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B1G 2016: Northwestern Mailbag Answers

Our ever-increasing number of Northwestern writers answer your questions!

Northwestern v Illinois Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

How many OTE Northwestern "writers" does it take to screw in a light bulb - HoustonBoiler

LPW: We have Iowa grads for that. Silly Boiler.

MNW: I mean, DePaul grads too, but shhhh don’t tell LPW.

Why Is Northwestern the greatest university in the B1G? - Buckyor

LPW: There’s a lakefront beach and proximity to Chicago. Plus best in conference academics.

MNW: You’re a good man, buckyor.

Can the jealousy of all the other schools be channeled into more productive pursuits? - Buckyor

MNW: Yeah, like not sucking so much. Looking it you, Iowa.

On a scale of "NC2002" [a since-banned InsideNU legend of negativity and delusion] to "C.E. Bell" [an OTE "writer" "emeritus" and font of optimism], how optimistic are Northwestern fans for the 2016 season? - hoegher

LPW: I’m predicting 7 to 9 wins this year. I don’t see us beating OSU or MSU yet.

MNW: I think the average Northwestern fan is thinking somewhere in the 7-8 range. That’s tough, because the schedule is much harder, yet we’re expecting improvement on offense. Put me at about .67 Bells, which should be good for 6.7 wins or so.

Is there an opening for a Northwestern "writer" on this site? Asking for a friend… -waw

MNW: If he/she is a Medilldo, tell’em to go to hell. Otherwise, contact Graham Filler. The Cabal is always growing.

Northwestern is northwest of what in particular? -theguyfrommy-wega

MNW: A good question. Since you appear to be a dumb Penn State basketball fan-bro, let’s talk US History under the Articles of Confederation. So the Articles themselves were pretty shitty, right? Unable to levy taxes against or regulate commerce among the states, failing to standardize a national currency, and without a federally-funded army (since the Continental Army was disbanded shortly after the Revolution), the Articles sucked.

But Articles-era Congress did one good thing: Passed the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 (I guess two, if you count the Land Ordinance of 1785 which gave the Midwest our distinctive grid pattern)! Under the Northwest Ordinance, the land from the western border of Pennsylvania west to the Mississippi River, north to the Great Lakes, and south to the Ohio River was set aside as the Northwest Territory (which banned slavery so fuuuuuck you, SEC and turn-of-the-19th-century Southern legislatures who defrauded the Cherokee out of a fuckton of land and put slaves on it since it’s totally better that we defrauded the Natives out of the land but didn’t put slaves on it).

Where was I? Oh yes. Northwestern, the first chartered university in Illinois, was founded in 1851 by Methodists to serve the territories and now states which were carved out of the Northwest Territory. Hence Northwestern -- named for the one thing some old, shitty legislative body actually did right — was northwest of the rest of America circa 1787 and still most of America circa 1851, showing it how to be awesome and not slaveholding. You’re welcome, world.

What will the final score be in your loss to Minnesota this year? -GophersinCNY40

MNW: It’s a great program Hugh McCutcheon’s got. Tough for NU to catch up even though they just hired Loyola’s national championship-winning MVB coach, but look for the ‘Cats to make noise in a few years. I’ll take the Gophers in 4 sets, 25-21, 25-17, 24-26, 25-18.

Rutgers is 3-0 v. Northwestern. Do your Cats actually have a winning record against any B10 team? -WestCoast_RU

LPW: We have a winning record against Indiana.

MNW: Yeah. Let’s’ll be about 8 years til we’ve played rutger four more times, so I’ll say that by 2025, Northwestern has winning records against Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, and rutger. How’s that for a sleeping giant?

Can we get an update on the fucksaw? -BentNotBroken

LPW: MNW, didn’t you almost take that class?

According to the Chicago Tribune, J Michael Bailey’s Human Sexuality class was discontinued after the 2011 academic year. NU President Morton Schapiro was literally spending 4 hours a day dealing with the fallout of that mess.

