Is Northwestern For Real?

Is Northwestern For Real?

You may say it’s too early to talk of such things and that I need to calm down after only one conference game in the books, but this could be a great year for the Wildcats!

Their 5-0 record may not have come against the best of opponents (Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Boston College, South Dakota, Indiana), but Northwestern has shown the ability to score, almost on demand. They have scored over 40 points in two games and scored 38 in another.

Kain Colter has become one of the most dangerous offensive threats in the Big Ten, with the ability to run and catch besides play quarterback. Trevor Siemian has taken over mostof the throwing duties under center, and is more than capable to of becoming a full-time quarterback in the Big Ten, which allows the Wildcats to have two completely different functioning offenses depending whether Colter or Siemian is under center.

Northwestern can do some damage in this year’s seemingly unstable Big Ten. They have very winnable games coming up at Penn State and Minnesota. They could very well be 7-0 when Nebraska comes to Evanston and  a sold-out Ryan Field. Beyond Nebraska; Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, and Illinois remain on the Wildcats’ schedule.

The schedule gets tough, and by no means am I implying that Northwestern will be 12-0 and competing for a shot in the National Championship game. However, Northwestern is capable of achieving a 5-2 record over their last seven games. A 6-2 conference record should earn the Wildcats a shot in the Big Ten Championship game. If 6-2 (10-2 overall) does not get the ‘Cats in the conference championship, it will give them an argument for a BCS bowl berth.

Again, you may be saying it is too early for this talk, but Pat Fitzgerald has Northwestern exceeding expectations year after year. It is only a matter of time until he builds them to conference contenders. And we may not have to wait much longer.

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  • I think NU is a really good team and may win a game or two they shouldn't and maybe compete for a good, maybe even Jan 01 bowl game. In order to be "for real" you need to be able to finish 28-17 leads going into the fourth. The next five games are their Legends Division opponents. After going to Minnesota on Saturday (a really good team has to win that game), they have Nebraska, Iowa, @Michigan and @MSU in a five week span. All are winnable games. If Northwestern is serious about being a contender in the Big Ten, they need to be 4-1. They will find themselves in Evanston on December 1st if they can't. Realistically I think they go 3-2 or 2-3 and lose a tie breaker in the division.

  • Well there's the one loss for the stretch of Legends games. As I typed 10 days ago, you need to finish fourth quarter leads. A Purdue-N'western championship would have been a nice ratings crap burger for FOX, but Gus Johnson would have found some reason to be excited eating it.

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