American Crow

This Week in Chicago Sports Envy (11/29/09): College Football Edition

In Chicago Sports on November 29, 2009 at 5:06 pm

Given that Notre Dame is about to fire their 3rd head football coach since 2000 and Illinois is stuck in the Big 10 cellar, The Chicago Tribune needs to find a successful football story and their new favorite team is the Northwestern Wildcats.  In the November 23rd Chicago Tribune, reporter Teddy Greenstein examines the factors that will drive the bowl committee’s team selection of Wisconsin or Northwestern.  In my opinion, the bowl committee will choose teams based on the following 2 factors:  (a) teams providing a good matchup and (b) teams that will bring in the most money.  Teddy’s analysis looks at these 2 criteria and a host of other absurd critera:

Wisconsin advantages over Northwestern:

  • Better overall record, assuming the Badgers beat Hawaii (9-3 vs. 8-4). (Legit point)
  • Much larger fan base. (Absolutely legit point)
  • A stronger “name.” (Another legit point)
  • Many would view the Badgers as a better matchup against an SEC opponent such as LSU or Tennessee. (This may be true, but Northwestern may pose an interesting matchup as well)
  • A possible Top 25 ranking, though the Badgers fell out this week after their loss to Northwestern. (Another legit point)

Northwestern advantages over Wisconsin:

  • Head-to-head victory. (OK, this one is legit)
  • Wisconsin’s Florida bowl fatigue: The Badgers have played in Florida bowls the last five years. (And this is a problem, how???  The Badgers and their fans travel well and, except for last year’s trouncing by Florida State, the games have been exciting with Wisconsin winning 2 of the 5 contests)
  • Wisconsin’s season-ending trip to Hawaii will pull some traveling fans away from its bowl game. (Again, huh?  The bowl game is in Florida, not the China.  And, the games are over one month apart.  I don’t think the fans will be too worn out for a drive to Tampa.  Wisconsin fans will travel anywhere there is beer).
  • The Wildcats have momentum after winning three straight. (Legit point)
  • Northwestern has not played in a Florida bowl since the 1997 Citrus — and never has played in Tampa. (Does anyone really think the bowl committee really cares about the last time Northwestern played in Florida?  However, lets take Teddy’s point and examine that 1997 Citrus bowl, in which Tennessee beat Northwestern 41 – 21, and was leading 21-0 after the first quarter.  It was the 2nd biggest bowl thumping I have ever seen except for the 2000 Alamo bowl, where Northwestern lost to Nebraska 66 – 17).

How does one measure envy…the length at which one is willing to make stuff up.


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