Northwestern and Iowa fans need to get a hold of themselves

FeliSilvestris

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According to this columnist and frankly I think he is right.
Good read, indeed....especially for the players!!
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Northwestern is the S&P+ #119 offense. That offense, for your own edification, is almost identical to that of Minnesota—that's right, the same Minnesota that everyone is pointing and laughing at.

The defense, for its strengths, pounced on average Stanford and Duke offenses but showed weaknesses against the zone-read against Duke, something which the ‘Cats will need to shore up immediately before facing the Big Ten schedule. I'm sure someone will be along, as well, to claim that Stanford essentially beat Northwestern because of the number of passes they dropped. While I find that argument facile, it nonetheless begs the question of whether better offenses (and I'm not counting Duke in that) will be able to get separation or move the ball against the ‘Cats.

I understand Northwestern fans want to be quick to give ourselves the pass and the pat on the back for "turning it around" and finding ways to win just a year after 5-7 happened for the second consecutive season, but there's a difference between excitement over a win at home against a ranked team and a good road win against a fine P5 team and losing your minds and talking conference championship appearances or taking it to Wisconsin.

This is a fine team; probably a 7-5 or 8-4 team. But this offense could continue to sputter. Against Nebraska, against Iowa, against Wisconsin, a sputtering offense is going to give way to a defense that will get pounded down by better teams and bigger offensive lines than Duke. And then we turn from conversations of "Can Northwestern make it to Indianapolis?" to "Let's just beat Purdue and get bowl-eligible, OK?"
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VERY well said.
 

hdhntr1

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Good read, indeed....especially for the players!!
======================
Northwestern is the S&P+ #119 offense. That offense, for your own edification, is almost identical to that of Minnesota—that's right, the same Minnesota that everyone is pointing and laughing at.

The defense, for its strengths, pounced on average Stanford and Duke offenses but showed weaknesses against the zone-read against Duke, something which the ‘Cats will need to shore up immediately before facing the Big Ten schedule. I'm sure someone will be along, as well, to claim that Stanford essentially beat Northwestern because of the number of passes they dropped. While I find that argument facile, it nonetheless begs the question of whether better offenses (and I'm not counting Duke in that) will be able to get separation or move the ball against the ‘Cats.

I understand Northwestern fans want to be quick to give ourselves the pass and the pat on the back for "turning it around" and finding ways to win just a year after 5-7 happened for the second consecutive season, but there's a difference between excitement over a win at home against a ranked team and a good road win against a fine P5 team and losing your minds and talking conference championship appearances or taking it to Wisconsin.

This is a fine team; probably a 7-5 or 8-4 team. But this offense could continue to sputter. Against Nebraska, against Iowa, against Wisconsin, a sputtering offense is going to give way to a defense that will get pounded down by better teams and bigger offensive lines than Duke. And then we turn from conversations of "Can Northwestern make it to Indianapolis?" to "Let's just beat Purdue and get bowl-eligible, OK?"
======================
VERY well said.
Agreed. But that said, before the Stanford game, I felt they were a 6-6plus or minus 1. After that game and Duke (both looked like the potential for losses coming in) it would look like we are close to an 7-5 or 8-4 team. Cannot really go much above that as many of our upcoming opponents have shown signs of life. Beat Ball State and Minny and potential goes to solid 8-4. Till then we have done nothing but improve our bowl chances. Still a 1-2 game improvement over what it looked like going into the season.
 

Just Gary

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It's funny how the argument has gone from three weeks ago when the nay-sayers were saying, "don't count on this team getting to a bowl" to where they are still talking negative but saying "don't expect to win the west with this offense". Can't we be allowed to be happy?? This is obviously a better team then we seen in a while, so let's just enjoy them. When we lose, we can come down to earth, until then let the fans have fun.
 

GlideCat

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According to this columnist and frankly I think he is right.

Our offense right now, especially when it comes to throwing and catching, not terribly impressive.

http://www.offtackleempire.com/2015...hi-northwestern-fans-get-a-hold-of-yourselves
I also have no real problem with his statements on the surface.

