For better or for worse, college football fans have short memories, and Trevor Siemian has seen both the love and the hate. At the beginning of the season, fans were calling for him to be the full-time starter. By late October, they wanted him benched for good.
That kind of love/hate relationship comes with the territory when you’re a college football player — the backup quarterback tends to be the most popular guy on the team. But the time it took for Siemian to go from GOAT to goat — well, maybe not that far, but you get the point — is pretty astounding.
As I wrote back in October, there was probably a middle ground between the “never play Siemian” and “start him” crowds, and when both Siemian and Kain Colter were healthy. Northwestern’s coaches actually did a pretty good job of finding that balance. For what it’s worth, I always thought Colter should start, but Siemian should play, too, balanced the way they were during the first half of the Ohio State game.
However, injuries forced NU to play Siemian more than it would have liked in some instances, and less than it would have liked in others. So after a whirlwind season for the Wildcats’ “1.B.” quarterback, the majority of the fan base is calling for him to be demoted to full-time backup, replaced by a redshirt freshman, who has never taken a college snap. Of course, that redshirt freshman, Matt Alviti, has some impressive credentials. He was a four-star recruit and turned down Notre Dame and Nebraska to attend Northwestern, which certainly doesn’t happen every day.
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For the second straight year, Northwestern will have a sports media alum as its Homecoming grand marshal. ESPN’s Mike Greenberg announced on his radio show “Mike and Mike in the Morning” that he would be will be this year’s grand marshal, a year after ESPN’s J.A. Adande held that honor.
Greenberg was an honorary captain for the Syracuse game and got NU some good publicity on College Gameday thanks to his presence. The Wildcats will get even more of it for the Homecoming game, which is a primetime kickoff against Ohio State. Mike and Mike in the Morning will also broadcast live from NU on October 4.
The biggest untapped talent in Northwestern’s passing game has managed to stay out of most people’s preseason evaluations of the Wildcats receiving corps. That could be a huge oversight if Cameron Dickerson finally gets the opportunities he needs to turn his immense athletic talents into his first productive college season.
Every eyewitness account of Dickerson this offseason implies he can; in spring practice, Dickerson routinely matched up with first team cornerbacks and routinely used his leaping and speed advantages to put said cornerbacks on the losing end of one-on-one battles. He may not be the fastest receiver on Northwestern’s roster – Tony Jones is the rightful owner of that crown this year – but he is the most athletically gifted, and if the Wildcats use those gifts to their advantage when designing passing plays, incorporating Dickerson as a primary target more frequently, the offense will get a jolt of individual perimeter playmaking it barely scratched last season.
Allow me take you back to Northwestern’s 2012 spring game. If you attended, or even read about the controlled scrimmage, there was one play everyone was talking about afterward. The simplest description, so as to not spoil the contents of the video below, is Dickerson beating Northwestern’s best corner, Nick VanHoose, on a 40-yard touchdown grab from Trevor Siemian. See for yourself:
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We’ve just passed the one-year mark of InsideNU’s existence, and as we move into our second year, we’re looking to add more features for our readers in order to give you the best possible experience with InsideNU. Our latest new feature is the InsideNU Newsletter, which will help fans make sure they don’t miss anything when it comes to Northwestern football, basketball or recruiting.
InsideNU is the only NU site on the Internet that offers comprehensive recruiting coverage for free, and the newsletter will make sure you never miss a beat on the recruiting scene. The newsletter will come out once a week and will be seasonally focused — football in the fall, basketball in the winter and football/recruiting in the spring and summer. You can see a preview of what the newsletter will look like here. Subscribe today by clicking here and giving us your name and email address, or just sending us an email at email@example.com. You won’t receive any other emails from InsideNU, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
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Superman is making a comeback on the big screen this summer, as Henry Cavill will be the latest in a long line of actors to play the character. Many people remember Dean Cain, who played the role in “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” on ABC from 1993 to 1997. However, most don’t know about Cain’s college football career, where he earned the nickname “Man of Steal” as a defensive back at Princeton. On one fateful day in 1986, Cain’s Princeton team played Northwestern in one of the oddest games in college football history. The Tigers had Superman, but the Wildcats had a pocket full of Kryptonite.
The strange story began during the darkest days of Northwestern football. Athletic Director Doug Single, a bright young assistant AD from Stanford, was hired in 1980 to lead the beleaguered athletic department. The football program was mired in its now-legendary 34 game losing streak, which would not end until 1982. Single realized that part of the problem was NU’s nonconference schedule. Instead of nonconference cupcakes, the schedule consisted primarily of major conference opponents such as Syracuse, Washington, and Arkansas. A nine-game Big Ten schedule (during the 11-game era) further aggravated the problem.
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Unfortunately, we can’t be at Big Ten meetings this week, due to the “not having a car” issue. But fortunately, people with Twitter are there, and we recommend you give some of them a follow: @TeddyGreenstein, @ESPN_BigTen, @ScottDochterman, @Mark_Synder, @mattcharboneau, @CEmmaFox, @GoldsteinNU and probably others I’m missing. Another fortunate development: Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez is there, and has apparently decided he’s the Big Ten’s new unofficial spokesperson. We’ll recap the latest news here, give you our reaction and let you know the context for what it all means.
2014 Football Schedule
The first piece of news is that the Big Ten’s 2014 football schedule will be released soon. Originally, Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said it would be released on Wednesday, but the Big Ten said that’s not true.The schedule will reverse in 2015, then a new schedule will be made in 2016 when the Big Ten shifts to a nine-game league slate. The 2014 season will be the first in which the Big Ten uses its new divisions, so we already know six of Northwestern’s conference games will come against West Division teams — Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Purdue and Wisconsin.
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After Illinois announced that it would be holding its Chicago alumni event at World of Beer in Evanston, Northwestern fans were more than a little bit irritated at the Illini’s plans. After all, Evanston isn’t Chicago — the real Chicago has an Illini bar — and it was a clear move by Illinois to try to rustle some feathers at their rival school “up north.” NU fans were even more upset at World of Beer for agreeing to host such an event.
A group of Northwestern fans in the “Wildside” student group made a Facebook group about the event and planned to protest it from outside the bar. Some of the 285 people who said they were “attending” even planned to buy $25 tickets to crash the party from inside. So after all the backlash, World of Beer decided to cancel the event, and sent us this in response (please excuse the typos. It was sent from an iPhone):
We thought this event is just a private party for UofI. We didn’t realize the nature of the event is against NU. We have called U of I and informed them we cannot host this event. We are 100% support Northwestern University. Here, we would like to apologize the confusing.
World of Beer Evanston