Northwestern Wildcats College Football Preview 2021: What Will Happen, Season Prediction
Obviously Pat Fitzgerald deserves every benefit of every doubt as one of the best head coaches in all of football. NASCAR this thing up and give everyone the same equipment to work with, and he might just be the best of the whole lot considering what he’s doing with the the restrictions of producing Big Ten championship-appearance teams in two of the last three seasons.
There was a time when just going to a bowl game was a big deal in Evanston, much less win it, but the Cats have gone bowling in ten of the last 13 years, won five of their last six, and took down four in a row.
With that said, it also takes a whole lot of things to go right for the team to be fantastic.
Set The Northwestern Wildcats Regular Season Win Total At … 7.5
It helps to have experience, and this year’s team is missing the super-senior element that most others in the Big Ten are enjoying.
It helps when the rest of the Big Ten West is struggling – particularly Wisconsin – and …
Whatever. You don’t come up with five winning seasons in six years at Northwestern without having something figured out.
From 1925 to 1931, Northwestern had six winning seasons in seven years. That’s the only era pre-1905 that’s more successful than this current one, and that’s very, very debatable considering the level of competition now.
And now in his 16th season at the gig, Fitzgerald has his groove.
He’s got the facilities, the recruiting has been solid for who the program can get. and the style of play is rock-solid. Northwestern knows what it has to do to win with what it has to play with.
But again, there’s a lot missing with a whole new slew of starting receivers, a new quarterback, and a ton of new parts on defense.
The Purdue game is at Wrigley Field, meaning the last three games are outside of Evanston, dates with Michigan, Wisconsin and Nebraska are all on the road, and there can’t be any slips against a Minnesota here and a Rutgers there.
There are enough winnable games to come up with another winning season and bowl appearance, but a third trip to the Big Ten Championship in four years?
Don’t put it past Fitzgerald, but that would be one heavy lift.