However, I then thought about it a little. We have a very, very good defense (I do not believe that Stanford's offense was mediocre nor that it being the first game of the season was any more advantage to us than it was to them), we appear to have solid special teams (a plus), and a struggling offense. So, of the three facets of the game we have one excellent, one good, and one in progress. Compare that to the other teams in the Top 25. You start seeing questions in terms of teams having all three facets in top order beginning at... I don't know... Number 1? OSU's offense right now is questionable (although they have more stars than the pre-dawn sky). TCU comes in at #4 with a questionable defense. After #12, no team in the top 25 could be considered to be solid in every aspect of the game.

Look at the other teams in the B1G West. Name the one that has no questions. None. Our expectations are high but not absurd. This columnist talks as if the rest of the West are stellar. Not so, there is not a team in the West that is clearly dominant nor is there one other than Purdue that does not have a shot. Our thinking that we have a shot at the West is only us believing that this year we are on a competitive level with Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, etc. We are not claiming that we could beat OSU or MSU. Our offense may not be as strong as we would like but Nebraska's defense has looked awful at times. Wisconsin's offense has their own question marks. The columnist is not thinking about this.

Iowa thinking they are looking at the play-offs is pretty crazy.

And finally, who the heck is laughing at Minnesota? We are circling Minnesota. It is like playing our mirror image. No one I know of is doing anything but taking them very seriously.
 
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Just Gary

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Yes. The fact is there are not any team in the west that is so good that we can't beat them. And the coaches and sports writers agree on that fact which is why we have the highest ranking amongst the western teams. On offense, we are playing toward our strengths and even when teams know that all we can do is run, they haven't stopped us from putting enough drives together to win (with our defense, the number has not been many). The fact is, we see Minny struggling and we catch them at a good time. Then we have Michigan who is erratic and I can't see their offense being better than a Duke or Stanford. Next we have Iowa at home which may be the toughest challenge but unless they change their strategy, we can run against them. Nebraska is our nemesis where we have a lot to overcome. We then get a trap game with Purdue before tackling the team that has humiliated us in their yard in recent years. Then a spevial event at soldier fields to a team we lost poorly to recently. The schedule builds to tougher games for a sweep. However, la couple makes some of the later games more respectable.
 
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hawkit3113

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That guys that wrote that is a doosh bag. No Iowa fans are talking playoffs. He is making stuff up to sell his piece. Hack tool bag.

And why shouldn't Northwestern and Iowa be excited? This isn't an every year thing for us. And the fun of college football is the optimism of your team. The excitement of potential. If we all knew our teams were going to end up 8-4 or 7-5, do you really think college football would be that big?

I for one will continue to enjoy this season and be excited, no matter what that jerk writes. This is the most fun I can remember in quite a few years. Don't try and rain on my parade or the Hawks and the Cats parade.

The writer is a total loser.
 
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thewildcat2011

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That guys that wrote that is a doosh bag. No Iowa fans are talking playoffs. He is making stuff up to sell his piece. Hack tool bag.

And why shouldn't Northwestern and Iowa be excited? This isn't an every year thing for us. And the fun of college football is the optimism of your team. The excitement of potential. If we all knew our teams where going to end up 8-4 or 7-5, do you really think college football would be that big?

I for one will continue to enjoy this season and be excited, no matter what that jerk writes. This is the most fun I can remember in quite a few years. Don't try and rain on my parade or the Hawks and the Cats parade.

The writer is a total loser.
Calm down, buttercup.
 

hawkit3113

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Calm down, buttercup.

I cant. That piece pissed me off. The guy is being a total jerk to 2 programs and fan bases that don't deserve it. Go crap on OSU, or Wisconsin, or Auburn, or Alabama, etc....not us, just cause we are excited about our teams.

Not only that, he made half that stuff up.
 

thewildcat2011

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It's a #hottake, but he's a 'Cats fan, which is probably why he's so pessimistic. There WAS talk of Iowa going to the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, and/or playoffs on BGHP.
 

pawildcat

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Good read, indeed....especially for the players!!
======================
Northwestern is the S&P+ #119 offense. That offense, for your own edification, is almost identical to that of Minnesota—that's right, the same Minnesota that everyone is pointing and laughing at.

