Northwestern Builds a Winner

By DJ Byrnes on October 3, 2013 at 10:46a
The Wildcats of Northwestern


EVANSTON, Ill. – Late summer, or early autumn – whatever the designation, it didn't matter – had concocted something nearing afternoon perfection. Classes had begun, which is why, never mind the stunning view southward of the Chicago skyline, so many of the students hanging out on the shores of Lake Michigan had their heads buried in books.

On days like this one, the Northwestern campus is a little slice of academic heaven, even with the noise of construction breaking up the solitude. The machines were working on the first phase of a $220 million project that will include a multi-use facility for all students and headquarters for the football team. The hope is to create "an unbelievable integration," according to Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips, "of athletics and the campus."

But the real foundation for that challenging goal is being laid a mile west, at Ryan Field, where the Wildcats currently practice – and where they're preparing this week for a home game with No. 3 Ohio State. ESPN's College GameDay will broadcast live Saturday morning from campus, a few feet from Lake Michigan and just south of the ongoing construction project. Saturday night, ABC will air the game. And no one at Northwestern is denying the magnitude of the occasion.

Pat Fitzgerald has certainly built Northwestern into respectability, and will have Northwestern ready for what could be their biggest game in program history. With recent opening at Texas and USC, Pat Fitzgerald has been mentioned as a possible candidate. Gary Barnett, who led Northwestern to their first Rose Bowl birth in 1996 and took a job at Colorado, has a word of advice for Fitzgerald:


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ATXbucknut's picture

The nerds are a little punchy this week getting ready for one of the biggest games in program history.  I wonder what the Nerdwestern fraternity version of a game-week prank involves...


Dr. House's picture

holy crap thats awesome

theOSUdug's picture


theOSUdug's picture

Internet fail^^^^^^^
There is supposed to be a picture of Ogre, from revenge of the nerds in there. 

BUCKtuckian's picture

Dudley Dawson, Booger

People are saying that I'm an alcoholic, and that's not true, because I only drink when I work, and I'm a workaholic.
Ron White

Earle's picture

Here ya go:

Snarkies gonna snark. 

buckskin's picture

thanks for the post, that had me laughing my ass off.

d1145fresh's picture

I would love for Northwestern to become a Stanford-esque football program. I agree that Fitz is a lifer there and when they start producing year in and year out they will certainly have the money from boosters to pay him whatever he needs. Ohio State, Michigan, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Penn State and one other school from the rest could really become perennial top 25 teams. That would give the new league half of the teams in the top 25 which would be pretty impressive.

CC's picture

Did you mean to leave out unl?

d1145fresh's picture

I didn't mean to... just forgot but you could add them on as well.

Hovenaut's picture

I'm hoping to see some Lambda Lambda Lambda representatives in the College Game Day crowd Saturday morning.

And, why not....Omega Mu, er, too.

rekrul's picture

Northwestern Students on Friday before OSU visits...

Northwestern Students after the game on Saturday...  (Back to reality)

Any Questions...???

Out Work, Out Think, Out Play!!!

CC's picture

Best case Stanford today but inconsistent like Stanford.

AeroBuckeye2001's picture

They have a pretty awesome Gameday sign thread over at Sippin' On Purple. This is one of my favorites:

The Ohio State University Class of 2001

BS Aero & Astronautical Engineering

Jonnferrell's picture

I think Pat Fitzgerald is a Northwestern guy and will stay there. He should use any rumors to negotiate a raise and keep on keeping on.  The success he has built there has been great for the Big Ten.  I think they go down to the Bucks this week, but I can see them winning out and OSU having to play them again in the Conference championship game. 

"I miss Brady Hoke."

unholy bucknut's picture

I don't see Fitz going anywhere. But money talks. NW can't give him what the programs mentioned can that's for sure. BUT Fitz seems like a character guy though and money don't necessarily bring happiness.

buckskin's picture

I hope NU can reach the upper echelon of the B1G and finish 2nd every year.  To succeed on the field as a highly ranked academic school is worthy of respect.  I see Fitz as a lifer there.

JLP36's picture

Fitzgerald is a great coach and I would love for them to build into a strong program - at least strong enough to beat michigan all the time - but how do you recruit great players when you are showcasing a 45,000 seat stadium full of fans of the other team that is kicking your team's ass all over the knee high grass?