Pat Fitzgerald has been with the Northwestern football team seven seasons as head coach and he should have learned a valuable lesson by now, especially when it comes to the Big Ten conference. Your team must be ready every week with no exceptions if you plan on having a contender.
It’s extremely tough for a coach to get his players up after a game like that. But that’s Fitzgerald’s job. The schedule maker wasn’t kind to the Wildcats, putting them on the road at Wisconsin right after the OSU game. But there’s no letdowns in the Big Ten. To win the title, being ready every week is mandatory. If not, then some type of consolation bowl will be on their plate. But after a 4-0 start and with a lead against Ohio State, a consolation bowl was the last thing on Northwestern’s mind.
Fitzgerald, to his everlasting credit, has built Northwestern into a winner when no one thought it was possible, especially in the competitive Big Ten.
Against Wisconsin in Saturday’s loss, Northwestern couldn’t get a needed touchdown early and the defense couldn’t stop the Badgers.
For the Wildcats to eventually be a Big Ten title contender and go to a BCS bowl, Fitzgerald has to figure a way to have his team play 100 percent every week. That’s never easy. But it always has to be done to emerge as a champion. Fitzgerald is smart enough to get his players ready every week. Now it’s a matter of getting the job done.