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Northwestern Notebook 7/6

by Kevin Trahan (@k_trahan)

There isn't much new Northwestern news to report, but here are some interesting tidbits of what's happening around the country and at NU, as well as some links from around the web.

Blast From the Past

Athlon has a nice look back at the 1995 Rose Bowl team, going through the team's journey from 29-point underdogs at Notre Dame to start the season to its motto of "expect victory." It was a close-knit team, which led to an interesting quote from quarterback Steve Schnur:

“Great chemistry,” said Schnur (in regards to what allowed them to "expect victory"). “Chemistry and teamwork can take you further than a collection of individual talents. That’s what signified that team. We got as high as third in the country and felt like we could compete with and beat anyone. It was just a bunch of guys who believed in each other. We were willing to outwork anybody.”

It's an interesting piece on a team that reached a level of success NU has yet to find since. There's also a "where are they now" section at the end of the article.

Strong Swimming Recruiting Class

Apparently recruiting rankings aren't just for football and basketball. A site called CollegeSwimming.com ranked Northwestern's mens swimming team No. 16 in the nation after giving the Wildcats a No. 21 ranking last year. This from the website (and NUSports.com):

The last couple of years of his career (former NU head coach) Bob Groseth brought in some of his best recruiting classes. Jarod Schroeder is beginning to leave his imprint on the program and you can see it in the landing of a couple of big names, Grant Halsall and Van Donkersgoed. Those two aren't exactly (two-time Olympians Matt) Grevers and (Mike) Alexandrov but they more than make up for the losses of Tony Mattar and John Frutiger.

Just like in basketball and football, I'm sure swimming recruiting rankings aren't guarantees of success during the season. However, it certainly seems like things are looking up for NU's swimming program.

Pizza, anyone?

Northwestern fans celebrated last year for avoiding the Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl in Detroit, despite a number of projections listing the Wildcats as likely Pizza Bowl participants.

This year, the early projections are back, and this one from Phil Steele has NU in Detroit for the holidays to face Ohio of the MAC. Obviously Detroit isn't the most attractive location to spend the holidays, and Ohio isn't the most attractive opponent, but it's a real possibility if NU finishes 6-6 or even 7-5.

This projection also brings up an interesting question for NU fans. Obviously, playing Ohio gives the Cats a better chance to end the bowl drought than playing Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Auburn or Mizzou, but is it a satisfying game to end the streak on? Would ending the drought feel legitimate to you if it came against Ohio in the Pizza Bowl as opposed to against an SEC opponent (like Auburn in 2009) on New Year's Day? Feel free to leave your opinion in the comments section below.

Chris Blewitt

This has absolutely no relation to NU, but I'll post it anyways because it may be the best college football story of the week. Pitt received a commitment this weekend from a kicker named Chris Blewitt, who may have the worst name in the history of kickers. And sadly, all copy editors in Pittsburgh area likely can't wait for him to "blow" his first missed field goal.

He's a product of West Potomac, Virginia, and wasn't a very highly sought after recruit — Scout lists his only offers as Pitt and Temple. However, despite being an unranked kicker recruit, his days living in anonymity are over. The problem is, that may not be a good thing.

More Reading

  • Check out this article on what to expect from John Shurna in the NBA from our own Chris Johnson.
  • Philip Rossman-Reich of Lake the Posts did a Q&A with InsideNU. See what he had to say about fan support, Kain Colter and the upcoming season.
  • Typically we don't plug only our own articles, but it's been a slow couple of days for NU news and InsideNU's own Jonah Rosenblum has a great column on what Jaren Sina's commitment means for NU in the long run.
  • Jonathan Hodges of Hail to Purple has a great list of links at Scout.com, covering NU and the national scene.

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