Illini Football 2018

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Is there a movie on this flight?
Elmhurst
For a better comparison:

Turner won 18% in his first two seasons, and he was here 8 years.

Zook won 17% in his first two seasons, and he was here 7 years.

Beckman won 25% in his first two seasons.

Not that I think this number means much of anything (no way was Beckman the best coach of those three), but let’s keep in mind that Lovie is already ahead of Turner and Zook.
Much better comparison. And the utter dumpster fire that Smith inherited far eclipsed his predecessors.
 
For a better comparison:

Turner won 18% in his first two seasons, and he was here 8 years.

Zook won 17% in his first two seasons, and he was here 7 years.

Beckman won 25% in his first two seasons.

Not that I think this number means much of anything (no way was Beckman the best coach of those three), but let’s keep in mind that Lovie is already ahead of Turner and Zook.
Just wanted to see this in the thread again. I'm in no way certain that Lovie is going to succeed, but recruiting is going well by Illini standards and things are looking up. I'm deferring any evaluation of W/L until 2019 were it's bowl or bust.
 
I don't disagree that Lovie will need to show improvement, but I disagree that Smith's dumpster fire wasn't worse than his predecessors.

None of those coaches had stretches where so few players were drafted
This is a good point. Even when Illinois has been bad in the past, they've still had players drafted by the NFL. The current stretch of non-drafted players may be unprecedented. It really shows the dearth of talent.
 
Correct. Beckman, Zook and Turner all made bowls in their third years, as did Tepper, Mackovic and White before them. Even so, Beckman lasted only one additional year, Zook 4+ and Turner 6 (Mackovic 2 and then moved to Texas, Tepper 3 then fired, White 6 then fired). Smith's dumpster fire was not unlike those of his three predecessors. The two seasons prior to Smith's tenure produced a record of 11-14. For Beckman it was 14-12. For Zook 4-19 and for Turner 7-14-1. Smith would be 65 if he did return for six more years. Before that happens he will need better results. Better recruiting. Better record. Better attendance. Can it happen? Sure. Odds aren't good, though.
I appreciate your comments. I think this perspective in much more widespread for Illinois fans that don't come on chat boards.
 
Captain 'Paign
Phoenix, AZ
I appreciate your comments. I think this perspective in much more widespread for Illinois fans that don't come on chat boards.
Good point. It's sometimes tough to remember and keep the perspective that most of us on here are the die hardiest (deadest hard? :D) of die hard fans. The casual observer who's only drawing conclusions based on what they here from their friends or mainstream media are going to have a much different perspective. I also feel like we've suffered the trials and tribulations, and conversely the rare moments of triumph, a little more than most, so perhaps tempered optimism or pessimism is all many of us have left. That said, better days are coming...eventually.

:shield: All aboard the Littyville Express! :shield:
 
And, Lovie's recruiting has been some of the best that Illinois has seen.
Per these rankings our recruiting hasn't shown drastic improvement under Lovie:

2019: https://247sports.com/Season/2019-Football/CompositeTeamRankings

60th nationally and 13th B10


2018: https://247sports.com/Season/2018-Football/CompositeTeamRankings

52nd nationally and 12th B10

2017: https://247sports.com/Season/2017-Football/CompositeTeamRankings

46th nationally and 10th B10

2016: https://247sports.com/Season/2016-Football/CompositeTeamRankings

73rd nationally and 13th B10.

2015: https://247sports.com/Season/2015-Football/CompositeTeamRankings

48th nationally and 8th B10.

2014: https://247sports.com/Season/2014-Football/CompositeTeamRankings

72nd nationally and 14th B10.

2013: https://247sports.com/Season/2013-Football/CompositeTeamRankings

51st nationally and 10th B10.

2012: https://247sports.com/Season/2012-Football/CompositeTeamRankings

63rd nationally and 12th B10.

2011: https://247sports.com/Season/2011-Football/CompositeTeamRankings

37th nationally and 8th B10

2010: https://247sports.com/Season/2010-Football/CompositeTeamRankings

61st nationally and 11th B10.

2009: https://247sports.com/Season/2009-Football/CompositeTeamRankings

28th nationally and 5th B10.

