Illini Football 2019

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Lovie needs to show the fans and recruits that he is building something. The record isn't as important. First and foremost, he needs to show he knows how to defend a 2020 college offense with collegiate defenders.
 
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Lovie needs to show the fans and recruits that he is building something. The record isn't as important. First and foremost, he needs to show he knows how to defend a 2020 college offense with collegiate defenders.
More importantly he needs to show he can put kids into the NFL. Bobby would have been the first real example for people. I know Nick just got drafted but considering he was under Butkus, I feel as if that negates the situation.
 
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If we are going under the assumption that this is a total rebuild, that he is being allowed to build from the ground up, I can see where he could be retained with a losing record this year, if losses are close, maybe a major upset, and recruiting picks up. The record is important, but I don't think Whitman will just look at the record is all I'm saying. And I don't think the scenario I described will happen either, namely because of the sentence you deleted from the post you quoted.
OK, so I guess I missed your point. In a discussion about Lovie being retained, you said getting players into the NFL is more important than showing improvement, no? Please clarify and accept my apologies in advance.
 
I don't care about FanDuel's O/U. The more I look at this schedule, the more I am convincing myself that we could go into the Michy game at 5 - 0.
This year's squad of Jrs and Srs need to draw their line in the sand about Neb and say enough is enough and turn the tables on these guys this year.
Then, the Minny game becomes the early season trap game. Trying to beat a team 2 years in a row is not easy (at least for us). As for Michy, just don't blown out. So then, beyond Michy, eh...cloudy except for Rutgers, but would really like to finally also turn the tables on IOWA (I Owe the World an Apology, er, by the way). Been waiting for a Big V over them for a while.
This class is juniors and sophomores
 
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OK, so I guess I missed your point. In a discussion about Lovie being retained, you said getting players into the NFL is more important than showing improvement, no? Please clarify and accept my apologies in advance.
No bro, your good. My point was just that. You responded with a very good point about Zook. You deserved the best touché gif I could find. No sarcasm needed.
 
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Lovie needs to show the fans and recruits that he is building something. The record isn't as important. First and foremost, he needs to show he knows how to defend a 2020 college offense with collegiate defenders.
What? No. No.

The record is the only thing that matters. It's year 4 and he has to show actual progress in terms of wins and losses. Not subjective beauty contests or feel good stories or hey he got 1 guy in the NFL rationalizations. It's year 4 and it absolutely has to be win 6 and get to a bowl game or get fired. Period.

If Whitman brings back Lovie for year 5 without a bowl, he should be sent packing back to Division III.
 
What? No. No.

The record is the only thing that matters. It's year 4 and he has to show actual progress in terms of wins and losses. Not subjective beauty contests or feel good stories or hey he got 1 guy in the NFL rationalizations. It's year 4 and it absolutely has to be win 6 and get to a bowl game or get fired. Period.

If Whitman brings back Lovie for year 5 without a bowl, he should be sent packing back to Division III.
Respectfully disagree completely.
 
New York City, N.Y. City
What? No. No.

The record is the only thing that matters. It's year 4 and he has to show actual progress in terms of wins and losses. Not subjective beauty contests or feel good stories or hey he got 1 guy in the NFL rationalizations. It's year 4 and it absolutely has to be win 6 and get to a bowl game or get fired. Period.

If Whitman brings back Lovie for year 5 without a bowl, he should be sent packing back to Division III.
And not only is this year four, but Lovie's defense, ranked 115 in S&P+, gave up point totals of 63, 17 (that was Rutgers, folks), 46, 49, 63, 31, 54, 63, and 24 in conference, and then he made himself defensive coordinator. That's the head coach announcing, "If I don't make a bowl now, then yes, definitely fire me."

Whether it happens or not is another question.
 
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What? No. No.

The record is the only thing that matters. It's year 4 and he has to show actual progress in terms of wins and losses. Not subjective beauty contests or feel good stories or hey he got 1 guy in the NFL rationalizations. It's year 4 and it absolutely has to be win 6 and get to a bowl game or get fired. Period.

If Whitman brings back Lovie for year 5 without a bowl, he should be sent packing back to Division III.
That he has to reach six wins in his fourth year seems pretty subjective. Why are you so absolute on these numbers? Why not require, for example, five wins in his fourth year, and six wins in his fifth, which would still show progress in his W-L record? Or why not up the requirement to seven wins in his fourth year? Is the large number of bowl games defining for you what makes a successful coach?

