-in game preview


Said Illini Head Coach Tim Beckman at yesterday’s news conference: “It’s almost like a playoff game, you got to keep winning to keep playing.”

“It kind of comes down to a one game season,” said Northwestern Coach Pat Fitzgerald.

That’s right, 5-6 Illinois at 5-6 Northwestern. This year, the LOL Trophy game isn’t just LMAO or ROTFL, it’s also meaningful. It’s for more than the Land of Lincoln hat. It’s for a bowl berth. Probably a bowl you’ve never heard of. The Foster Farms Bowl is in a great location (the San Francisco 49ers brand new home in Santa Clara). If the winner of this game doesn’t get some “California Love,” then they’re relegated to Detroit. (That’s what the Quick Lane Bowl is called this year)

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Purdue vs Northwestern: sneaky meaningful game preview

jack mitchell

The Purdue Boilermakers versus the Northwestern Wildcats is a “sneaky meaningful” and “sneaky compelling” game.

All season long we’ve heard about how each program is moving in a certain direction. And that would be in opposite directions. There is no doubt that Purdue has improved this season; but how much? If they think they’ve really surpassed Northwestern in the Big Ten pecking order, now is the time to prove it. And for all the cries about the decline of Northwestern’s program this season, (and going back to last year too) the big upset in South Bend this past Saturday halted that talk.

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Brian Kelly explains his controversial decision to go for 2


Brian Kelly made a very controversial decision to go for two, and a lot of the people in the press box blamed #15 Notre Dame’s loss on that very decision. You saw the game, so you can make up your own mind. If you didn’t here’s the Q&A Brian Kelly had with reporters in the press room explaining his justification to attempt the two point conversion.

I’ll leave the speculation, debate and opining up to you. The comment section is below, speak your mind. Or Tweet me @paulmbanks. Here’s the transcript:

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VIDEO: Field view of Northwestern’s OT game winning FG at #15 Notre Dame

jack mitchell

Northwestern’s Jack Mitchell is B.M.O.C. tonight. He drilled a 45 yard field goal to send today’s contest into overtime; then nailed a 41 yarder to pull off the 18 point upset.  #18 Notre Dame (7-3) suffered their first loss at home. The Northwestern Wildcats (4-6) boast wins over Big Ten foes Penn State (less impressive than it sounds), Wisconsin (pretty impressive actually, as the Badgers may have won the Big Ten West division now) and now Notre Dame this season.

Here’s video of the game-winning kick:

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Northwestern basketball has best recruiting class in a very long time


Here’s how the Big Ten was represented in the recruiting rankings according to 24/7 Sports:  Ohio State #7, Illinois #8, Michigan State #11, Nebraska #23, Wisconsin #30, Penn State #31, Minnesota #36, Northwestern #43 and Indiana #49. Rivals had OSU #8, MSU #12 and the Illini #16 in their top 25. This is new territory for Northwestern basketball. The last time they probably had a recruiting class ranked this high….I’m not sure recruiting services even existed.

NU has never had a class this good in the era of the recruiting-industrial complex that exists today.

Chris Collins formally and officially announced the signing of Jordan Ash (Bolingbrook, Ill/St. Joseph) and Aaron Falzon (Newton, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon).

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Comprehensive 2015 Northwestern basketball season preview

northwestern-basketball chris collins

 With the college basketball season tipping off next Friday, this is your Northwestern basketball “starting five,” the five biggest things you need to know/the five most pressing questions.

As it’s the preseason, there are no “knowns.” There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don’t know. Sorry for getting Donald Rumsfeldian (hey, he’s from the North Shore! New Trier graduate) on you, but here’s your Northwestern basketball starting five.

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2015 NCAA Tournament Bracketology

2015 final four

It is tip-off week for the 2014-15 college basketball season.  Here is an extremely early projection of the 2015 NCAA Tournament Bracketology.   You will notice on the Bracket Matrix grades that The Sports Bank’s bracketology has been more accurate than ESPN’s Joe Lunardi four of the past five years.

UPDATED: 10/10/14
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NU DE Ifeadi Odenigbo looks up to Man City D Vincent Kompany


For Ifeadi Odenigbo, there are two huge games this weekend. In the first one on Saturday morning, he’ll have a tremendous influence on the result. Northwestern visits Iowa City to take on the Hawkeyes at 11 A.M. (Miss Iowa, and Miss America finalist, Aly Olson will perform before kickoff)

Sunday morning at 7:30 A.M, Odenigbo will be a distant but passionate observer for the Manchester Derby (pronounced “dar-by”). Ifeadi Odenigbo (pronounced “if-AH-dee o-DEN-uh-bo”) is a dedicated Manchester City supporter, and this weekend the Citizens take on their hated rivals Manchester United. It’s a must win for both sides as the defending champions (City) have won just twice in their last six. Newcastle eliminated them from the Capital One Cup on Tuesday.

United enter the contest in high spirits having salvaged a point versus a Chelsea juggernaut that looks like it could easily run away with the title.

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#19 Nebraska Cornhuskers vs Northwestern Preview and Prediction

bo pelini cat nebraska-cornhuskers

It’s the NU bowl.

Also, the furry feline friend bowl as both programs have cat mascots. In regards to on-the-field material, Nebraska Cornhuskers versus Northwestern Wildcats marks a battle to take control of the Big Ten West division. Wisconsin just doesn’t have it this year, so the race for that slot in the B1G Championship game will come down to the two NUs, and the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

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How Deion Sanders inspired Northwestern RB Justin Jackson

justin jackson

In true freshman Justin Jackson, Northwestern has found their featured back on offense. Regardless of what the depth chart says, Jackson (@JManPrime21 on Twitter) is the true starter. NU has found life of offense after Venric Mark. Certainly, they’ve found a a new focus in the rush-first attack. Coming closer to finding an offensive identity is a big reason why the Cats have gone 3-0 since starting 0-2.

They now are a major player in the B1g West Division race; where they control their own destiny. 

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