2008: https://247sports.com/Season/2008-Football/CompositeTeamRankings

22nd nationally and 3rd B10.
 
The point is. Illinois football has been BAD (putting it kindly) for a long time. Some folks tend to look at small increases (recruit here or there) as wins, but others look at the bottom line. W/L's and we BAD
 
And, Lovie's recruiting has been some of the best that Illinois has seen.

You missed the Zook era.


Has Lovie's recruitment been an improvement over the Beckman/Cubit era? I would say yes, but it hasn't been a revelation either. Lovie seems to be banking on better scouting, which is tenuous in the long-term. I would argue that many are pinning hopes on Lovie bringing stability to the program (which Beckman/Cubit didn't) and better coaching (than Zook could ever accomplish) than his predecessors. Circling back, the biggest concern for me is that Lovie does need to improve his recruiting. He made some strides in 2017 but took a step back in 2018. Need to win more battles for players like Beason, Williams, Bargy, Billingsley, Cooper, etc. in order to fight the talent disparities against the better B1G teams. I think a 5-7 (or 6-6) season would provide a badly-needed boost on the recruiting trail, showing that he's turning the corner. Just not sure that's possible with this (very) young roster.
 
Here is my thought process. We bring in Lovie Smith. Why? What would be his big sell? Obviously its the "perceived" ability to get players into the NFL. Well the needle will only move from "perceived" to "reality" when it actually starts happening. That is not going to actually start happening for at least 2 more drafts. Until that time, its just a waiting game.
 
The more bad seasons between now and the Rose Bowl appearance, the deeper the hole that we need to climb out of gets. And with that, theoretically, the harder it gets to be successful recruiting. So, yes, in a vacuum, Lovie's recruiting classes don't rank all that better than Beckman's and Cubit's. However, considering we have only been getting further and further from relevancy, I would say that Lovie not trending downward in recruiting (and arguably trending upward) shows success in recruiting up to this point.

However, he must continue an upward trajectory in recruiting in order to remain successful and eventually start winning.
 
While this is always an interesting list, it is incomplete at this time, and misleading to compare our current recruiting score both to years past and other programs until the recruiting year is over. Louie has a different recruiting style. Coaches who get commitments early are rewarded with better scores - at this point in time - because the scores are heavily influenced by volume. The important thing for us to focus on is the average recruit’s score. In 2017 and 2018, the avg was in the 83’s (83.71 and 83.81 respectively). For 2019, we’ve blown through 84 and 85 and currently sit at 86.71, the equivalent of some teams ranked well above us.
 
Likes: NeaforThree
While this is always an interesting list, it is incomplete at this time, and misleading to compare our current recruiting score both to years past and other programs until the recruiting year is over. Louie has a different recruiting style. Coaches who get commitments early are rewarded with better scores - at this point in time - because the scores are heavily influenced by volume. The important thing for us to focus on is the average recruit’s score. In 2017 and 2018, the avg was in the 83’s (83.71 and 83.81 respectively). For 2019, we’ve blown through 84 and 85 and currently sit at 86.71, the equivalent of some teams ranked well above us.
Great point
 
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Yep. When Marvin Austin and Melvin Alaeze were walking around campus in Sept. 2006, it was a different vibe. Those were like Top 5 guys in the country and Illinois was coming off a 2 win season.



We're not even in the same ballpark.

WHO??? Did Marvin Austin even play? And Alaeze lasted all of one quarter of one game before he did something stupid and went back to Baltimore and for all we know could be in prison or dead.

Zook recruited great, however how many stuck around to actually graduate? Very very few, and that was Zook's biggest downfall.
 
WHO??? Did Marvin Austin even play? And Alaeze lasted all of one quarter of one game before he did something stupid and went back to Baltimore and for all we know could be in prison or dead.

Zook recruited great, however how many stuck around to actually graduate? Very very few, and that was Zook's biggest downfall.
I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who asked "Who?"
 
WHO??? Did Marvin Austin even play? And Alaeze lasted all of one quarter of one game before he did something stupid and went back to Baltimore and for all we know could be in prison or dead.

