7.28.2008

2008 BIG TEN PREVIEW: NORTHWESTERN

We wanted to put Northwestern higher. We really did. Unlike the other 3 teams we've previewed so far, we expect the Wildcats to be competitive. But at the end of the day, it's still Northwestern and you can't win in the Big Ten without being able to take a punch in the mouth. Back to the cellar we go:

2007 Preview: Here
2007 Record: 6-6 (3-5)
Projected 2008 Finish: 8th
Returning Starters: 15
Head Coach: Pat Fitzgerald
Best Player: QB C.J. Bacher

Good News:

- Opening with Syracuse and Duke - the two worst BCS programs in the country - then finishing off the nonconference slate with Southern Illinois and Ohio. The N'western AD deserves a medal or something.

- C.J. Bacher and Tyrell Sutton are two of the Big Ten's best skill position players. Working within the spread, expect big numbers from both despite a sub-par offensive line.

Not-So-Good News:


- This team lost to Duke. Duke! Yeah, the same Duke that had lost 22 straight coming into this game. The Wildcats courageously rebounded a week later to get hammered 58-7 by Ohio St.

- The defense gave up 31 PPG (88th in the country) and that includes a shutout win over Northeastern to cook the books. They're atrocious, folks.

- We don't care what numbers they put up, Northwestern is NOT one of the best offenses in the Big Ten. The spread offense has been very good to the Wildcats through the years (except '06), but it doesn't mean jack against teams that are just bigger, stronger and faster than you. See NU's aggregate point total against Ohio St. in the last 3 years: 24.

- Their three easiest Big 10 games - Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota - are all on the road.

- They close with Ohio St., at Michigan and Illinois. Just chalk up those losses right now.

Realety:


Give Pat Fitzgerald credit. Northwestern's season was going down the shitter until they stunned Michigan St. in overtime on the road - without Tyrell Sutton. With such a soft nonconference slate this year, expect the Wildcats to light up the scoreboard and go 4-0. Wilbon will wear a Sutton jersey on PTI, they could even crack the top 25 if writers are stupid enough (which, of course, they are).

NU might even start off hot in the Big Ten. But then things will come crashing down with that lackluster defense. They get almost everyone back on that side of the ball, but like Iowa, that's not necessarily a good thing. Fitz has to be clawing his eyes out watching game tape of last year's D. With Indiana and Minnesota on the road and then the Murderer's Row of Ohio St., Michigan and Illinois to finish, NU could potentially lose its final 5 games.

It will be good enough to salvage a bowl game - which is all Northwestern fans care about in the end. They'll smack around some MAC team in the Motor City Bowl, the seniors will go out on a high note and Fitzgerald will get an extension. The glory days are back in Evanston.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Terrible review, absolutely horrible. It's almost as gay as MidvaleDave and Nugnrfan, not as gay because they love mancock.




Guess who wrote this you fuckers!

Anonymous said...

alex?!

Anonymous said...

Sugarboy82 and Midvale are the two stupidest rats I've ever seen. They can't take any goot natured ribbing? The only ribbing they can take is condom ribbing up their asses.

Anonymous said...

"But at the end of the day, it's still Northwestern and you can't win in the Big Ten without being able to take a punch in the mouth."

You can't hit what you can't catch...and the whole Big Ten is going to be falling quickly behind the best offense in the Big Ten.

NU Football - so fast, we're gonna eat lighting, and crap thunder!

(P.S. the defense will be improved -- Mike Hankwitz guarantees it)

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