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Playing Creighton and Other Me Returning From a Trip Sips


A lot of stuff went down while I was away. I'm going to be honest: I haven't caught up to any of the other Northwestern blogs, I've just scanned around, so, if I'm repeating something you've read elsewhere, sorry.


  • First, and most importantly: you have until Saturday afternoon to join the Sippin on Purple pickem league. It's just for Big Ten games, and doesn't include tonight's games to give you some warmup time. By my count, we now have 30 entries, but competition breeds skill. As noted, the prizes are as follows: a free post on whatever topic you like, and a Sippin on Purple DIY Purple Drank kit, featuring a bottle of Sprite and a bag of Jolly Ranchers. (Illicit drugs not included, nor do we condone the usage of them.) So sign up! I won't feel good about winning unless I beat a lot of you.
  • The two-deep for the Vandy game came out. key points: 
  • Arby Fields was supposedly NU's starting running back, but, well, now he's listed as a co-starter with Jacob Schmidt and Stephen Simmons. The running back situation is brutal - I'm not sure if this is meant to instill competition, but I'd be much more comfortable giving certain guys trials in a starting role than giving a whole host of guys a few downs a game. This whole situation is unseemly.
  • Venric Mark cracking the two-deep at wide receiver! Yeah buddy!
  • Bryce McNaul beat out Ben Johnson for the starting spot at weak-side linebacker, meaning Ben Johnson is apparently relegated to backing up Quentin Davie - not sure if this is just the upshot of the injury to Roderick Goodlow or something permanent.
  • Justan Vaughn is officially a starting corner. 
  • With David Arnold injured, Mike Bolden is out of the running at cornerback - he'll be backing up at safety, with Jeravin Matthews now looking likely to be somewhere in the cornerback game.
  • Punt return is listed as Hunter Bates or Venric Mark. I picture Venric doing it, considering he's everybody's favorite person. Stephen Simmons and Scott Concannon are listed as the kick return guys - I can live with that. Stephen's our best returner, and Concannon's going to be as good a blocker as Jacob Schmidt, plus he's a bit faster.
  • So that's our depth chart.
  • New uniforms! We saw a photo of them - they look great. Sadly, they weren't wearing shoulder pads so you can't really enjoy the Northwestern stripes - it looks all baggy. I'm sure they'll look great in person on Saturday. (I'm rubbing it in at this point.)
  • Basketball news! @Zachaaryperry alerted me (while I was on vacation) to the fact that Northwestern will play Creighton at home this season. We now know of three out-of-conference games: Creighton, and two out of St. John's, Davidson, and a third school at Madison Square Garden. I suspect we'll hear more soon - not shaping up badly, though, doesn't look like RPI murder like last year. (Sadly, Creighton star P'Allen Stinnett will not be with the Bluejays when they come to Welsh-Ryan. Pity, as I'm quite a fan.
  • Also, the team is in Italy. You can read all the player blogs and game recaps on the NU website - sounds really, really, cool, and good to see that John Shurna is womping on lower-level Italian competition. (7-7 from three-point range? Jesus.) JerShon Cobb is having a rough patch, but he's just starting, and brought down seven boards in one game, so there's that. 
  • The division chatter has fallen, and I can only think of one thing... this whole thing greatly increases our pipe dream probability of one day smelling roses. Think: is it harder to be the best out of 12 teams? Or to be the best out of six, and then win one more game? Bring it on, Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan State, and Minnesota.
  • Charlie Goro needs some help in the Name of the Week poll. This makes me sad.
  • With football season two days away, we've updated Coach Fitz's intense-o-meter: he is an 8.2, signifying the movie "Volcano" starring Tommy Lee Jones, Anne Heche, and Don Cheadle.