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Thursday, Jan 3, 2013

* Sometimes, people have a hard time finding our live session coverage post. I’m not sure why. It’s linked at the very top of the page and you can find it in the box in the upper right corner of the blog. But, hey, not everybody is Interwebtubes savvy, I suppose.

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* Let’s make this a Lovie Smith/NIU football open thread.

…Adding… Oops. I forgot about Northwestern football. Include the team in our open thread as well.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Norseman - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 12:26 pm:

    Still proud of the Huskies.

  2. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 12:29 pm:

    Not surprising, but Lovie was bush league leaving town without public comment.

    Dude, you got to be head coach of the Chicago Bears for nine years. That’s an honor. That’s the top of your profession. You made millions in the process.

    And you won three, count ‘em three, playoff games, and never got your offense better than 15th in the NFL.

    A big public thank you to the McCaskeys, coaches, players and fans was more than in order. You always talked a lot about character and you revealed something of yours.

    NIU got to play with the real big dogs. There’s a ways to go to compete consistently at that level, but believe me, Northern has come a long way on the foundation Novak built.

  3. - Dirty Birdy - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 12:34 pm:

    Does the State of Illinois really need the Office of Lt. Governor?

    Also, I predict Lovie will be the next coach of the Bills.

  4. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 12:41 pm:

    Hey–Northwestern *won* its bowl game.

  5. - Roadiepig - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 12:50 pm:

    News out of Buffalo says the Bills are going to interview Lovie. Sounds about right for them- hiring Dick Jauron worked out so well for them after the Bears fired him.

    And congrats to NIU- they were driving down the field with the ball down 7 in the 3rd quarter before an interception ended their chances. They competed even though they didn’t have the talent of Florida State. The final score doesn’t reflect how they played most of the game.

  6. - aaron singer - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 12:53 pm:

    Congrats to the Northern Illinois Huskies on a fantastic season.

    Congrats also to my hometown Northwestern Wildcats for finally winning a bowl game after all these years.

    As for the Orange and Blue, well, uhh, at least the basketball team is better than I thought! (despite losing to the Boilermakers)

    Glad to see Lovie gone. I had no ill will against him, it was just time for him to leave.

    How many days until pitchers and catchers report (the four finest words in the English language)? Go White Sox.

  7. - OneMan - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 1:23 pm:

    Props to NW, way to break the streak and NIU, well it was a game for 3 quarters and to ESPN, you could have found more alumni than the voice of Homer Simpson…

  8. - Tommydanger - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 1:47 pm:

    Was at the Orange Bowl and NIU had reason to be proud both on the field and in the stands. Easily 20-25k Huskie fans were in attendance and displayed both passion and endurance in waiting out the inevitable. Its weird that we so often cheer for the underdog in so many situations, but in this instance there was a tremendous amount of elitism and self righteous indignation that Northern did not know its place. Seems to me that Florida has more to apologize for in its effort vs Louisville, than NIU does for its effort against FSU.

  9. - Dee Lay - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 2:03 pm:

    See ya Lovie!
    Not too shabby NIU?

    Odds on hockey coming back this season?

  10. - Ben S. - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 2:35 pm:

    @Roadiepig–Speaking as a Bills fan I’d welcome Lovie. He is a much better coach than Jauron ever was and the team has way more talent than I think the Bears will next season…

  11. - amalia - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 2:40 pm:

    good for NIU in any case, love that they brought 26 busloads of students down. great win for NU, that’s the real Patrick Fitzgerald in action. wonderful to see Lovie gone, arrogant, clueless on offense, clueless as the face of the team.

  12. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 2:48 pm:

    –Odds on hockey coming back this season?–

    Not good. It’s more of a fight among owners than anything. The Original Six plus a few others make money. Not so much some of those teams down south.

    Those owners wanted football or baseball franchises but couldn’t get in the clubs. Now they try to force hockey on indifferent populations.

    The result is too many teams chasing too few good players, resulting in higher salaries and ticket prices.

    With no real broadcast deals, you have to make money at the gate. Not so easily done in much of the United States.

  13. - Anna - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 3:13 pm:

    I agree with Tommydanger. Lovie could have taken a page out of A.J. Pierzynski’s book on how to leave a town. I thought his ad was great!

