First off, before we get into it, I wanted to point all y'all - ALL Y'ALL - to the absolutely phenomenal coverage SB Nation had around the board on NSD. This group kinda sums it up. Go to pretty much any team blog besides this one, and you'll see amazing wall-to-wall coverage of that team's recruiting. Unreal.
Now some links! I've been saving up for a while. For a better roundup of NU signing day stuff, check yesterday's post, although there's a lot in here too.
Star this: Sure, stars are definitely an indicator of recruiting success, but some teams outperform what's expected out of their recruits more than others. Hint: Northwestern is one of them. That's why it's even more exciting to see that Northwestern has what looks like a much better class than usual.
Pfffffffffffffft: Yes, Kirk Ferentz actually said this:
/snort RT @rsuchomel: Ferentz: Think extra time in December recruiting paid off.— RossWB (@RossWB) February 6, 2013
Yes, not making a bowl game really helped out Iowa football, as they reeled in a class universally regarded as one of the bottom four in the Big Ten. To be fair, Northwestern didn't do significantly better on the 'cruitin trail, but they still did better, and oh, won 10 games this year. There's so much facepalm here - about five mill a year's worth.. (Yes, I take joy in this.)
Another NSD wrapup: The Daily's. It has flash!
National Fitzing Day: Pat Fitzgerald's passion for student-athletey things nobody else has a passion for continues to be amazing. He used his signing day press conference to say everybody needs to slow the hell down, and that he wants to change a bunch of rules to make things more protective of high school students.
"Sure, I'd love to talk to a 12-year-old," Fitzgerald said of contacting young recruits. "(But) I'd rather talk to my 4-year-old son.
Read the article: he's right from a lot of perspectives. I don't think that recruiting is getting out of control: recruiting is already a comically silly process that never has been in control, and never will be, because it's the sport of convincing a small subset of impressionable 17-year-olds to sign over their money-earning power via legally binding documents to old men who make $5 million a year don't have their best interests in hand. But as Fitz points out, some things - allowing unlimited contact to recruits and lowering the ages at which they can be contacted - are just going to make things worse, both from the perspectives of players and coaches.
Fitz also said that "email is dead" while Bill Snyder has been communicating with his recruits via telegraph.
Evanston's Big Ten team: You know how the government - and occasionally, citizens - of Evanston frequently take steps make life as a Northwestern student and/or football fan as unenjoyable as possible, often short-sightedly making their lives less enjoyable/profitable in the process? Well, guess who's coming around!
“We supported the university and sports department in this community for 100 some years when they were the doormat,” Peach said. “Now they’ve got support and won a few games and forgot who got them to the dance.”
That's Dick Peach, head of the Evanston Chamber of Commerce, commenting on the NU-to-Wrigley deal. I think this is the first time I've ever seen anybody connected with the city of Evanston noticing the massive amounts of money the school brings in. Congrats! But somehow it comes out negatively?
Now, to be fair, the chamber of commerce would probably support more games because more business, so maybe not the guy to blame. But Evanston has always been a roadblock to things that would make football fun - night games, tailgating - and things that would help Northwestern football - new facilities and stuff. Ain't that the pot calling the kettle unsupportive.
That said, two things a) yes, Northwestern is going to try to cater to Chicago for fans, because there are two million more people in Chicago than there are in Evanston. Sorry. b) Northwestern still plays most of their games in Evanston, and its still in Evanston. We still want to be friends!
Must be a big Iowa Cubs fan: Get this: a Cedar Rapids Gazette writer praised Northwestern football after the Wrigley thing. The author's write-up is pretty accurate, to me. As someone who is oftimes critical or skeptical of NU sports, things are trending upwards.
WILDCAT GAMES TIME Y'ALL: A nice article on Northwestern's leadership council, featuring each of the ten guys elected at Pat Fitzgerald's house eating what appear to be personal Lou Malnati's pies.
Just missing living in Plex: This is from last week, but this breakdown of a day in hell for a Northwestern student is pretty great. Hey, while we're way off base, I really loved this guide to visiting Chicago for a Chicagoan.
Cats we can believe in: Barack Obama's new speechwriter is a Northwestern grad. Wait, why am I writing about college football?