2008 Northwestern Wildcats College Football Predictions
2008 Northwestern Wildcats College Football Predictions Courtesy of Alex Smart, An Expert College Football Handicapper featured on Touthouse.com. If you are betting college football this year, be sure to buy Alex Smart’s college football picks each week and guarantee a winning season!!
Northwestern Wildcats (6-6, 3-5 in 2007, 10th place in Big 10)
The Wildcats needed one more win to go bowling in 2007, and the place that they had to look back and shake their heads was a home loss to the lowly Duke Blue Devils in the third week of the season. That win would have given the Wildcats only their third winning season this decade.
Offensive Outlook: Northwestern returns seven starters to an offense that averaged 25.8 PPG last season and over 300 yards passing a game. The Wildcats boast their best backfield in years with QB CJ Bacher, who threw for 3656 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2007, and RB Tyrell Sutton (who had an injury plagued 2008 season) leading the way. Sutton is the most talented player on this team, having been named Big 10 Freshman of the Year in 2005, and having rushed for 2996 yards in his 26 starts in Northwestern’s backfield. That said; can their spread offense continue to be effective in the Big 10 now that more and more teams have adopted it?
Defensive Outlook: The Wildcats defense was not very good in 2007, allowing 31 PPG on average. This season the Wildcats have eight starters returning and three of those players (DT John Gill, DE Corey Wootton, and SS Brendan Smith) were Honorable Mention Big 10 players last year. The defensive line will be the strength of this defense as all four starters up front return this year.
2008 Outlook: The Wildcats start the season off with four very winnable games (vs. Syracuse, @ Duke, vs. Southern Illinois, vs. Ohio) before entering Big 10 play. If they can manage to pull off three or four wins in conference, Northwestern should be going bowling in 2008.
2008 will be a success if… Northwestern can make their fourth bowl game of this decade and finish with a winning record. With 15 returning starters, an easy non-conference schedule, and not having to play Penn State or Wisconsin in conference play, a winning season could be on the horizon in Evanston.
Pat Fitzgerald enters his third year at Northwestern still looking for the school’s first bowl appearance since the tragic passing of former HC Randy Walker. If Sutton can stay healthy and the defense improves, Northwestern has a very good chance to lace up their bowling shoes.
Prediction: 7-5, 7th place in Big 10