On the same day when ESPN’s Colin Cowherd stated that Pat Fitzgerald “might be the best head coach in college football,” the Northwestern head coach laid out his long-term plan.
"So much has changed from a standpoint of expectations, and Joe has rolled with the punches. I don't know how he does it. It's amazing. Joe Paterno is college football, and I could not imagine it without him. His impact on college football will be talked about forever."
"What Joe told me when I first got the job was: 'Nobody knows all the mistakes I made when I first started coaching because nobody covered it. It was covered by two or three people and we were really close friends. Now you say something wrong at a golf outing, and everyone knows about it.’"
Northwestern opens at Vanderbilt on September 4th at 7:30 pm EST. The Wildcats then play Illinois State, at Rice, and Central Michigan before the Big Ten schedule starts.
Vanderbilt's four non-conference games include Northwestern, at UCONN, Eastern Michigan, and Wake Forest.
Smart scheduling, Fitz!
By the way, we'd like to hear the 50-yard line pre-game chat between Fitz and Robbie Caldwell (he's the Vanderbilt head coach). Attention CSS, please get those two mic'd up. Caldwell rolled off some hilarious jokes at SEC Media Days.
Somewhere in that soon-to-be conversation, Fitz will likely say, "Good luck to next Coach Caldwell against LSU." Caldwell will respond, "Same to you, good luck against Illinois State."