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Another Bowl. Another Loss. And Let The Recruiting Games Begin.

There Are No More Moral Victories

I’m not going to expound on Northwestern’s loss in the TicketCity Bowl to Texas Tech. I will in the near future. But not now. I am proud that NU played with heart and never gave up. When you’re down under 30 seconds to go in the game and you are still fighting for a possible victory - that shows that the team has the heart of a champion.

The bowl victory will happen. Unfortunately we have to wait for almost a year.

And Now The Annual Fitzgerald Watch Begins In Earnest

Another subject that I’m going to cover in some detail in a future column is the craziness that is called college football. Players, coaches, and programs are acting crazy and it is all about the money.

But for right now, let’s focus on the now annual pageant regarding where Coach Fitzgerald will be employed next year.

There are a number of vacancies in the FBS ranks, including some high profile openings...like University of Michigan. And much like last year’s speculation over the vacancy at Notre Dame, there is rampant speculation about who will take the helm at UofM. I think Harbaugh is the universal number one choice of Wolverine fans. But given that there is less than a 100% chance that he will be offered or accept the position, there is the reasonable question of a second or third option. And that’s where a number of people in the Michigan blogosphere are discussing the possibility of trying to woo Coach Fitzgerald from Northwestern.

The positives in their eyes: NU has turned into a consistent performer and is no longer the Big Ten doormat. He knows how to get the very best out of his players, pushing them to overachieve. There is zero indication of scandal, taint, or other negatives - he’s known to run a clean program. And his players graduate. The theory is that given the performance of NU under Fitzgerald with what he can recruit and get into Northwestern, he would likely have even greater success at Michigan with their broader physical talent pool and larger athletic budget.

That makes some sense.

Given that an assistant coach has already been lured away (to Indiana), we should be concerned that other schools (including Michigan) could try to poach NU’s talent - including at the very top.

I don’t blame Michigan for wanting to recruit the best coach in the Big Ten - the one who is best at taking what he’s given and making them better - making them contenders. And getting them through school to graduation. (Remember, this is college and the real mission is to educate.) Michigan really needs that kind of coaching talent.

One of the best comments from Michigan fans was that “Fitz won’t leave NU. He bleeds purple. He will be buried in a purple NU coffin.” I consider that a compliment. Nonetheless, no one should take Fitz for granted.

Get ready, this is going to be an annual drill with NU, Coach Fitzgerald, and would be suitors. I’ll spare you the metaphor of hot girlfriend and the constant buzz of would-be pollinators. But you know what I mean.

Go ‘Cats!

BJ Mitchell (Former NUMB Spirit Leader)




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