The Northwestern Wildcats are 1-3 With Nebraska, Ohio State and Iowa as their next three opponents, things don't look too good for the Cats.
Heading into this season, expectations and hopes were high. The Cats won the Big Ten Western Division last season and followed that with a 31-20 win over Utah in the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl. The Big Ten Conference is always a battle, but Northwestern was expected to be better than a 1-3 start would indicate.
Granted, there are eight games remaining. Winning all eight would bring the Cats to 9-3. Actually, they could probably still lose two more and finish 7-5 and still land in a bowl game. The season isn't lost, but there needs to be a sense of urgency now.
The Cats haven't played horribly. They just haven't put it all together. Regardless of the outcomes, the games at Ryan Field are always a fun time. I wrote about the game day experience for Global Traveler at College Football Saturdays.
One of the highlights for me this season was meeting Ted Albrecht, the former offensive lineman for the Chicago Bears, who is a broadcaster for Northwestern. Albrecht played five seasons at tackle and guard. He retired after the 1981 season.
After his playing days, Albrecht opened a travel agency. I actually sent a few of his cards there for him to sign (which he did). He has stayed in the Chicago area since then.
I saw Albrecht as he approached the WGN radio booth in the "N Zone" in front of Ryan Field. I waited patiently for him to finish his bit on the radio. Despite being in a rush to get to the broadcast booth, Albrecht was kind enough to briefly chat with a couple fans and me. I was lucky enough to get a selfie, too.
This Saturday, the Wildcats travel to Nebraska. Beating the 3-2 Cornhuskers would be a nice way to start getting back into the playoff hunt for the Cats. Of course, I won't be making the trip, but I will be watching on television, hoping Team Purple gets the win. Check NUSports.com for more coverage of the Wildcats.
Ted Albrecht and me in Evanston, IL-September 2019.