P.J. Fleck has Influential Role Model in Pat Fitzgerald

p-j-fleck

Western Michigan football Coach P.J. Fleck has a public persona similar to that of Northwestern head man Pat Fitzgerald.

It’s not by coincidence.

Fleck modeled himself after Fitzgerald, as Fitz graciously mentored him at a time when the WMU leader was still cutting his teeth in the coaching world.

Both are well known for being high intensity, having a strong work ethic and occasionally YELLING when the situation requires it. That’s not by accident and Saturday will see the two clash at Ryan Field in the season opener for both teams.

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Joe Flacco’s Little Brother WMU’s Backup QB; Someday Potentially “Elite”?

joe-flacco-baltimore

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco  has a little brother who also plays quarterback. Tom Flacco, a sophomore at Western Michigan University, is the WMU Broncos QB2. Senior Zach Terrell is ahead of him, and he’s really good. In fact, Athlon rated Terrell the 24th best QB in the nation this season.

Tom Flacco is more of a “change of pace quarterback;” you know like a “change of pace back.” He’s a run first quarterback, unlike Terrell, and unlike his brother.

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Who is Trevor Siemian? the new Denver Broncos QB1

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Before he suffered his “lower body injury” in 2013, the latest individual to be named Denver Broncos QB1, Trevor Siemian, was the best pure passer in the Big Ten; at that time.

It’s not hyperbole. In 2013-14 Big Ten was a tailback driven league, and most of the QBs were dual threat, read-option guys, and then Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian was the best straight up, drop back passer the league had for a couple years. So while most people right now really don’t know who Siemian is, and even fewer people know a whole lot about him, please take notice of all the tremendous potential that he has.

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2016 Northwestern Football Season Preview, Predictions

pat fitzgerald

College football is here; finally!

Today will see Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald, along with team captains: WR Austin Carr, CB Matthew Harris, OL Connor Mahoney and LB Anthony Walker Jr. preview the season opener Saturday at home versus Western Michigan (we’ll have the game preview in this space here tomorrow).

The 2015 Northwestern football team quietly tied the school record for wins last season. Because they were lacking in style points last season, not as many people noticed as you would have expected.

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Anthony Walker: Northwestern Football #1 Figuratively and Literally

anthony-walker

As the great St. Louis born poet Cornell Haynes, better known as Nelly, explained in 2002: “what does it take to be #1? #2 is not a winner and #3 nobody remembers.” Or as Chicago native Kanye West told us, alongside Pharrell in 2006, “#1, can’t put nothing above that.” 

The prestigious #1 jersey at Northwestern will go to Linebacker Anthony Walker in 2016.

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Northwestern Football Aware Passing Attack Needs Big Improvement

northwestern-football-clayton-thorson

Northwestern football Coach Pat Fitzgerald discussed a multitude of topics at NU Media day, including his approval of QB1 Clayton Thorson.

The returning starter became the first freshman QB in Northwestern history to win 10 games in his first season at the helm in 2015. 

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NU RB Justin Jackson Has Not One but Two Nicknames

justin-jackson

Northwestern football Media Day is coming next week, with Big Ten Media Days already behind us. Coming off a very pleasantly surprising 10 win season, with an important core of key players returning, hopes should be high in 2016, right?

Lindy’s names Justin Jackson the ball-carrier” as the preseason Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and they also include him on the preseason all-conference team alongside linebacker Anthony Walker. The junior LB is making preseason All-American teams everywhere and Lindy’s ranks Walker 6th on their list of top NFL talent in the Big Ten.

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Pat Fitzgerald Describes “Renaissance” of Northwestern Football

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Pat Fitzgerald and his Northwestern football team are coming off a very successful, if not aesthetically pleasing 2015 season.

They won 10 games, usually in resounding and commanding fashion, but they did it with very few, if any, style points. NU was not a team that achieved a lot of big plays. They just weren’t a chunk/big explosion play kind of team and it made for a less than exciting brand of college football. The passing game severely regressed as the season went on, and thus the offense overall had declined by November.

These issues rather reinforced the old, and grossly inaccurate “plucky underdog who somehow overachieves” Northwestern football stereotype.

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All B1G Teams as Simpsons characters: Michigan Wolverines =Mr. Burns

mr-burns-waylon-smithers

Today kicks off B1G Media Days and your Michigan Wolverines are now deemed the league favorite. Actually, some sports books have ascribed UM the National Championship favorite. Ok, that’s a bit presumptive! Yes, we know that the media fawns over Jim Harbaugh more than they fawn over any other individual, but I still don’t know how we really got here on that one.

Of course, I also have no idea how a casino magnate with three wives and a disturbing tendency to publicly lust over his own daughter became the Presidential nominee of the political party dominated by the religious right, as 2016 is truly bizarro world.

How did we get here? The last time the Michigan Wolverines were last nationally relevant in 2006 and their most recent title came in 1997.

michigan wolverines basketball

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College Football Award Watch Lists: Just Please Stop Already!

college football

Yesterday kicked off, as the great Elvis Costello sang, “the other side of summer.” That’s because Tuesday July 5th initiated the evil scourge that is College Football Award Watch List Season. These pointless press releases are sent out as breaking “news.”

Not only does the journalist receive the email blasts from the award and college football organization themselves, every single school sends out their own individual email blast themselves. Now you cannot blame the SIDs for this. It’s not their fault and don’t shoot the messenger.

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Tre Demps Makes Chicago Bulls Summer League Roster

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The Chicago Bulls announced their team which will participate in the 2016 Las Vegas Summer League.  This year’s #1 draft pick, #14 overall, Denzel Valentine out of Michigan State (the last pick in the lottery) headlines the roster, which includes fellow Spartan alumni Raymar Morgan.

Yes, the same Raymar Morgan who is balling with the Spartan Heroes (Michigan State Alumni) in “The Basketball Tournament.”

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Northwestern Basketball Getting Badly Needed Venue Upgrade

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Northwestern basketball announced today that they’re fixing the biggest problem that they have as a program. NU plays in Welsh-Ryan Arena, a 8,117 capacity facility erected in 1961, but feels like 1861 in certain facets, especially when juxtaposed against the likes of Big Ten’s bigger and better venues.

Two years ago, Northwestern basketball unveiled a new video board, the first ever for W-R, and the only major upgrade the facility has seen since 1983. Now, they’re going all in, with a facelift that will cost $110 million and modernize the facility. This is a huge, HUGE day for NU basketball, as they take a giant step towards becoming a legitimate Big Ten program.

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