Northwestern Football a B1G West Title Contender Say Preseason Preview Magazines

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Perusing the 2017 college football preseason preview magazines there seems to be a consensus among the Northwestern football forecasts. Athlon, Lindy’s and Street & Smith’s all see the Wildcats as legitimate contenders to be in Indianapolis come the first week of December.

Yes, the prognosticators believe NU will be among the front-runners for winning the B1G West this fall.

Lindy’s predicts Northwestern football to finish second in the B1G West, and ranks them 21st nationally. For the “our call” summation statement they write “Pat Fitzgerald has solidified his program to such an extent that winning the division is a distinct possibility.”

northwestern football nyse

Street & Smith’s picks the Cats to finish fourth in the division, but projects them to the Holiday Bowl (versus Utah), and offers this cautiously optimistic passage in their overall up beat prospectus of the team:

“Northwestern is capable of making that run to the top of the division, but keep in mind the Wildcats opened last season with losses to Western Michigan and Illinois State…Provided Northwestern avoids a slow September, double digit wins, and perhaps more are a strong possibility.”

Turning to Athlon, they also forecast a Holiday Bowl berth (against Oregon) and a second place finish in the B1G West. The publication goes out on a limb to say that Northwestern football will finish 8-4 this season, and 5-4 in the B1G. Nationally, they don’t rank the Cats quite as high, placing them 41st overall. Overall though the preseason sentiment for Fitzgerald’s team is more upbeat now than it was a year ago.

pinstripe bowl

That’s most likely a product of both momentum and the recency effect. Last year’s Cats started very slow but finished strong, with a definitive closing argument- a solid statement win over Pittsburgh in the Pinstripe Bowl. Thus, a Northwestern team coming off a 7-6 season is getting more pundit love than the squad coming off a 10-3 campaign the year before.

Again, that’s probably because the 2015 team ended with a thud, a no show Outback Bowl performance versus Tennessee.

The last time a Northwestern football team elicited this kind of optimism in the preseason was probably 2013, when they were coming off the Gator Bowl win.

That’s the power of momentum and the recency effect.

pinstripe bowl

Shortly after the Pinstripe Bowl, we did our way too early Northwestern football season preview, which you can read at this link.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. Banks, a former writer for the Washington TimesNBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes to WGN CLTV and KOZN

Follow him on TwitterInstagramSound Cloud, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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