Zook recruited great, however how many stuck around to actually graduate? Very very few, and that was Zook's biggest downfall.
After reading this I was curious to see what happened to Melvin Alaeze so I did an Internet search and found this information:

DL Melvin Alaeze
Class of 2005, Maryland/Illinois
For the five-star recruit with offers from nearly every major program, it began with histrionics on signing day (tossing a Penn State hat in favor of a Maryland one) and continued when, while playing a year at prep school because he couldn’t qualify academically, Maryland revoked his scholarship after an arrest for marijuana possession. He then signed with Illinois, played in one game, then quit. He was sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree assault in 2007.

Here's a link to where I found this info on Melvin Alaeze:

http://http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-football/news/3885296-college-football-recruiting-busts-all-time-misses-five-star-prospects

Here's another link with info on Melvin Alaeze asking to drop his original plea:

http://http://articles.baltimoresun...-empty-22-caliber-shell-casings-melvin-alaeze

A former Randallstown football star who was sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty in 2007 to first-degree assault was back in court Thursday, saying he had been duped into making the plea by a "deficient" defense attorney — Kevin B. Kamenetz, now a Baltimore County Council member who is running for county executive.
 
Will Lovie be here in 5 years if he doesn't qualify for a bowl 2019-2020? It is doubtful. Will he be here if he doesn't qualify this season?

I just can't see Josh Whitman making the announcement, "We have decided to go in a new direction and wish Coach Smith all the best." Nope. That would mean all the NFL coaching talent we have as assistants have failed as well, an all would have to leave. Then what?
 
Idk that Lovie is going to win championships at Illinois. I highly doubt it. But if he could return us to a respectable, if not spectatcular program it would be a great accomplishment.

The number 1 thing Illinois needs is some stability. Unless he falls on his face the next 2 years, I hope we stick with him for the long term.
 
Idk that Lovie is going to win championships at Illinois. I highly doubt it. But if he could return us to a respectable, if not spectatcular program it would be a great accomplishment.

The number 1 thing Illinois needs is some stability. Unless he falls on his face the next 2 years, I hope we stick with him for the long term.
This x infinity
 
Idk that Lovie is going to win championships at Illinois. I highly doubt it. But if he could return us to a respectable, if not spectatcular program it would be a great accomplishment.

The number 1 thing Illinois needs is some stability. Unless he falls on his face the next 2 years, I hope we stick with him for the long term.



Exactly. With Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, and Wisconsin in this league -- and Nebraska likely getting better with Frost -- the likelihood of ANYBODY other than those programs winning a title in any given year is pretty low.



But if we can consistently win 7-8 games, that's a huge victory, IMO.
 
I just can't see Josh Whitman making the announcement, "We have decided to go in a new direction and wish Coach Smith all the best." Nope. That would mean all the NFL coaching talent we have as assistants have failed as well, an all would have to leave. Then what?
If we're sitting here 3 years from now and we've gone 2-10, 3-9, 3-9 or whatever, then Joe Blow MidMajor has become the better option moving forward and Whitman is professional enough to make that call.

I would be very surprised if that's where we are in three years. But if you arrive there, you see it for what it is, pick up the pieces and move on.
 
I just can't see Josh Whitman making the announcement, "We have decided to go in a new direction and wish Coach Smith all the best." Nope. That would mean all the NFL coaching talent we have as assistants have failed as well, an all would have to leave. Then what?
I don’t think lovie is going anywhere. I think we start seeing the program turn around onext year. But, I think this board doesn’t get enough of the non football recruiting followers perspective. People see harbaugh go into Michigan and they are immediately in the national title conversation. When Illinois is not, people that don’t follow recruiting think it is because of poor coaching. Most fans don’t know how bad our team was a few years ago. They don’t know that we didn’t have big talent and they just see losing. Or they see the positive coverage from ESPN and think that means we will be better this upcoming season, not realizing that we still lack at several positions and the youngsters need to put on weight and learn the system. A nontrivial number of people think Lovie losing this season costs him his job (it wouldn’t), but you see it in the national perspective. I just try to alter the conversation so people get what we are looking at.
 
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