I saw a tweet the other day from rising senior soccer stud, Chris Ritter saying, "@TheRealDrewski1 [Rising senior basketball star, Drew Crawford] turns right on red even when there is a 'no turn on red' sign present. #BMOC [Big Man on Campus] status", and it got me thinking who is the BMOC at Northwestern? Is it Crawford now? Since, there are no NU sports currently going on in the summer, I decided to look ahead to the 2012-2013 Northwestern athletic year beginning next fall and answer the question of who the BMOC is with some Power Rankings.
By definition, Big Man On Campus means, "an important male college student". While, I am not going to use that exact definition seeing as there is this thing called Title IX and overall the idea of BMOC is very ambiguous, but I will loosely use that with all male and female student-athletes eligible. Stereotypically, being the big man on campus means you are the popular, star jock who may be able to get away with a thing or two as Ritter mockingly eluded to in his tweet. While, Northwestern is probably one of the last schools, where a big time athlete could get away with something based on their status, I thought it'd be fun to make a completely hypothetical ranking of student-athletes going into next year who would maybe be able to skip to the front of the line at the nationally renowned, Keg of Evanston based on importance and athletic achievement.
Without further ado, my completely hypothetical and irrelevant Top 15 Big Man(or Woman) On Campus Power Rankings...
1. Taylor Thornton (Women's Lacrosse) - When your team wins it's 7th national championship in 8 years and you are the catalyst, not too mention being named one of 12 finalists for Collegiate Woman of the Year award, a Tewaarton Trophy finalist, American Lacrosse Conference Player of the Year (over teammate and last years' Tewaarton Trophy winner, Shannon Smith), first-team IWLCA All-America, and the Defender of the Year by Inside Lacrosse, you are the Big (Wo)Man on Campus. I don't care if it is a non-revenue sport, Thornton's not going against an Andrew Luck or anything here and Lacrosse is by far our best sport. When you go into your senior year with those accolades, you deserve the crown of BMOC and should probably get Monday Keg VIP status and free whoppers from the crazy guy at Burger King at 3 AM (if of course it wasn't an NCAA violation or anything). Thornton won't dominate the NU message boards like some of the names that will come after her, but in terms of importance and accomplishments, Thornton gets my vote.
2. Kain Colter (Football) - While Colter has a relatively small sample size as a starting quarterback and some may question his throwing ability, he is no doubt an electric athlete and the man who has the NU fan base buzzing about Coach Fitz' crew next year. There may not be a #ColterFast campaign this year, despite the best efforts of the NU blogosphere, to match the #PersaStrong Heisman campaign put on by Jim Phillips and co. a year ago, but the dynamic dual-threat QB has the potential to be great. Just ask Nebraska. His #2 ranking could get a bit uncomfortable if his critics are right though, and he struggles passing prompting a QB controversy with Trevor Simiean.
3. Drew Crawford (Men's Basketball) - I have the aforementioned Crawford coming in at #3 behind Thornton (accomplishments) and Colter (QB mystique), but if Crawford can somehow lead NU to the Big Dance for the first time ever and remove the infamous "only major conference school to never make the NCAA Tournament" label, Crawford would vault to #1. With perennial BMOC candidate, John Shurna gone to the Atlanta Hawks (summer league team), it is now Crawford's show. He now holds the fate of the program in his hands. Also, his ability to do this trick helps his status and I won't even mention what Mark Titus, would call every announcer's go-to story. I think you can figure out what I'm talking about.
4. Kyle Prater (
USC Football) - Even though, he hasn't played a game in a Wildcat uniform and it remains to be seen if he will be deemed eligible this fall, any five-star recruit at Northwestern, even if it came via transfer automatically shoots up the BMOC charts.
5. Under Armour (19 Sports, 1 Team) - So, not a student-athlete, but the Under Armour movement is a huge step in the Phillips' rebranding of Northwestern into Chicago's Big Ten Team and something that will really peak some fan interest. I know, at least, I'm excited to see these custom unis Under Armour unveils for each of the 19 teams. Now, about that facilities plan...
6. Jason Welch (Wrestling) - Redshirt senior returns to NU for his fifth year as a two-time All-American and the undisputed strongest person weighing exactly 157 pounds on campus.
7. Tyler Miller (Men's Soccer) - Miller, as a freshman goalkeeper, became somewhat of a poster boy (along with departed senior forward Oliver Kupe among others) for the Double B1G champion Men's Soccer team earning 1st Team All-Big Ten honors and Freshman All-American honors. I expect the Wildcat defense to be very strong next season and while rising senior defender Jarrett Baughman and fellow freshman All-American Nikko Boxall will have just as much to do with that, Miller will probably get the most pub (not saying it isn't deserved, though). Oh yeah, he also was called up to the US U-20 Men's National Team camp this past winter.
8. Emily Allard (Women's Softball) - NU Softball made a great run to make the NCAA tournament and Allard was the main reason why being named a Top-25 finalist for USA Softball Player of the Year for her efforts.
9. Erin Fitzgerald (Women's Lacrosse) - Another Women's Lax 1st Team All-American checks in at #9. Fitzgerald was overshadowed a bit by Smith and Thornton, but that is a testament to their greatness, not an indictment on Fitzgerald. She had a breakout campaign last year recording 56 goals and nine assists, good for second on the team and will be the top offensive threat on the squad with the graduation of Smith. Also dates 2012 New England Patriot draftee Jeremy Ebert, who in a round about way beat out Chad Ochocinco for a roster spot, which doesn't hurt her status.
10. David Nwaibusi & Ibraheim Campbell (Football) - These two guys will probably be held most responsible for turning around the much-maligned Wildcat defense. Nwaibusi emerged as a leader at the Mike linebacker (along with some outside linebacker) spot a season ago while Campbell picked up freshman All-American honors in his redshirt freshman season at Safety. They also fit the Big part of BMOC.
11. Jaren Sina (Men's Basketball Recruit) - Not technically eligible for my list as the ESPN 100 recruit does not join the Wildcats until 2013-14, but it's not everyday Northwestern gets a recruit of his caliber. I had him in the Top 10 until Rivals downgraded him to three stars upon committing to NU.
12. JerShonn Cobb (Men's Basketball) - Can play the "what-if" game with Cobb as in if he was healthy last year, would we have made the elusive tournament, but he's on this list for potential. When he came back late in the season, you could see the difference he made out on the floor. You may as well change Cobb's name to "JerShonn Cobb If He Stays Healthy" a la Bill Simmons' "Matthew Stafford If He Stays Healthy", but if he does, the 'Cats could be dangerous next season.
13. Maddy Carpenter & Nikki Parsley (Field Hockey) - Both 'Cats were named to the U-21 U.S. Junior National team and are leading the revival of Tracey Fuch's ever-improving Field Hockey squad.
14. Men's Tennis Freshman Class (Men's Tennis) - Bringing in the #1 player from Norway and Israel, along with a top 30 prospect from the U.S. is not a bad haul.
15. Chris Ritter & Lepe Seetane (Men's Soccer) - Ritter's inclusion was partially due to his tweet, but also because he is really good at soccer and will have to play at the high level he showed last fall and further emergence in the spring for Men's Soccer to repeat as B1G champs. The 5'2" Seetane can become the biggest man on campus at any moment on the field with one cut move that makes a defender look silly.
That's my list. Who do you have as the BMOC in Evanston for the 2012-2013 Northwestern athletic year?