And if Illinois sneaks by with a victory in six games, but gets blown out by 40 points or more in every other game, including the bowl game, and recruiting tanks, do you still keep him because he hit that magical six wins?
 
That he has to reach six wins in his fourth year seems pretty subjective. Why are you so absolute on these numbers? Why not require, for example, five wins in his fourth year, and six wins in his fifth, which would still show progress in his W-L record? Or why not up the requirement to seven wins in his fourth year? Is the large number of bowl games defining for you what makes a successful coach?

And if Illinois sneaks by with a victory in six games, but gets blown out by 40 points or more in every other game, including the bowl game, and recruiting tanks, do you still keep him because he hit that magical six wins?
So there are two factors at play here, which are independent of each other. One is that sixth win, the other is development and progress on the field and in recruiting such that there is concrete and substantial reason for optimism going forward. Those two factors create four possible outcomes.

1. No 6th win and no concrete optimism. It is seemingly uncontroversial that we must cut bait in this event.

2. 6th win and concrete optimism. There would be no opposition to Lovie staying.

3. No 6th win but concrete optimism. This scenario is the obsession of the rebuilding fetishists here, and given that the human mind is naturally drawn to novelty and conflict it makes for the most intriguing scenario to discuss and argue about. And of course, most of the pollyanna gluttons for punishment left on this board WILL argue that this is what has happened no matter how bad it gets on the field. However, when the schedule is as Charmin soft as it is for us this year, and when in mid July we're in the triple digits in recruiting class ranking tucked in between Princeton and Liberty, it's just not a scenario I'm all that worried about. The absolute highest I can imagine us being in the advanced stat rankings at 5-7 against this schedule is maybe like somewhere in the 70's? And of course, no matter what happens, our friendly board insiders will be assuring all you chicken littles out there that we are in a great position and the staff are hearing great things about very exciting recruits that we're in pole position for, but at this point there's no chance the actual commits on the board are collectively thrilling to any objective observer.

4. 6th win and no concrete optimism. Of the four possibilities, IMO this one is actually the most likely. And I just don't see any way we could fire Lovie in this scenario, and it seems to me the two-year extension this offseason was designed to make sure that's the case. It's easy for us to just roll everything over to 2020 with an even more experienced team against another cakewalk of a schedule, how can you possibly justify a teardown in that scenario after everything we've been through? Savvy stathead fans and outside pundits will point out that we still are terrible, and they'll be right, but sometimes you just have to take yes for an answer.

As for the likelihood of those outcomes, I would say:

4. 37%
1. 35%
2. 25%
3. 3%
 
Is the large number of bowl games defining for you what makes a successful coach?
No. Winning football games defines what makes a successful coach. Not eye tests. Not moral victories because we only gave up 63 points once instead of 3 times. Not subjective statements like "well they were competitive for a half in most of their games"

Winning as many games as you lose is the barest of bare minimums in this case. That means 6 wins and that means a bowl. Which means better PR for the program than sitting at home. Which means more practices with which you can help drive more learning, more instruction, and better preparation for the following year. Which mean you can tell recruits you went to a bowl game. And if you can't get to a bowl game by year 4, then you aren't a successful coach.

And, coaches that are obviously better than Lovie Smith can accomplish this minimal feat well within 5 years elsewhere.
Brohm takes Purdue Bowl games in years 1 and 2
Campbell takes Iowa State to bowl games in years 2 and 3
Mendenhall takes Virginia to bowl games in years 2 an 3
Babers takes Syracuse to a bowl game and 10 wins in year 3
Leach took WSU to a bowl game in year 2

All of those programs were in as bad of shape or worse than Illinois. They made good hires, and those good hires won on the field. They aren't still looking for people to make rationalizations like "Well, we only allowed 2 games of 50+ points this year, so that's good enough for me" in year 4.

And if Illinois sneaks by with a victory in six games, but gets blown out by 40 points or more in every other game, including the bowl game, and recruiting tanks, do you still keep him because he hit that magical six wins?
Yes.
 
Naples, Florida
I think a lot of the writers here are overlooking the possible impact of Peter's at QB. He has a good arm he has run games with a similar attack that Illinois will use this year. ( Balanced passing with strong running ) and has been around good coaching and has beat teams that we have a very good chance of beating this year. If he can run our attack similar to what has been trained to do, we could be very competitive and a bowl is very reachable. We have also added some very good players with excellent backgrounds.If some play to their potential ....... Also trust a little more our coaches abilities to judge talent.
I guess I have more confidence in a QB with 3 years of Big 10 experience winning games in 2019 than a talented 5'9" freshman with a wonderful HS career winning initially in the Big 10.
 
