Author Archives: scuzz23
The NFL Draft will be #NORTHWESTERN central this year!
Not getting your NU fix from the usual talking heads? We have you covered!
First, we sat down with Defector Media writer and Northwestern’s own Kalyn Kahler to dive into the 2021 NFL Draft, what she’s hearing from behind the scenes, and why this will be NORTHWESTERN’S draft! You can download the episode from iTunes or directly from here.
Last week and this week, we’re making guest appearances on the Winning Cures Everything podcast w our boy, Chris Giannini!
You can watch on YouTube (links below) or download the audio on your favorite podcast app by searching “Winning Cures:
Sam on the 1st round last Tuesday
John on underrated guys last Thursday
Scuzz on evaluating past drafts this Tuesday
Lastly, as we’ve done for the last 10 years, we’ll be recording an UNHINGED live draft pod with the Gary & Chris from WCE, and BROADCASTING LIVE on Thursday night! Join us live for a full-bore celebration of the (hopefully) two Northwestern 1st round picks, send us your questions & comments live — we’ll be having a lot of fun throughout the night. THIS is the link to join the live feed on Thursday night.
For a taste, here’s the link to last year’s mayhem… we promise to be on time this year!)
#GiveNoQuarter and GO CATS
A listener (Thanks Sam!) reached out to ask us about local pandemic-related charities to support while enjoying the return of the #B1GCats. This got us thinking about what we can do to support our community: we’ve decided to donate meals through Soul & Smoke each game week this year. We’re really excited about supporting this local Evanston business with deep Chicago ties — since March they have provided over 100,000 meals to those in need in the Chicago area, and are serving a critical need in our communities. Please read below and join us if you are able to give, either to Soul & Smoke or another community organization of your choosing.
Now that the B1G is back on the calendar, we are revisiting out summer preview podcasts, running down each and every team in the conference. We think the initial previews we recorded in June and July have held up pretty well – there have been some opt-outs and of course the schedules have changed – but they’re a great place to start your binge-prep for Oct 24th.
We’ll be releasing our final two previews in the next two weeks, and will also revisit the new schedule and key player changes, before finally digging deep on the B1G Cats the week prior to the start to conference play.
Below are the links to the 1st 10 preview episodes – immerse yourself in B1G Cats prep and send us your feedback and your questions!
Cheers, #GiveNoQuarter, and Go Cats!
Current Preview Episodes:
Indiana: find on iTunes or download the mp3 here
Rutgers: find on iTunes or download the mp3 here
Ohio State: find on iTunes or download the mp3 here
Michigan: find on iTunes or download the mp3 here
Michigan State: find on iTunes or download the mp3 here
Penn State: find on iTunes or download the mp3 here
Maryland: find on iTunes or download the mp3 here
Nebraska: find on iTunes or download the mp3 here
Iowa: find on iTunes or download the mp3 here
Purdue: find on iTunes or download the mp3 here
Wisconsin: find on iTunes or download the mp3 here
Scuzz will be making the trip up to West Lafayette for the season opener next Thursday! Let us know if you’ll be there too and want to catchup, tailgate, etc: @westlotpirates
Now that most non-conference games in 2017 are complete, we take a moment to explore the National Championship picture using our model to assess likelihood of teams go undefeated or emerge from their respective conferences.
The last two weeks have certainly complicated the Ohio State vs. Alabama match-up everyone was sure of at the beginning of the year. Alabama remains the most likely power-5 team to finish unblemished as the usual cast of SEC contenders keeps tripping up, though there is at least one giant red-flag remaining on the schedule. Between Auburn’s woeful O-line performance and LSU’s face-plant in Starkville these past two weeks, the only date I’m worried about is when the Tide travel to Starkville themselves. Bama still goes into the SEC championship game at 12-0 in 40% of our simulations, down from 52% last week. No other SEC teams are undefeated in more than 1% of simulations, but if Mississippi State survives the next two weeks, they will be on the board.
The B1G conference grows more and more interesting each week. As we discussed in last week’s podcast, the likelihood of Ohio State to bounce back from the OU game seems pretty good (hey, remember 2015 when we all left them for dead after Va Tech?). The model has OSU winning out 32% of the time. The rest of the conference? Wisconsin (18% undefeated) and Penn State (9%) look great but are untested, and Michigan (1.5%) is lurking as well. Sadly NU’s slim chances went down in flames in Durham. The reality is a B1G playoff berth comes down to the conference championship game – OSU and Penn State are heavily favored over Wisconsin.
The hype is real in my old stomping grounds of Texas and Oklahoma. After a disaster against Maryland, Tom Herman is back on everyone’s minds having still not won a meaningful game in burnt orange. Last week everyone handed the Sooners the conference crown, but now the annual match-up at the Cotton Bowl has a bit more juice. However there are some folks in a different color orange who would scoff at this story line. Our model likes Oklahoma State (8%) more than Oklahoma (4%), partially on account of Bedlam being in Stillwater. The focus on the Red River Shootout has somehow left OK State as the 3rd wheel (a team that was 1 bad call away from a potential Playoff berth last year). Smart money is on the Cowboys right now, though a rematch with the Sooners in the B12 championship game would be a likely tossup.
The ACC, billed to be a wild-ride this year, is suddenly dull. Clemson is so far beyond the competition this race seems already over. Florida State (2% chance to win out) has a great defense, but is in deep trouble having lost QB Francois. I had hope for Louisville, but that was far-fetched apparently. Kelly Bryant looks like a Deshaun Watson clone running that O and the defense is just nasty.
Finally, out west, USC (7%) appeared to be a juggernaut but now looks vulnerable coming off Saturday night’s game. Washington (39%) is clearly in the driver’s seat in the North but hasn’t been tested. They wouldn’t meet until the Pac 12 championship game where the model heavily favors the Huskies (74%) at present. I’m starting to think USC is good, but not great (look at what happened to Stanford).
Darkhorses? Sadly, there are few candidates. The four-team playoff and the Power-5 have seen to that. South Florida could end up going undefeated, but doesn’t play anyone of merit (Illinois!). Boise has already lost, and while the model likes San Diego State (42%), UTSA (34%), and Memphis (33%) to win out, none of them have the path that would really garner consideration from the playoff committee. San Diego State is the closest but needs Stanford go on a run in the Pac-12. Should we get some upheaval, one of these teams could see a miracle, but I think two teams from the same Power-5 conference is more likely. A Michigan-Penn State ordeal could have potential. A 1-loss Mississippi State or Georgia as SEC runner-up is always a possibility. If USC lost a really close game to Washington, I could see both getting in. Oklahoma St-OU as two 12-1 teams? Could setup a 3rd game between them this year though. Regardless, it appears to be a lot of familiar team names – the most interesting story is probably Oklahoma State which has come oh-so-close twice in the last five years.