#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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Brutally honest B1G Basketball rankings; Bo Ryan supreme overlord

bo-ryan-big ten basketball

As Tom Izzo pointed out Wednesday night in Chicago, Bo Ryan and the Badgers are sitting up top, and then you can flip a coin 2-10 in the Big Ten this season. That’s entirely correct. The Badgers are the class of the league. There’s a whole bunch of teams that are in the NCAA Tourney and NIT mix in (2-10) in the second tier. Then there’s a third tier of teams that won’t be going to the post season.

So enjoy it Bo Ryan, you’re in the penthouse.

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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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Northwestern football: big factor in B1G West race


By defeating #17 Wisconsin today, Northwestern football took out one of the two teams that everybody thought would decide the Big Ten West. They’ll get their crack at the other one (Nebraska Cornhuskers) at home two weeks from now. If Pat Fitzgerald can beat the Huskers, then a place in Indianapolis for the Big Ten title game is theirs for the taking.

With a win over the Badgers in hand, only the Huskers and themselves stand in the way of Northwestern football reaching Indy on December 6th.

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VIDEO: Wisconsin Badgers upset at Northwestern; field storming ensues


The Big Ten is full of “OMGFacts!” Examples include: The Wisconsin Badgers have not won at Northwestern since 1999. Illinois had as many BCS Bowl Berths as Iowa. Northwestern has a more recent conference title than Nebraska. Tim Beckman is 1-21 versus power five conference teams at Illinois. Tim Beckman is still the head coach at Illinois.

Let’s focus on that first one if we could. Depending on your sports book of choice, the Wisconsin Badgers were 7.5 to 8.5 point favorites on Saturday when they came to Ryan Field. Seems a bit high considering they haven’t won in Evanston in 15 years, right?

Make it 16.

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Buccaneers upgrade QB Mike Kafka; Tampa goes Kafkaesque


The Tampa Bay Bay Buccaneers are going Kakfaesque. Sort of.

Yes, after failing to make a significant impact with the New England Patriots, Jacksonville Jaguars and Philadelphia Eagles, Mike Kafka is promoted from the Buccaneers practice squad, to the active roster.

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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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