Illini Football 2020

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We are around top 30 in revenue, top 15 coaches salary, top 25 facilities (I understand this is recent) in a state with the second most talent in the region. I'm not saying we need to be competing for titles but why is 7 or 8 wins a season too much? It's ridiculous how pathetic this program is compared to our resources.
 
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Morris, IL
From Restore Illinois Phase 4 Seated Spectators Events Guidelines:

" Note: As of release, outdoor spectator sports venues may operate at maximum of 20% of seating capacity for spectators. Capacity restrictions will be reassessed based on the latest science and public health metrics on an ongoing basis throughout Phase IV "

" 10. Tailgating is not permitted "

Memorial Stadium capacity 62,872 x 0.20 = 12,574 spectators
 
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If we qualify for a bowl game this year, this will be the fourth or fifth time in history Illinois has qualified for back to back bowl games. Do it again the following year, that is the 2nd time with 3 bowl games in a row. One more time and Lovie makes history for Illinois football. We are primed for a bowl game this year, and will be in position next year and the year following, the roster should be good enough for a bowl game. I think 4 in a row looks doable.
 
Colorado Springs, CO
If we qualify for a bowl game this year, this will be the fourth or fifth time in history Illinois has qualified for back to back bowl games. Do it again the following year, that is the 2nd time with 3 bowl games in a row. One more time and Lovie makes history for Illinois football. We are primed for a bowl game this year, and will be in position next year and the year following, the roster should be good enough for a bowl game. I think 4 in a row looks doable.
Unless they take away the non-con.
 
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My expectations were obviously too high, but I don't know if they were any more unrealistic than what Michigan or Nebraska fans have, relatively speaking. I would hardly call Illinois a dumpster fire. It was a bowl team in 2015, and even the "not ideal" 2016 team managed to win 5 games. The player abuse scandal had no impact on anything other than to get the head coach fired, which I believe was the point of the investigation and report. Recruiting was poor, but not any worse than Purdue or even Minnesota, let alone Rutgers and Indiana. But I do think recruiting and facilities, obviously, are improved, so I don't want to imply that Lovie has been a complete failure, just way, way below expectations that come with that kind of compensation. And I imagine he's come up well below his own expectations as well.
Wow... Illinois football wasnt a dumpster fire when Lovie took over are you serious?
 
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Clemson- 758-460. 21st all time
Wisconsin- 715-499. 33rd all time
Oregon- 668-449. 46th all time.

We aren’t even in the same ballpark of those teams imo. Also we have had only 3 top 30 recruiting classes since 2000. I just don’t think people are realistic with the expectations of the program. Realistically we should be similar to a school like Kentucky (89th all time), Rutgers (91st all time) and duke (93rd all time).
I believe you missed the point. Compare the all time records of these four schools in 1960, 1965 or 1970 --- or check out their respective 20-year histories in 1980. All three (other than Illinois) have made great strides in their programs over the past 30-40 years to get where they now are, and they're all perennial Top 15 programs.

We won our five national titles in 1914, 1919, 1923, 1927 and 1951. We then had Butkus and a kick-!!! Rose Bowl victory in the early 1960's. Then we had a stellar 12-year run with Mike White and John Mackovic in the 1980's. That's why we should have greater expectations for the program.

We have a career .501 win percentage and we're 79 games under .500 over the past 25 years. Some on here know only that 25-year history --- and hence many of our expectations are much, much too low.

This is not representative the football program many of us grew up watching.
 
For the program that Lovie took over, we probably should have paid him $10 million. That was a program that had so many things missing (including the timing of his hiring) that it was a horror in Power 5 football. Cubit's offensive strategy kept us in games that we should have been blown out of and that had basically, reached the end of the line.
Sounds good. So Cubit at $1.2M kept us in games and over achieved but Lovies $5M can’t do the same or better? I am not saying make a move but $5M should give you a better return on investment. I am sure he knows that as well. Let’s not add the difference in Assistant Coaches Salary.
 
We are around top 30 in revenue, top 15 coaches salary, top 25 facilities (I understand this is recent) in a state with the second most talent in the region. I'm not saying we need to be competing for titles but why is 7 or 8 wins a season too much? It's ridiculous how pathetic this program is compared to our resources.
We aren’t top 15 in coaches salary. Lovie was the 29th highest paid coach in 2019 and will be lower in 2020. Our assistant pool was good for 41st in college football. https://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/salaries/football/assistant

Our assistant pool is in the bottom 3 of the big ten, our head coaches salary is in front of only Tom Allen, PJ fleck (who is gonna jump above Lovie in 2020) and mike Lockley. And no 6 or 7 wins isn’t too much to ask for but we are in the third toughest division in college football, it’s gonna be hard to find 4 big ten wins every year. Our revenue while top thirty is 11th in the big ten only in front of Rutgers, Purdue and Maryland.
 
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Beckman made $1.8M. Lovie makes $5M. The results should not be comparable.
Unfortunately pay doesn’t necessarily correlate to results, but that said I‘m happier paying Lovie 5 million than Beckman for free. At this point, past results aren’t as important as where we go in the future. We were better last year. IMO Beckman was a disaster, wrong direction, clown show.

Lovie has made mistakes, but we are improving, we have shown with Beason & Williams that we are capable of recruiting some talent. If it is player development or good scouting I also think we have shown we can get really good players that are not going to impress based on scouting rankings.

Last year we absolutely killed it with transfers, personally 1 year isn’t a trend, so I think the jury is still out on how successful that strategy will be long term.

