14 February 2012

NU's Midseason Report Card

Back in December we previewed and analyzed NU's 2012 B1G schedule to give our readers a road map to the NCAAs if you will.  We did so by dividing the schedule into trimesters and then categorizing the games therein.  With the first two trimesters now in the books this is a good time to step back and take stock of where NU stands on its NCAAs quest.

The first trimester grades have been in the books for a few weeks now, but we channeled our inner Ben Bernanke and withheld our board notes so as to not unduly influence the course of events.  Per Carmody Court Bylaw 2.03A(i)4.a.ii. (aka, the "CC No Tampering Rule") we are now free to share our findings. So without further ado drum roll please...

First trimester (wins in parens)
Expected result: 2-4 (PSU, Illinois)
Targeted result: 2-4 (PSU, Illinois)
Actual result: 2-4 (PSU, MSU)
Analysis: NU lost one Low Hanging Fruit game (Illinois) but replaced it with one Bling game.  In the eyes of the Selection Committee the Bling win outweighs the LHF loss.  Also of note is that NU nearly picked up additional Bling at Michigan but fell in OT. 

Grade: C+

We'll be back in a few more weeks to share our second trimester analysis.  Oh what the hell.  We hereby enact Bylaw 4.12D(iii)2.a. which allows us to forego the CC NO Tampering Rule and (subpart i.) not take any responsibility whatsoever for any undue negative influence our words may or may not have on the season and (ii) simultaneously take full credit for NU's run to the NCAAs.

Second trimester
Expected result: 2-4 (Io_a, Nebraska)
Targeted result: 3-3 (Io_a, Nebraska, Purdue)
Actual result: 3-3 (Io_a, Nebraska, at Illinois)
Analysis: NU exceeded expectations and met our 3-3 target.  In place of a home victory against Purdue was a glorious victory at Illinois.  In the eyes of the Selection Committee the road victory will impress more than the home loss to Purdue will hurt.

Grade: B

Looking ahead
At 5-7 NU has achieved our minimum target for scraping into the NCAAs this year.  The third trimester is upon us so let's do this thang!  What once appeared to be 4 low hanging fruit games has morphed into 2 LHFs and 2 Bling games (at Io_a, Michigan have become tougher), and the two Wheaties games (at Indiana, Ohio State) still look like very tall orders.  It won't easy but so what?  As an NU fan would you really expect it to be any other way?!?!?  Buckle up because this roller coaster of a season is about to get nerve wracking.