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B1G Dawg & Pussycat of the Week

Each week I will bring you the Dawg/Pussycat of the week from the Big 10. This could be a player, coach, or school who had an outstanding performance, a great recruiting week, or just an amazing week in general. Opposite of that will be the pussycat of the week. This will be the player, coach, or school who failed to get the job done from the prior week. The only rule is it must be an event that has happened inside the B1G (including the teams joining in 2024) from the previous week.

Awards for the week of November 13th to November 19th, 2023

The B1G Dawg of the Week is a team that was picked to finish last in the Big 10 and came into the season with zero expectations after losing their head coach in July. The rules had to be broken for the pussycat of the week, with the winner coming from outside the Big 10. When you have a team pay over a million dollars to be embarrassed at home it's almost impossible not to take home this award.

The B1G Dawg of the week Is the Northwestern Wildcats for beating the odds and heading to a Bowl.

Northwestern came into the season with absolutely no expectations after having to let go of legendary head coach, Pat Fitzgerald. Unlike another Big 10 school, Northwestern moved fast to move on from their head coach after reports surfaced about hazing inside the Wildcats football program. David Braum was named the interim head coach in July, he was originally hired as the defensive coordinator in the off-season, he was not at Northwestern when the alleged hazing took place.

Braun took over a team that went 1-11 in the previous year under Fitzgerald. He had very limited time to get the Wildcats ready for the 2023 season after taking over in July. Vegas had their over/under win total set at 2.5 as the season kicked off. It didn’t take long for David to earn his player's trust, and that trust turned into results on the field.

Northwestern opened the year with a loss on the road to Rutgers 24-7 and it looked like it was going to be a long year. But after a win vs UTEP in week 2 the Wildcats have been going back-and-forth in the win/loss column. That was until this previous week when they put together their first back-to-back wins of the season. Northwestern was 4-5 heading to Wisconsin where they pulled the upset 24-10 and then they met Purdue at home and won 23-15.

Northwestern with the win has become Bowl eligible for the first time since the 2020 season. David Braun has exceeded all expectations as Northwestern decided to take the 'Interim' off his head coaching title and hired him on a permanent basis. Life for Braun is not getting any easier in the Big 10 with the addition of USC, Oregon, Washington, and UCLA to go along with the likes of OSU, PSU, and Michigan. Like this year, Braun will be in an uphill battle, but David has shown he can win some of those uphill fights, giving Wildcat fans reasons to be excited to see what the future holds.

The Pussycat of the Week comes from the SEC and it’s the Auburn Tigers for just being Embarrassing.

The saying goes in the SEC “It just means more”. The only problem on Saturday was it meant more for New Mexico State than Auburn. Auburn in a game at home where they were decided to officially become the JR Varsity team of the SEC and lose the game 31-10.

This is not the first time that New Mexico State has played SEC teams, they have done it 27 times before this game. In those first 27 Games, the Aggies walked out with a record of 0-27 but after Saturday, it’s now changed to 1-27. Just when Tiger fans think it can’t get more embarrassing, they find out it cost them 1.8 million dollars for the Aggies to beat them up at home.

During the game, it never looked like Auburn had a chance to win. The Aggies put up 414 total yards 201 coming in the air and 213 on the ground. Compared to the Tigers 213 total yards with 148 coming in the air and 65 on the ground. NMSU also won time of possession 38:50 to 21:10 and first downs 23 to 12. In every category on Saturday, the Conference USA team dominated the SEC team, and that’s almost unheard of.

Since 2018 the Tigers have a record of 40-33 overall and are 22-27 in SEC games, for Auburn fans that just won’t cut it. Auburn fans need to understand that they have become the Homecoming Game for good teams in the SEC. The addition of Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC in 2024 won’t make it any easier for Auburn to win. This might be the right time for Auburn to investigate conference realignment and see if the PAC 2, AAC, or MAC are taking teams, at least there they should be able to compete for Championships.


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