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MnB B1G Preview: Know Your Foe - Northwestern Edition

Each week, MnB will preview a different Big Ten foe. This edition brings us to Evanston to discuss all the aspects of the Northwestern program, and in this case, the university itself. Northwestern takes pride in calling themselves "Chicago's Big Ten team," and they do make a strong case. It's Know Your Foe, Nerd Alert Edition:

Byron Hetzler-USA TODAY Sports

COACH PAT FITZGERALD REALLY ENJOYS JUMPING: He loves his team, his school, and his job, and he's not ashamed if the whole world knows it. Even when Michigan beats them in overtime after a hail mary pass to tie the game in the last few moments of regulation.

CAMPUS TRADITION THAT MAKES STUDENTS FEEL A SENSE OF BELONGING: Every new academic year, freshmen take part in the NU March Through the Arch. Don't over think it, it's just kids walking under an arch that sits at the main campus entrance. The marching band does lead them through campus, which sounds awesome, but there are probably way too many "Michigan students will park our cars!" jokes that day. The campus also has a rock, which gets painted a lot, but the Michigan rock sits on a campus where the football team has won a Rose Bowl in the last half century.

CAMPUS TRADITION THAT HAS INCLUDED NOW-FAMOUS PERFORMERS: Undergraduate students produce a musical revue, the Waa-Mu (awkward mash-together of Women's Athletic Association and Men's Union). Warren Beatty and Ann Margaret performed in it once, and they turned out alright. The 2015 show will be a retelling of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night set in 1930s Hollywood...and if there's a scene involving unions, Kain Colter is on standby.

GROUP OF BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE WHO HAPPENED TO ATTEND NORTHWESTERN: There is a fairly lengthy list of them here, but highlights include: Stephen Colbert, George R.R. Martin, and Ira Glass. Hopefully, Ira Glass has heard of at least one of those other two men. More notables include Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Robert Reed (played Mike Brady), David Schwimmer, and Cindy Crawford. Schwimmer was on an episode of Entourage once, so he did pretty well.

OBSCURE STORY I FOUND IN UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES: Northwestern played frequent host to a circus. No, not the football team's inability to win more than six games regularly, a real circus. It was begun in 1910 as the "College Carnival," and ran each year, save 1918, until 1932. The University canceled the popular event that year as the administration thought it distracted from the true purpose of Northwestern: staying inside and writing a thesis on the cultural dynamics of northern walrus herds.


2Chainz is Headlining This Year

PROOF THAT NORTHWESTERN STUDENTS DO PARTY: Evanston is small, so on-campus watering holes are limited. Most students cram into The Keg of Evanston or The Deuce, but frat and sorority parties appear to be the venue of choice for those of legal drinking age. The Greek houses put on something called "The Freshmen Freeze" and prohibit underclassmen from setting foot inside. I've never known underclassmen to not try to sneak into frat parties, so this is a dubious ritual.

GREATEST MOMENT IN WILDCAT ATHLETIC HISTORY TO THIS DAY: In 1949 California and Northwestern met in Pasadena for the 35th Rose Bowl Game Not Presented by Vizio. Cal was unbeaten at 10-0, and Northwestern earned the Big Ten's bid after a 7-2 season (they beat Michigan by a point in October). In a stunner, the Wildcats overtook Cal 20-14, and that remains the lone Rose Bowl win in program history.