The defense, for its strengths, pounced on average Stanford and Duke offenses but showed weaknesses against the zone-read against Duke, something which the ‘Cats will need to shore up immediately before facing the Big Ten schedule. I'm sure someone will be along, as well, to claim that Stanford essentially beat Northwestern because of the number of passes they dropped. While I find that argument facile, it nonetheless begs the question of whether better offenses (and I'm not counting Duke in that) will be able to get separation or move the ball against the ‘Cats.

I understand Northwestern fans want to be quick to give ourselves the pass and the pat on the back for "turning it around" and finding ways to win just a year after 5-7 happened for the second consecutive season, but there's a difference between excitement over a win at home against a ranked team and a good road win against a fine P5 team and losing your minds and talking conference championship appearances or taking it to Wisconsin.

This is a fine team; probably a 7-5 or 8-4 team. But this offense could continue to sputter. Against Nebraska, against Iowa, against Wisconsin, a sputtering offense is going to give way to a defense that will get pounded down by better teams and bigger offensive lines than Duke. And then we turn from conversations of "Can Northwestern make it to Indianapolis?" to "Let's just beat Purdue and get bowl-eligible, OK?"
======================
VERY well said.
Well, I'm sure USC fans are glad to hear Stanford is an average offense.
 

hawkit3113

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It's a #hottake, but he's a 'Cats fan, which is probably why he's so pessimistic. There WAS talk of Iowa going to the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, and/or playoffs on BGHP.

They had to be trolls. Rose Bowl talk is about as far as I would go. But that will still be difficult.
 

ColumbusCatFan1

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According to this columnist and frankly I think he is right.

Our offense right now, especially when it comes to throwing and catching, not terribly impressive.

http://www.offtackleempire.com/2015...hi-northwestern-fans-get-a-hold-of-yourselves

I seem to recall Stanford knocking off #6 on the road just a few days ago, yet the author is dismissive. I also seem to remember Duke football being a pretty good program over the past few years, yet the author calls them mediocre.

"Half Inspiring Starts?" I can only wonder what this guy thinks about Ohio State...

Yes, the offense needs much work, but a top notch defense and special teams can take a team far, especially in a wide open division like the Big Ten West. Getting on fans for thinking 9-3 is a baseline expectation (only one guy at InsideNU wrote that) is pretty weak.

This article is trying to make a mountain out of a molehill (like most every other online media outlet). No reasonable person is predicting a New Years Six run or anything like that. Why can't we enjoy the pleasant surprise of 2015 NU Football without pissing in the cornflakes?
 
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hdhntr1

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That guys that wrote that is a doosh bag. No Iowa fans are talking playoffs. He is making stuff up to sell his piece. Hack tool bag.

And why shouldn't Northwestern and Iowa be excited? This isn't an every year thing for us. And the fun of college football is the optimism of your team. The excitement of potential. If we all knew our teams were going to end up 8-4 or 7-5, do you really think college football would be that big?

I for one will continue to enjoy this season and be excited, no matter what that jerk writes. This is the most fun I can remember in quite a few years. Don't try and rain on my parade or the Hawks and the Cats parade.

The writer is a total loser.
I think he is just saying don't get too high yet. Let things play out.
 
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DaCat

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I also have no real problem with his statements on the surface.

However, I then thought about it a little. We have a very, very good defense (I do not believe that Stanford's offense was mediocre nor that it being the first game of the season was any more advantage to us than it was to them), we appear to have solid special teams (a plus), and a struggling offense. So, of the three facets of the game we have one excellent, one good, and one in progress. Compare that to the other teams in the Top 25. You start seeing questions in terms of teams having all three facets in top order beginning at... I don't know... Number 1? OSU's offense right now is questionable (although they have more stars than the pre-dawn sky). TCU comes in at #4 with a questionable defense. After #12, no team in the top 25 could be considered to be solid in every aspect of the game.

Look at the other teams in the B1G West. Name the one that has no questions. None. Our expectations are high but not absurd. This columnist talks as if the rest of the West are stellar. Not so, there is not a team in the West that is clearly dominant nor is there one other than Purdue that does not have a shot. Our thinking that we have a shot at the West is only us believing that this year we are on a competitive level with Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, etc. We are not claiming that we could beat OSU or MSU. Our offense may not be as strong as we would like but Nebraska's defense has looked awful at times. Wisconsin's offense has their own question marks. The columnist is not thinking about this.