  14. - Joe Bidenopoulous - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 3:16 pm:

    Once again, word has so artfully put into, ummm, words, what I was thinking but couldn’t formulate. This time about Lovie. Over the nine years, the man had the 31st-ranked out of 32 offenses. That was certainly enough time.

  15. - Skeeter - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 3:43 pm:

    Northwestern played one heck of a game.

    The Bears should interview Fitzgerald. Unlike Smith, Fitzgerald’s teams seem ready and motivated every week.

  16. - Anonymouse - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 3:58 pm:

    @Skeeter: If only! But Fitz loves NU and that’s a team that’s getting better every year. Did you see his comments after the game? Next stop, the Big Ten (excuse me, B1G) Championship!

  17. - Etown - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 4:24 pm:

    NU will be back in a Rose Bowl under Fitz now if only people would be willing to fill the stands for this team which is always fun to watch

  18. - amalia - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 4:57 pm:

    Etown, do you go to NU games?

  19. - Mark Thoman - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 8:38 pm:

    NIU played a frantically paced, up tempo, no-huddle game for 60 minutes all year, and that made watching them play a total hoot. That team never really showed up for the Orange Bowl, just a few glimpses. Too bad.

    Thanks for a great season Huskies!! You guys were the most fun to watch team in college football!!!

  20. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 9:03 pm:

    Nice job NU, NIU and Illinois. Wait, sorry, strike that last one :(

  21. - Soxfan - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 9:13 pm:

    I went into the Orange Bowl expecting the worst, but got it only from the refs. While NIU likely would have lost the game anyway, there were two blantantly wrong calls that ended any chance of NIU pulling a huge upset (one of which cost them a probable TD). But I give all credit to the Seminoles. They played well, took NIU’s best shot, and won the game.

    It seems everyone was against the Huskies, which is odd. Why was the underdog the bad guy? So when NIU scores making it 17-10 late in the 3rd Quarter, gets the onside kick, and drives into FSU territory looking to tie? That was pure unalterated joy! And the huge NIU contingent was in full throat. It proved the Huskies and their fans could run with the big dogs. It also will be remembered by this NIU alum for the rest of my life.

  22. - Stones - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 8:37 am:

    Was a Lovie supporter up until this year. In the end, when you have the franchises best quarterback, receiver, outside linebacker, cornerback, a hall of fame middle linebacker and defensive end you need to win. Starting 7-1 and missing the playoffs certainly didn’t help.

    I also wholeheartedly agree with Wordslinger’s comment about leaving town without comments. It was bush league.

  23. - Lt. Guv - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 8:54 am:

    Went to the Orange Bowl and it was a blast. I was exceptionally proud of the number of NIU fans who made the trip. Many were predicting we wouldn’t travel well and nothing could have been further from the truth.

  24. - Wumpus - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 9:04 am:

    NIU went up against a team that was bigger, stronger, faster and better at football. FSU has more future pro players on their offensive/defensive lines than NIU probably has on their entire team. They had a great season and should not be ashamed.

    Lovie went out the way Lovie always behaved. He will be fine and land another job quickly. He was a winning coach. He never really got the credit from the Bears’ fans that he deserved, nor did he act like he wanted to be loved. He did not pander like Ditka.
    1. Emery wanted his own guy, which is understandable
    2. Offense was never figured out under Lovie.

    They spent all that money in the offseason, but could not fix the o-line…and drafted McClellan (spelling?). He may be a great pro, but they needed O -line help immediately.

  25. - wordslinger - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 10:49 am:

    –The Bears should interview Fitzgerald. –

    I don’t think that dude’s going anywhere. He could go anywhere, but I think he’ll remain in Evanston forever. He’s on a mission, always has been.

    My son was recruited by Northwestern. He had the test scores, but not the grades (his own damn fault). Fitz came to our house, sat at our dining room table, and layed out the reasons why Northwestern could not offer my son a scholarship. He told my son to take the rejection as a lesson and to fight through it.

    Fitz didn’t have to do that. He got nothing from it. He did it out of a sense of honor and a genuine concern for my son’s future.

    My son is currently a scholarship football player and on the Dean’s List every semester.

    Fitz is the bee’s knees.

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