I'll say this: Starks are a fair bit more canny when it comes to war than politics. Ned's reputation was largely as a warrior (hence the reason Jaime was so eager to get into a pissing match with him from the get-go), and a lot of folks considered him the "brains" of Robert's Rebellion (though that hasn't really been explicitly stated on the show, and he kinda shared that role with Jon Arryn). The pragmatism Ned showed when he explained why he doesn't fight in tournaments is pretty representative of Starks at war.
This. The Starks know war, and know how to prosecute it successfully. I haven't watch last night's ep yet, but in the book, at least, Robb's surrounded by older veterans who can give experienced advice on tactics and strategy.