Haven't hit one of these in six days! Suffice it to say, stuff has happened!
"Ultimate": Tom Dienhart put together an "Ultimate Big Ten Road Trip" for this year, and it features SIX Northwestern games -- that's in a 14-week season -- and four trips to shoddy, deteriorating, tiny, half-full (not half-empty) Ryan Field. We all think Northwestern is gonna be fun this year, but, man, it's "Sippin'," not "Chuggin'." Layin it on a little bit thick, there. ALSO MY EXPECTATIONS ARE GOING INSANE.
(Also, the Yankees used to produce one of the worst shows I've ever seen, called "YES Ultimate Road Trip" where they basically took four characters from the Jersey Shore and made them go to every baseball game in a year, but instead of focusing on their personal lives or anything interesting, they just showed them at all the games and then doing modestly interesting things in the cities they went to.
thirtysomething: Athlon broke down the best coaches under 40, and Pat Fitzgerald, now 39 and in his last year of eligibility, tops the list.
And quite frankly, I don't consider it really close. Only four coaches here have winning records. One is Steve Sarkisian, who admittedly has put together a decent Washington squad, and has done great in recruiting. But he's just 26-25. One is Lane Kiffin, who, well, is a damn train wreck. And one is Matt Campbell, who went 9-4 at Toledo in his first full year of coaching.
After a 10-3 year and some stellar recruiting, the Fire Fitz crowd has gone away, leaving our opinions of Northwestern's football coach varying from HE'S THE BEST PERSON IN THE WORLD to YEAH HE'S PRETTY GOOD AT COACHING AND RECRUITING BUT RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE. But I don't think even the most passionate Fitz hater could make a strong argument for him being No. 2 on that list. Perhaps Fitz, like a fine Cheerwine, will depreciate with age, as his excitability and buzz are what make him so popular. But, for now, let's appreciate his intensity and rightful place on top of this list, even if he probably isn't the best coach in college football.
Timing was never their forte: The Champaign Room made the bold claim that Northwestern stole the W.I.N acronym from Illinois, which is in fact quite the opposite of what happened. To be honest, I'm not sure when the silly "W.I.N." thing was introduced -- probably around the time Northwestern realized "win" was an option for football games, and that it had letters in it -- but it's been around on various team stuff around the football facilities for as long as I can remember. Meanwhile, Tim Beckman introduced it at Illinois in April. Meanwhile, TCR's post shows a Northwestern helmet with the acronym on it. A helmet that they wore at a football game. In football season. Which ended in January. EAT OUR DUST, MOST BITTER RIVALS.
Luke Donald 2.0: Northwestern has an incoming golf freshman named Matt Fitzpatrick, and he'll be playing in the British Open after winning a local qualifier. (Yes, he's British.) So, if you need someone to root for at The Open Championship, there's your guy. Although he should ditch Northwestern and take the winnings if he wins. Not sure if that's allowed, but, like, winning one golf tournament, especially a major, makes you more money than I will ever make in my life. Also, Fitz MattPatGerald.
Nah, we have enough stupid triple overtime hail mary comeback games as is: Fans of BW3 can rejoice: Phil Steele says Northwestern will end up at the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl against Baylor. That's in Arizona, right? Anyway, I think we can all agree on one thing: Buff Joe's has better wings.
Husker don't: You cannot beat up one teammate, then hit another teammate in the head with a bottle, a lesson two Nebraska football players found out the hard way. You can, however, take Taylor Martinez out to a contruction lot and pose shirtless, a lesson several Nebraska football players also found out the hard way.
Special teams fiasco NOT involving Stefan Demos: Deadspin posted this Arena Football League game where a kicking team flukishly scored a touchdown on the opening kickoff (the ball bounced off the pole holding up the netting at the end of the field, ricocheted off two guys, and into a guy on the coverage team's hands.) Lost in that? The team they were playing is the San Antonio Talons, home of Stefan Demos. Turns out both teams scored five touchdowns, but Demos connected on all five extra points, while the Iowa Barnstormers' kicker had one blocked, giving San Antone the 35-34 win. EFFIN STEFAN!
Ain't that like LeBron James? Scroll down this list of the best Northeast Ohio football players of the past 50 years, and some familiar names will pop out. Jordan Mabin's on there, as a DB/running back. Tyrell Sutton -- now in the CFL! -- is on it. NU legend Mike Adamle is there. And... LeBron? Huh. Guess dude is, like, athletic.
Things to read: BHGP on the history of conference realignment, SB Nation had a long form on beer pong. (FWIW, I went undefeated in my weekend at college and 4-0 the other night at a bar, so I still got it. I'm moving to Texas to beat those guys.) Also, Jon Boise continues his brilliant Tim Tebow in the CFL series.
That's it for now. Enjoy fireworks and beer if I don't swing by.