Iowa thinking they are looking at the play-offs is pretty crazy.

And finally, who the heck is laughing at Minnesota? We are circling Minnesota. It is like playing our mirror image. No one I know of is doing anything but taking them very seriously.
There are certain leading indicators of good teams. Our defense is good because we are winning the LOS battle. Against Stanford, their OL has had first round draft picks in the Harbaugh-Shaw era. This year they have LT Murphy SR 6-7 301, LG Garnett SR 6-5 321, C Shuler SR 6-5 285, RG Caspers SR 6-4 300, RT Tucker SO 6-6 300. This line is not chopped liver. We kicked their asses. Duke coach Cutcliffe said we kicked their asses too. Our defense is for real. We control the LOS, we got playmakers flying all over the field, we got excellent depth.

Offense is improving. Our OL got good push against Stanford. My hat is off to the Duke defense, they were better than I thought they would be. Jeremy Cash is a stud. I just want to see improvement week to week, and hopefully Thorson converts his high-ceiling potential into performance and results.
 

NUCat91

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I think he is just saying don't get too high yet. Let things play out.
Well why the hell not? Like I care if someone on the internet then calls me out if Northwestern loses? Good god some of you take this internet business too seriously. I'd rather enjoy the ride and even dream about a Rose Bowl berth for a few weeks than have to prove that I'm a "sensible" fan.

And there's also something to be said about reveling in the disappointment if it all goes to pot.
 

hawkit3113

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Well why the hell not? Like I care if someone on the internet then calls me out if Northwestern loses? Good god some of you take this internet business too seriously. I'd rather enjoy the ride and even dream about a Rose Bowl berth for a few weeks than have to prove that I'm a "sensible" fan.

And there's also something to be said about reveling in the disappointment if it all goes to pot.

Exactly. The guy was a wet blanket. Of all the crap we have to deal with in life, we cant even enjoy or be excited about our football teams? I would hate to live in that guys world.
 
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CommodoresAndCats

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People are writing off this team too quickly. If you don't think the defense is going to be incredible then you haven't been watching the team, the speed and physicality is top tier.

The offense hasn't been good, and I agree it will likely lead to some problems, right now it's a big question mark. Remember that every team we play from here on out also has their fair share of question marks, and a lot of them are worse than NU's. It's not like we have some dominating teams coming up and we are delusional to think we can keep pace, it's not crazy to say that at this moment NU has played better than most if not all of the other teams on the schedule.

Will we go undefeated? probably not, but saying we are only capable of 3 or 4 conference wins AT MOST is way too pessimistic.
 

pawildcat

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People are writing off this team too quickly. If you don't think the defense is going to be incredible then you haven't been watching the team, the speed and physicality is top tier.

The offense hasn't been good, and I agree it will likely lead to some problems, right now it's a big question mark. Remember that every team we play from here on out also has their fair share of question marks, and a lot of them are worse than NU's. It's not like we have some dominating teams coming up and we are delusional to think we can keep pace, it's not crazy to say that at this moment NU has played better than most if not all of the other teams on the schedule.

Will we go undefeated? probably not, but saying we are only capable of 3 or 4 conference wins AT MOST is way too pessimistic.
I feel the same way I've felt about NU for the past three or four years. I think we realistically have a shot at beating any team we're playing and also that we could lose to any of them as well. If that weird season last year didn't drive the point home, nothing will. The great start by the defense gives me hope that we can be on the winning side of more of them. Given the way most of the teams in our division have looked so far and until we're beaten on the field, I think we have as legitimate a right to talk about contending for the divisional championship as anyone.
 

spartcat

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The one real piece of B.S. is downgrading Stanford's offense because we shut them down. They are 35-40 points a game the last 2 weeks against good or even great teams. Duke could be a strong offense as well based on the first 2 games, but they need a quality opponent to verify that. I think the defense has more than proven itself. Otherwise, whatever.......