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Wildcats Dump Illinois, Take First “Land of Lincoln” Trophy, Plus Wisconsin Look Ahead

Top ‘Cats Take Bronze Top Hat

The 21-16 victory over Illinois wasn’t exactly a work of art, but a win is an win. And the Wildcats got to take home the new “Land of Lincoln” Trophy. (A trophy I sort of predicted last year in one of my columns.) The offense got the job done - especially gratifying was the 99.75 yard drive down the field for a TD. And the defense came up with the stop at the end of the game - the interception was an act of naked aggression.

We need more naked aggression to win the next two games.

And speaking of the next two games, the Fanhouse recap said that “The win all but ensured Northwestern...of going to a second straight bowl game.” Huh? What do you mean “all but ensured”? You mean 7 victories isn’t enough to ensure a bowl game? In a league where there are currently only five teams with over 6 victories? Come on… Take a 6-6 Michigan State or Michigan (yeah, right…) over the ‘Cats and all of our alums in Congress will be calling for still more investigations of the college post season.

Thankfully, the ‘Cats will not need help, since that 8th W will shut the haters up. But the disrespect is getting old.

Oh yeah, not that I’m happy in others’ despair, but NU has now put bullets into multiple teams’ dreams - Illinois staying home, Iowa staying out of the BCS championship game, etc.

Wisconsin Look Ahead

The Wisconsin game is critical to NU getting some respect. Admittedly, NU lost a couple of games that should have been wins, thus some wounds were self-inflicted. But defeating #4 (BCS) Iowa should have gotten the ‘Cats some props. Instead, going into their next game against the 3-6 Illini, the Wildcats were 4 point underdogs.

What? Exchange 5-5 Michigan with 6-4 Northwestern and I’m betting the Wolverines would have been favored - even after losing 3 straight and 5 of the last 6.

No respect.

I'm hoping that the "team from up north" takes a similar viewpoint. If the Badgers have no respect for the Wildcats, that will actually be a good thing for NU. I think lack of respect was part of Iowa's downfall. Let's hope the same thing befalls Wisconsin.

The Badgers can be beaten if NU plays up to its potential… and keeps playing up to its potential with the pedal to the metal for all four quarters. I don’t really feel safe with anything under a 36 point lead.

The Wildcats need “statement” plays on both sides of the ball. On defense, getting a game changing tackle/recovery/touchdown like the Iowa game, would make the Badgers reel. A bomb TD or two would make the “team from up north” second guess their defensive strategy.

It should be noted that Saturday is Senior Day. Don’t underestimate the emotion that the seniors will feel. This will help propel the ‘Cats to victory. For that matter, don’t underestimate the emotions that NUMB will feel. I know, I used to be in NUMB. I know that will drive them to a great performance.

NU will win 24-17. The Wildcats will prevail and move to 8-4 and get a little more respect after defeating two Top 20 teams in one year. The home crowd will give the team the typical 3 point home field advantage. NUMB will add in their own 3 point advantage. The two will make the difference and provide the margin of victory.

Go ‘Cats!

BJ Mitchell (Former NUMB Spirit Leader)



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