MNW: You’re correct, LPW! I was enrolled in Human Sexuality until two days before that quarter began. For those of you that don’t know or didn’t click the link, John Michael Bailey’s wildly popular Human Sexuality class (which filled the 700-seat Ryan Auditorium) featured OPTIONAL after-class speakers and demonstrations (think "swingers coming to talk about orgies" and "putting a condom on a 15" dildo"). Well, one such lecture was followed by Faith Krolls and her boyfriend, who demonstrated how extreme sex toys worked by attaching a dildo to a reciprocating saw and bringing her to orgasm A WHOLE DAMN BUNCH in front of the class in like 2 minutes flat.

How do you justify claiming the "NU" moniker when you have a losing record to the other team making said claim? -Andy Davis

LPW: This question is beneath contempt, plebeian.

MNW: Ahem. Even if I recognized your spurious and dyslexic claim (I don’t), by the rules of the NU Trophy Game, it’s ourrrrrs. Suck it.

How are there more Northwestern writers on OTE than Northwestern fans in the world? -DoYouLoveHawksorHate’Merica?

MNW: We’re always taking applications for both!

Our old dink-and-dunk offense rarely yielded big plays, but it was methodical and hard to stop (most drives of 10+ plays in FBS at one point), and it annoyed the crap out of Iowa. How much do you miss it right now? And even if Thorson makes a big step in his sophomore year, will it matter if our receivers continue dropping balls as much as they did last year? -vaudvillain

LPW: I do miss it, and it’s one of the things I wish we would get back to. If we’re going to run power football, then we need the linemen for it. McMcCall can’t keep stubbornly calling plays that we don’t have adequate personnel for... Usually Fitz/McMcCall tailors the offense based on the talent, but the past two years have been like an extended brainfart.

I’m a big believer in a balanced offense in order to keep the defense honest. If everyone knows that Thorson can’t throw, then they’ll just key on the run. It’ll be as infuriating as a few years ago when everyone knew that Trevor Siemian was the passing QB and Kain Colter was the running QB.

MNW: I’ll second mostly everything above and add that Dennis Springer’s time as WR coach has been a disaster in developing talent. I’d love to see the superbacks get more involved as a safety valve/checkdown for Thorson, and a lot of time improving Thorson’s ability to throw the quick slant would help.

Speaking of the Michigan fans, I think this would be a marvelous year for your offense to really figure it out and for NW to storm through the B1G regular season 9-0. -RockyMtnBlue

MNW: Not a question, but I agree! That’ll make the B1G Championship Game victory all the sweeter :)

LPW: Same. I’d be overjoyed for Fitzy to best your Khaki-clad lunatic.

I’m looking to purchase a tarp to cover my dog’s kennel. You’re experts on tarps, what properties should I look for in a quality tarp? -Boilerman31

MNW: I don’t know, just take the uniform off one of Purdue’s cheerleaders.

LPW: ::almost spits beer on the laptop screen laughing!::

When selecting a polo pony, what characteristics do you look for? Speed and stamina, or strength and conditioning? -ziowa9

MNW: Just like with our students and student-athletes, we prefer a good pedigree.

So how bad did it feel to see your #12 ranking implode against Michigan? And which game will result in a similar let down this year? -87Townie

LPW: My first reaction was; Are you fucking kidding me??!? Then I started laughing, and then started ordering more beer. Ohio State could be the Bane to our Batman, breaking our back yet again.

MNW: I don’t think it even lasts that long. If NU makes it through Duke unbeaten, they’ll take a #24 or so ranking into a home date with Nebraska. I think it’s lost there. Failing that, Iowa will take it at home.

Why is Northwestern the most intimidating place to play in the Big Ten? -ICEICETHATGUY13

LPW: James Franklin must ask himself that question all the time.

MNW: Are you familiar with that feeling of being alone in a large library? Of hearing things that go bump in the night and looking around but seeing nothing there? Of the painful, soul-sucking sound of silence? That is Ryan Field, my friend. There is nothing. You see nothing. There is only pain and sadness. You look into the void of the South Bleachers, begging for fans to appear, but they never do, and you are terrified.

And then you snap Mitch Leidner the ball.

What’s the best Wizgerald picture ever? I’ll recuse myself. -BentNotBroken

LPW: Every year HMFR manages to outdo himself.

Is this the year? -br27

MNW: It’s not The Year. It’s never The Year.