Jim Nantz has a mind blowing Super Bowl 50 factoid


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Hello friends.

Jim Nantz, who will call the big game Sunday, offered this MVP race insight:

“As the game gets broken down a million different ways, and every possible conceivable story angle has been written before the kickoff, I want to be the first to say that if Star Lotulelei ends up the MVP, then the Super Bowl will have officially come full circle in 50 years. From (Super Bowl I MVP) Bart Starr to Star Lotulelei.”

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Northwestern Coach Pat Fitzgerald on national de-committing epidemic


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The only real hard news to emerge from today’s Pat Fitzgerald National Signing Day press conference was confirmation that that the entire coaching staff will be retained for 2016. We all suspected as such, but Fitzgerald told the media assembled at Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse that indeed everyone will be back.

Yes, even Offensive Coordinator Mick McCall, who’s job is…well, you know that McCall shouldn’t keep his job. You knew he shouldn’t keep his job last year, you knew….let’s just move on.

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Northwestern basketball: five ways to show progress this year


northwestern-basketball chris collins

All NCAA Tournament at-large berth hopes ended for Northwestern basketball the night of the home loss to Penn State a couple weekends ago. NU wasn’t on track to make the tourney entering that game, but they still had plenty of opportunities to build a resume in front of them.

The PSU loss was a resume killer, and it meant that the Wildcats had to sweep all their potential future “signature win” contests on the schedule, just to even be in the conversation. Now the new conversation is the NIT, and even that is looking like a pipe dream at best.

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College hoops in the state of Illinois unfathomably AWFUL


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loyola-butlerillini-basketball-chicago

Tomorrow begins the month of February, meaning there’s at least six more weeks of pain and tedium this college hoops season for the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois overall. The season is already just about lost for every team in the second city.

In the Land of Lincoln overall, only Southern Illinois looks poised to contend for a NCAA Tournament berth. Illinois State has a decent conference record, but their overall mark is so bad that they need to run the conference tournament table to become relevant.

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When Alex Olah might return for Northwestern basketball


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Make no mistake about it- Alex Olah is the best player on this Northwestern basketball team. Bryant McIntosh may have a higher ceiling, and he could likely have a more successful college career by the time he’s done. Tre Demps obviously gets a lot of attention, maybe more than Olah or B-Mac, but you obviously know that Demps is far from the best player on this team.

With Olah out, NU is definitely not having a Ewing Theory going on. Dererk Pardon, freshman big and spellcheck nightmare, had a monster game at Nebraska as Northwestern basketball opened the Big Ten season.

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#4 Maryland gives Northwestern basketball cold, hard reality check


northwestern basketball

This Chicago winter has been a lot like the Northwestern basketball season. The beginning was so uncharacteristically pleasant and mild. It lulled you into a false sense of security. It made you believe that the harsh, cold wake-up call might not actually be coming this year. Perhaps we’d have a pleasant surprise this time, and the road to March would be a smooth one.

After all, on December 23rd it was 63 degrees in Chicago! Record high!

And with a pillow top mattress kind of schedule, Northwestern got off to a 13-1 start, tied for the best beginning in program history.

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Northwestern football vs Tennessee: Outback Bowl Preview


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Northwestern football fans need to, in the words of Mark Ronson, “show up and show out” for this one. They have a New Year’s Six Bowl resume with a solid 10-2 record. Those two losses came to teams with a combined record of 21-3.

They’re facing another rock solid team in SEC foe Tennessee. NU deserves a lot more attention, both from the fans and the media than they have been receiving. You guys need to do a better job supporting your team.

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Northwestern basketball for real? We’ll find out very soon


northwestern-basketball chris collins

Northwestern basketball is 11-1 on the season. Statistical models indicate that they have a 94% chance of entering Big Ten play at 12-1. Their lone remaining non-conference game is home versus Loyola of Maryland on December 27th. Many of you might ask “Maryland has a Loyola?”

Illinois has a Loyola too, although everyone here has pretty much forgotten that program still exists. The Loyola Ramblers, just like UIC, DePaul and Chicago St, are invisible these days.

Northwestern basketball, on the flip side, has been receiving votes in the AP poll for four straight weeks.

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Big Ten Power Rankings: Illini 13, Northwestern 6, Purdue 2


chris-collins-northwestern-basketball

Those “crazy,” “outside the box,” and “bold” preseason Big Ten basketball predictions (Purdue 2nd, Northwestern 7th, Illinois 12th) that I made for RedEye don’t look so nuts right now do they? Our good friends over at Hammer and Rails, SB Nation’s Purdue community, do a Big Ten basketball power rankings, so that I don’t have to.

Well, they do their power rankings for their own reasons that have nothing to do with me, but the point is I don’t have to  one, and their edition is really good.

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Pat Fitzgerald calls out Playoff Committee, Stanford ranking


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It certainly bothers Northwestern Coach Pat Fitzgerald that Stanford, a team NU beat 16-6 in the season opener, is ranked so much higher than his team is in the latest College Football Playoff ranking. To his point, NU did dominate that game, in a fashion that is not truly conveyed but the 16-6 final score. Both Stanford and NU are two loss teams so I would say that Fitzgerald is on fleek with this argument.

“I don’t know who’s watching, (but there’s) a team ranked X spots ahead of us who we beat, I don’t get it,” Pat Fitzgerald said about the College Football Playoff Committee rankings.

“Maybe they’ll get it right,” he said obviously referring to Stanford, but not using the name Stanford, who at #9, are ranked 7 spots ahead of Northwestern, who are #16 in the latest set of rankings.

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Pat Fitzgerald responds to the “Northwestern is boring” opinions


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Pat Fitzgerald and his Northwestern football team likely locked up a New Year’s Six Bowl today with a decisive, if not aesthetically pleasing victory over their rival Illinois today. The main storyline was obviously the Fighting Illini announcing the removal of “interim” from Coach Bill Cubit‘s title and giving him a two year extension. 

The announcement was made right before kickoff in the hopes that it would alleviate distraction and potentially propel the Illini to victory and bowl eligibility.

Pat Fitzgerald had other plans, as the Cats led for more on than three quarters and won 24-14.

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#17 Northwestern football vs Illinois Game Preview, Prediction


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#BecauseItsTheLOLHat

Yes, the Land of Lincoln Hat, or the Land of Lincoln Trophy is on the line when #17 Northwestern football plays Illinois at Soldier Field for what is an Illini “home game.” A season ending, rivalry trophy game with Illini bowl hopes potentially hanging in the balance. Hence the hockey style hashtag above. Expect hockey style in-game Tweets for this too.

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