Got to say it's hard for me to take this statement as a given. I won't argue that 2016 to present Lovie Smith is a better college football coach than all of these people listed, but I believe they all started in much better situations.
Here's the winning percentage the previous 3 years before the head coaches I mentioned took over.
  1. Illinois (2013-2015) 0.405
  2. Syracuse (2013-2015) 0.378
  3. Virginia (2013-2015) 0.305
  4. Purdue (2014-2016) 0.222
  5. Iowa State (2013-2015) 0.222
  6. Washington State (2009-2011) 0.194
How bout the previous 5?
  1. Syracuse (2011-2015) 0.435
  2. Illinois (2011-2015) 0.387
  3. Virginia (2011-2015) 0.377
  4. Iowa State (2011-2015) 0.322
  5. Purdue (2012-2016) 0.245
  6. Washington State (2007-2011) 0.229
Previous 10?
  1. Washington State (2002-2011) 0.404
  2. Illinois (2006-2015) 0.403
  3. Virginia (2006-2015) 0.401
  4. Syracuse (2006-2015) 0.390
  5. Purdue (2007-2016) 0.349
  6. Iowa State (2006-2015) 0.333

Illinois isn't unique. Illinois isn't the only place that sucked for a long period of time. All of these programs were in as horrible, or worse, shape than Illinois any point over the past 10 years. Those programs however, finally had an AD that made a good hire. And those good hires haven't required even 4 years to get to 6 wins and a bowl. I mean, I'm not even including a program like UAB where literally the program was dead for 2 years, and they went to bowl games in years 1 and 2 after the program started back up. Or Baylor which went though a horrible scandal, lost every coach, a ton of players, and Matt Ruhle gets them to a bowl in year 2.

Again, Illinois isn't unique when it comes to losing. Where Illinois is unique, is in having incompetent ADs make horrible hiring decisions, and then compounding those mistakes sitting idly by while those coaches continue to auger the program further and further into the ground.
 
Here's the winning percentage the previous 3 years before the head coaches I mentioned took over.
  1. Illinois (2013-2015) 0.405
  2. Syracuse (2013-2015) 0.378
  3. Virginia (2013-2015) 0.305
  4. Purdue (2014-2016) 0.222
  5. Iowa State (2013-2015) 0.222
  6. Washington State (2009-2011) 0.194
How bout the previous 5?
  1. Syracuse (2011-2015) 0.435
  2. Illinois (2011-2015) 0.387
  3. Virginia (2011-2015) 0.377
  4. Iowa State (2011-2015) 0.322
  5. Purdue (2012-2016) 0.245
  6. Washington State (2007-2011) 0.229
Previous 10?
  1. Washington State (2002-2011) 0.404
  2. Illinois (2006-2015) 0.403
  3. Virginia (2006-2015) 0.401
  4. Syracuse (2006-2015) 0.390
  5. Purdue (2007-2016) 0.349
  6. Iowa State (2006-2015) 0.333

Illinois isn't unique. Illinois isn't the only place that sucked for a long period of time. All of these programs were in as horrible, or worse, shape than Illinois any point over the past 10 years. Those programs however, finally had an AD that made a good hire. And those good hires haven't required even 4 years to get to 6 wins and a bowl. I mean, I'm not even including a program like UAB where literally the program was dead for 2 years, and they went to bowl games in years 1 and 2 after the program started back up. Or Baylor which went though a horrible scandal, lost every coach, a ton of players, and Matt Ruhle gets them to a bowl in year 2.

Again, Illinois isn't unique when it comes to losing. Where Illinois is unique, is in having incompetent ADs make horrible hiring decisions, and then compounding those mistakes sitting idly by while those coaches continue to auger the program further and further into the ground.
The problem with this posts is it presumes all programs were down due to the same set of issues. Depending upon the deficiency, each program could revive itself at a different rate. For example, if you literally just had bad in-game coaching and/or preparation, a different mind can improve your program in year 1; however if there is a talent deficiency, you will more than likely be 3 plus years away from results. Needless to say, I haven't assessed every single aforementioned program in depth for the past 10 years, but I'd bet my Spaceship there was both a myriad and varying degrees of deficiencies at each locale.
 
In all honesty the 3 games on the schedule that worry me the most are Akron, U Conn and Eastern Michigan. We absolutely have to win all 3 of those. If we lose one or two of those this whole season could tailspin quickly, and could get really ugly.
I'm hoping we win all three, but I've been an Illini fan long enough that I know nothing is a given.
 
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