Asmussen's Top 50: No. 33 Northwestern

Asmussen's Top 50: No. 33 Northwestern

Bob Asmussen counts down his top 50 college football teams for the upcoming season.

No. 33: Northwestern

Coach: Pat Fitzgerald

2013 record: 5-7

Projected 2014 record: 7-5

Circle the date: Oct. 4 vs. Wisconsin

Why No. 33: Maybe this is a bit of a stretch for a team coming off a sub-.500 season. But remember the 4-0 start that came undone after the loss to Ohio State? Fitzgerald isn’t going to let that happen two years in a row. Look for the Wildcats to return to their passing first ways of the past. Quarterback Trevor Siemian has a strong arm and there is enough talent at the other skill positions to keep opposing defenses guessing. Maybe this is the year Kyle Prater realizes all of his potential. The running back position is a strength. On defense, seven starters are back from a group that played well at times last season. The nonconference is a challenge with a game against in-state rival Northern Illinois and a trip to Notre Dame in November. Games against Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Nebraska will decide Northerwestern’s Big Ten West fate.

Previous rankings
No. 34 Maryland

No. 35: BYU

No. 36: Oregon State

No. 37: Miami

No. 38: Cincinnati

No. 39: Pitt

No. 40: Duke

No. 41: Georgia Tech

No. 42: Marshall

No. 43: Arizona State

No. 44: Arizona

No. 45: Boise State

No. 46: Fresno State

No. 47: Penn State

No. 48: Virginia Tech

No. 49: Oklahoma State

No. 50: Illinois

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