Ed. note: I planned for this to be my SMCD reaction, but had it hurtfully pointed out that it was article-length. I hate it when my writers pay attention to my nagging.
What more is there to be said about the 2021 Northwestern Wildcats? A team so pathetically undercoached, outmanned, and unmotivated as the one on the field in Champaign should imply that changes will be made in the off-season. Neither Andrew Marty nor Ryan Hilinski had a clue what to do on the football field for Northwestern (does anyone remember Hunter Johnson?), and it's that kind of one-dimensionality on offense on which a BERT defense thrives.
From the simple pump fake/double move touchdown (or just long gain, who remembers) in the first quarter to the 4th and 1 where Peters sprinted from shotgun to take a snap under center, drawing the NU LBs in, only to pitch it to the RB 5 yards back who everyone forgot about, Bret Bielema made Pat Fitzgerald look as stupid as he did back when it was 70-23 at wisconsin. And this was with Illinois players left over from Lovie Smith! The Fighting Illini came ready for this game and not only punched Northwestern in the mouth but repeatedly bullied them until the game was not only well in hand, but everyone was pointing and laughing at the Emperor of Evanston, butt-ass naked and no doubt contemptuous of the media eager to remind him that he swore, back in 2019, that this would never happen again.
Losing one HAT is not a catastrophic occurrence -- it is losing HAT in such a fashion that reminds you Northwestern is undergoing a HARD reset.
Or at least it needs to.
Where shall we start with the changes?
Should it be OC Mike Bajakian, the offensive coordinator touted as an innovator who looks more and more dependent on an above average quarterback, seemingly unable to dial up a pass beyond the sticks in 3rd and, well, any distance?
Should it be ST coordinator Jeff Genyk? He was Fitz's LB coach when he played at NU who eventually became a colleague when Fitz got into coaching. Genyk was a failure as HC at EMU and came back to NU as a special teams coordinator, having failed to help kicker Charlie Kuhbander maintain his competence while offering the program...his son, the backup punter who mustered one 32-yard punt today?
Or should it be DC Jim O'Neil, an abject failure at his job who got it in the first place because in 2003-04 he served as a graduate assistant alongside then-LB coach Pat Fitzgerald on a Motor City Bowl-losing Northwestern team?
I have my ideas (doors number 2 and 3!), but the very nature of and reasoning for their hirings (Fitz knows, likes, and will not be told "No" by either) suggests that it's Bajakian or nothing.
With all credit to good-looking thinker and longtime commenter vaudvillain, there was nary a lead change in a single Northwestern football game this year.
The 2021 'Cats sat there and took it.
And take it they did: over, and over, and over, from any Big Ten school actually worthy of stepping on a football field bearing the conference's logo. (Are you listening, Rutgers?) Oh, and also Duke! Why not!
And so the rot continues. Here lies Northwestern football, 2021 edition, who lived as they died, in the same mediocre fashion that showed nothing but contempt for the little fanbase that continues to give a shit.
See you all in Dublin for a 45-point loss to Nebraska.