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Pat Fitzgerald Intense-O-Meter: Illinois

Northwestern takes on Illinois in a game the Wildcats wanna win for a bunch of reasons: it's senior day, the last game of the year with a great bowl placement in sight, and also Illinois is our most bitter rival and really bad at football.

This was last week, and it's only gonna get more intense.
This was last week, and it's only gonna get more intense.
Mike Carter-US PRESSWIRE

Hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate (if you want it put your name on it) hate hate hate hate hate hate hate

Northwestern plays Illinois, part of what literally has to be the biggest rivalry in the state - Western Illinois-Eastern Illinois? Northern Illinois-SIU Carbondale? Loyola-DePaul's famed Hammy's-McGee's Classic? - and obviously this is sort of important. We already outlined how important it is for Northwestern to win, but I wonder how Pat Fitzgerald feels?

Somewhere, Tim Beckman's intense-o-meter flickers up to a one or two. But over here, let's take a peek at the Fitz-meter:

Pat Fitzgerald INTENSE-O-METER reading: 8.6

Symptoms include: firecrotch, but, like, literally, a crotch that's on fire

Last week:6.9

Everything's here: senior day, rivalry game, very clear-cut path to a better bowl game. The only thing that's missing form Pat Fitzgerald going Krakatoa this week is that Illinois is super-sucky. It's not a "must-win", but it is a "yo, we best win this game" game