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Pat Fitzgerald Intense-o-meter: Minnesota

The 5-1 Northwestern Wildcats try to bounce back from their first loss at Penn State as they head on the road to face a Minesota Golden Gophers squad that also only has one loss on the year. Can they respond and get back on track?

Jonathan Daniel - Getty Images

I bet a lot of y'all silly-willies are down in the dumps after Northwestern lost to Penn State. Heck, I am too! I was gonna post a summary of my trip to Penn State (fun, until we starting losing) and rewatch the game and post about detailed stuff (Kain Colter should throw sometimes, hey, we can't defend Matt McGloin what's that all about) but I decided not to in a fit of enraged sloth.

But Wednesday is really when we stop paying attention to last week and start regearing for next week around here, so it's time to regear.

I was listening, as I do almost every day, to a song off of Cam'ron's 2004 album coincidentally entitled "Purple Haze". (The album cover features him in a purple jacket with a purple fitted over a bandana, go Cats) It's a collaboration with Kanye West from before he was KANYE WEST, although he wasn't the main producer on the track, it's got his feel to it. It's called "Down and Out"

It's a great work of Cam's - like I tweeted while writing this post, he rhymes "hard tangled grammar" - which is a pretty awesome way of referring to rap music - with "star-spangled banner" with "car game bananas", which is just an out of this world triplet - but as Kanye talks about, people can say you're down, but it doesn't really mean you're out.

Northwestern's 5-1, you guys. Only one team in the conference has more, and they're bowl-eligible. A month and a half ago, I predicted six wins for this group all year. They're in pretty good shape to accomplish that this week. NU could very easily be undefeated, and is only a couple of plays away from having accomplished that. So, you know, chin up, guys! Things are pretty good!

So let's take a look at this week's intense-o-meter

Pat Fitzgerald INTENSE-O-METER reading:7.2

Symptoms include: brain waves that automatically turn everybody's ringtone to "For Whom The Bell Tolls"

Last week:8.4

Not being undefeated really took a big hit on the intense-o-meter. The wind has been taken out of the sails a bit.
But this game is still obviously huge: on the road? vs. a division team? Yeah, you have to win. If you lose here - against a team that, by most empirical evidence, isn't as good as you - the momentum of that awesome start is gone, and the season turns into a sink-or-swim type of thing. If not, we can resume trying to be an elite team in a down conference.