Green Bay Packers Want to Interview Pat Fitzgerald for Open Coaching Position

pat fitzgerald

According to multiple reports, Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald is on the list of candidates to potentially fill the Green Bay Packers head coaching vacancy. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the ball is in Fitzgerald’s court right now too. The Packers have contacted Fitz about scheduling an interview, but the NU mentor is currently focused on preparing his team to take on #17 Utah in the Holiday Bowl tomorrow (full game preview and prediction at this link).

We won’t know until after the bowl game whether or not Fitz will hear their Packers out on their offer, but he “has shut down countless interview requests from the NFL in the past,” according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

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Holiday Bowl Preview, Prediction: #22 Northwestern Wildcats vs #17 Utah Utes

Since 2014, the Holiday Bowl has featured a matchup of Pac-12 and Big Ten teams, making it a sort of junior varsity version of the Rose Bowl. It’s kind of like how San Diego is the j.v. version of Los Angeles in some ways. That’s not meant to be a slam, San Diego is an awesome city.

The 2018 edition of the Holiday Bowl features a match-up of the teams that lost the Big 10 (#22 Northwestern Wildcats) and Pac 12 (#17 Utah Utes) championship games. The winners of those two conference title games, Ohio State and Washington, will meet in the Rose Bowl the next day. So really, this year more than ever, the Holiday Bowl is a quasi-opening act for the Granddaddy of them all.

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Oklahoma Sooners Provide Most Compelling Northwestern Non-Conf Home Game in Quite Some Time

lon kruger oklahoma

Aside from the very narrow loss to #4 Michigan, the new Welsh-Ryan Arena hasn’t really yet experienced a true rocking atmosphere. While it was indeed electric inside the new barn that evening, the crowd was half (or more) Michigan Wolverines supporters. Friday night brings the Oklahoma Sooners, the first team out of the AP poll and the second out of the coaches polls this week to Evanston.

The back half of a home and home series with OU, this is pretty much the most exciting non-conference home game that Northwestern has seen since…since…well, quite a long time. It can be tough to get a good quality pre-conference opponent to come to your gym, because no one really wants to do home and homes.

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Michigan, Michigan State at Top of Early Big Ten Hoops Power Rankings

michigan wolverines

Early December polls and rankings are to be taken with a grain of salt, but we do know this about the Big Ten- “the Michigans” currently rule the roost. College hoops is a sport as synonymous with gambling as any you will find anywhere in the entire world. Wagering on college basketball at this time of year can be like real money online pokies, there is a ton of luck and chance involved. However, if you want a blue chip then #GoBlue, as the Michigan Wolverines have consistently shown a capability to beat the spread by by a comfortable margin.

They are the clear number one in the Big Ten with arch-rival Michigan State a solid #2 in the league. Next to each team name below you’ll find the following numerical values: overall record, conference record, AP ranking (when applicable) Sagarin rating and kenpom rating.

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#5 Michigan Basketball, Big Ten Bellwether, Provide Good Early Test for Northwestern Wildcats

JOHN BEILEIN

University of Michigan- basketball school? Well, it certainly feels like it right now as the Wolverines moved up to #5 in the latest AP poll, and hold the highest current position of any Big Ten team. John Beilein has guided Michigan basketball to two national title game appearances, three elite eights and four sweet sixteens in the past five seasons.

Meanwhile Jim Harbaugh, who is paid more than three times as much as Beilein, has yet to accomplish any of the three things he was hired to do in 2015 (beat Ohio State, win Big Ten titles, compete for national titles).

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Northwestern Football Hopes to Make B1G Title Games the New Normal

For Northwestern football, the goal is to have it so Big Ten title game appearances are no longer novel or new, but instead routine. The Big Ten has gotten so used to seeing Wisconsin and Ohio State (sometimes both at the same time) in the league title game that when we do see another program earn a place in Indianapolis, it’s a bold change of pace.

#20 Northwestern lost 45-24 to #6 Ohio State tonight in a game that saw the Wildcats claw back into it during the third quarter, but fade away early in the fourth. After the game, Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald expressed his ambitions of making this game essentially part of the annual schedule.

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#6 Ohio State Buckeyes vs #19 Northwestern Wildcats: B1G Title Game Preview

amos alonzo stagg trophy big ten title

The 2018 Big Ten Championship Game will feature the #6 Ohio State Buckeyes versus the #19 Northwestern Wildcats, a match-up of two teams at opposite ends of the league spectrum on several dimensions. OSU has arguably the largest and most zealous fan base in the league; NU not so much. 

Likewise when it comes to media attention and history of overall success. Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald on the attention disparity between Northwestern and Ohio State:

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Why Pat Fitzgerald Was the Only Guy who Deserved B1G Coach of the Year

pat fitzgerald

At 4:51 p.m. today Northwestern football announced that the most famous #51 in their history had won 2018 Big Ten Coach of the Year. Pat Fitzgerald, whose name co-adorns the league’s linebacker of the year award with another #51 from the state of Illinois, Dick Butkus, claims the coaching honor of the first time in his 13 year career.

It’s long overdue, especially when you consider how consistent his teams have been over the years at a.) getting better as the season goes along b.) winning on the road and c.) winning conference games as they are now 15-1 in their last 16 road games.

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#20 Northwestern Wildcats vs Illinois Fighting Illini Game Preview, Prediction

northwestern

Get ready to LOL! It’s the Land of Lincoln Hat Game, 2018 version, and yes we are publishing our game preview on Sunday night/Monday morning, depending on what part of the world you’re reading this.

Hey, it’s Thanksgiving week and that means just about nobody will be online Tuesday onward. Therefore, we gotta do what we gotta do. We’ll put this Illinois Fighting Illini at #20 Northwestern Wildcats game preview story back at the top later in the week. 

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Chris Collins on His Reaction to Northwestern Winning the Big Ten West

chris collins northwestern

“There’s no bigger fan of their program than me,” said Northwestern basketball coach Chris Collins in regards to Northwestern football and their historic victory on Saturday.

Northwestern, football variety, has clinched the first Big Ten title game appearance in school history, and they did it with two games still left to play thanks to the fact that both Wisconsin and Purdue lost on Saturday, supplementing NU’s double digit upset win in Iowa City. 

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Notre Dame Football: Who is the Biggest Remaining Obstacle to a CFP Berth?

brian kelly notre dame

Your 2018 Notre Dame football team is currently 9-0, having just bested the Northwestern Wildcats 31-21 in Evanston. Notre Dame entered the game ranked third in the AP and coaches’ polls, and fourth in the College Football Playoff rankings- the only poll that truly matters these days.

If ND is unable to stay perfect in their final three games- will their playoff chances demise with them? What if we see more losses from the top teams down the stretch? Does that mean that more than one single loss team will get into the final four?

What we do know for certain is that two losses, by any combination, will kibosh any team’s playoff chances. So where do the biggest challenges lie down the stretch for the Fighting Irish?

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Why 2018 Northwestern is Sort of Like 2016-17 Manchester United

alex-olahmanchester-united-logo

As the tired cliché goes “you can only play the opponents in front of you.” Building off that, you can’t control who is in your league, and how strong or weak they are. Another shopworn platitude “a win’s a win” is certainly true, especially in cases where the sample size, the opportunities for wins, losses and draws were significant.

These lessons certainly applied to Manchester United in 2016-17, the first year Jose Mourinho was in charge and they achieved a sorta kinda “plastic treble.” You can’t really describe that team as good, or bad, but you must give them kudos for being “achieved.” The current Northwestern football team is quite similar, not actually good, nor bad either though, and just kind of mediocre.

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