Also, I met Rodger in-person, and while it was impossible to have an in-depth chat, it was really nice to put a face to a name. And, he gave me a Purple Shot after a touchdown!
Now to the game, so I was at the bar for the first half, and it was difficult to watch given the number of people, having side conversations, not hearing commentary, and moving around to avoid people. So, I don't have as many thoughts there. I watched the entire second half in my hotel room, and overall, it was a very tough loss.
So, I've read all the in-game thread, postgame thread, etc, and here are my thoughts. It was a very difficult loss given the national hype/attention, home game, sell-out, revenge factor, MANY recruits (committed and uncommitted) at NU, and the thought that NU could be in contention for a B1G championship THIS YEAR. I saw Dan's rants about NU, and it is something that cannot be denied. NU could reasonably this year go 8-4 (4-4) in the B1G and exceed majority of our expectations, and while college fball is not about strength of schedule, it is alarming that NU doesn't beat good teams. NU doesn't beat ranked opponents (outside of Nebraska last year) or even marquee games, it seems that when the lights shine bright, NU doesn't deliver. Now, this might be a harsh assessment for a team that lost in a close game (1 point), but we all know it's a win/loss business, and NU just doesn't win.
I said this last year and will continue to say it, no matter what the facility improvement and marginal recruiting improvement might be occurring, I have ZERO faith that NU will win a B1G championship under Fitz (heck, even getting into the game seems very unlikely). This year, the B1G is at a historical low (don't argue this Chad, please), and NU has lost two of the marquee games. Now, with Iowa and Illinois on the schedule, I feel confident that NU can win those, and can NU split the Michigan/MSU double, maybe, but at this point, I have no evidence showing me that NU can beat those teams. Fans of Fitzgerald can point to any number of factors that support Fitz, but bottom line, this program isn't winning those games. Many people want to fire Hankwitz or Jerry Brown, and while I would agree based on the last couple of years worth of poor defenses, would that move the needle enough? I don't know, but I do think that their failure has drawn the ire of many fans and even strongest supporters.
Bottom line, NU has a very realistic chance of being 8-4 or even 9-3, something all of us would be very happy with, but in terms of winning a B1G championship, something Phillips/Fitz has stated is a goal and is realistic (NU has three B1G championships in the 'modern' era), I just don't see it happening.