We also have recently had a recruiting spurt that has caught us up to the back of the pack in the B1G. Not good enough to get us to where we want to be, but it looks like if you squint, argue at how good we are at finding hidden gems, ... then it is at least possible to think it is passable.

Lovie has done enough to at least give us a shot out of our current hole. We really need a good year this year, an uptick in recruiting this year, & another uptick next year, & likely another good year with some key transfers.

Despite all that, I’m optimistic. I think we have a chance to be more than competitive in the west next year. I think improvement this year & getting Lovie off the hot seat could lead to a very nice class next year. Filling in the depth on the roster is I think our Achilles heel for long term stability.
 
We aren’t top 15 in coaches salary. Lovie was the 29th highest paid coach in 2019 and will be lower in 2020. Our assistant pool was good for 41st in college football. https://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/salaries/football/assistant

Our assistant pool is in the bottom 3 of the big ten, our head coaches salary is in front of only Tom Allen, PJ fleck (who is gonna jump above Lovie in 2020) and mike Lockley. And no 6 or 7 wins isn’t too much to ask for but we are in the third toughest division in college football, it’s gonna be hard to find 4 big ten wins every year. Our revenue while top thirty is 11th in the big ten only in front of Rutgers, Purdue and Maryland.
Of course the salary and salary pools aren't as high as when he was first hired. He hasn't done anything to deserve a raise! You need to look at his salary and salary pool when he was first hired, not the fifth year of an unsuccessful run. And Lovie not hiring a defensive coordinator makes the salary pool appear smaller than the available pool. By the way, the assistants are getting HUGE raises this year.
 
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I believe you missed the point. Compare the all time records of these four schools in 1960, 1965 or 1970 --- or check out their respective 20-year histories in 1980. All three (other than Illinois) have made great strides in their programs over the past 30-40 years to get where they now are, and they're all perennial Top 15 programs.

We won our five national titles in 1914, 1919, 1923, 1927 and 1951. We then had Butkus and a kick-!!! Rose Bowl victory in the early 1960's. Then we had a stellar 12-year run with Mike White and John Mackovic in the 1980's. That's why we should have greater expectations for the program.

We have a career .501 win percentage and we're 79 games under .500 over the past 25 years. Some on here know only that 25-year history --- and hence many of our expectations are much, much too low.

This is not representative the football program many of us grew up watching.
He did miss the point. To add some numbers to your post, prior to 1990 (pre-Alvarez), Illinois was 461-385-47 and Wisconsin was 453-372-48. Since then, Wisconsin has gone 257-122-4 while Illinois has gone 141-214-2.
 
Clemson- 758-460. 21st all time
Wisconsin- 715-499. 33rd all time
Oregon- 668-449. 46th all time.

We aren’t even in the same ballpark of those teams imo. Also we have had only 3 top 30 recruiting classes since 2000. I just don’t think people are realistic with the expectations of the program. Realistically we should be similar to a school like Kentucky (89th all time), Rutgers (91st all time) and duke (93rd all time).
Clemson doesn't belong on this list, but if you go back to the early '90's, Illinois would be unanimously considered a better football program than UW and Oregon, not to mention Purdue, Minny, NW, IU, Baylor, etc, etc, etc. In the Big 10, only UM and OSU were clearly ahead of us, and we were coming off a really good stretch against OSU.

Obviously this isn't the early 90's, but the point is there is no reason Illinois shouldn't be in the top half of the Big 10 year in year out, just like they were from the beginning of college football through the mid-90's. We have the facilities, we have a lot of latent fan support, we are located in a good recruiting location, all it really takes is the right coach. This is Lovie's 5th year, he has an experienced roster and all his own players. And we are still picked by most to come in last in the Big 10 West, although there are a few intrepid souls who pick us 6th. We have the worst staff in the Big 10 and our recruiting is terrible. Maybe Lovie can beat expectations and win 6 or more this year, but I'm skeptical
 
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None of this conversation matters until this season (hopefully) happens. This same conversation about Lovie and the state of the program he took over happens like every 3 months on this board I swear. This year will give us a clear indication of what direction we are headed in. Even winning just 6 with this talented roster would be a disappointment. And hopefully a succesful season (8 wins?) helps with recruiting as well. But for now, the conversation is pointless. Lovie's guys, the ones he used to tear down the entire roster in year 1, are upperclassmen now. This is his prove it season.
 
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I don't want to get too deep into this, because I don't think the argument is unwarranted. But, I do think the case is a little overboard



Did they? Let's review the facts.


This seems to be the number one item of everyone hosting the Illini pity party. I'm sorry, but this "scandal" was well over by the time Lovie was hired. What effect did this "scandal" have on the football program, other than to get the head coach fired? Nothing. It was a non-issue, eclipsed by a scandal at Indiana and a much more serious scandal at Maryland. So why wallow in this one?




Fact: the "not ideal" 2016 recruiting class was rated higher and had a higher average rating than Purdue. In fact, Illinois had higher rated and higher averages than Purdue from 2013-2016, exceprt for 2014 when they were neck and neck. Yet, Illinois lost the 2017 and 2018 games by a combined score of 75-17.


Hate to break it to you, but Lovie hasn't been able to keep up with even this modest 1 in 4 winning seasons average. I guess we're still in a dumpster fire.
Purdue relied heavily on transfers, which are not included in the rankings. To suggest that our team is a dumpster fire, would be ridiculous. We have a solid group with P5 and NFL attributes. When you consider Illinois has one of the worst FBS records and Division 1 records and all division records in history, I think the level of talent is ahead of where we have historically been.

https://247sports.com/Season/2019-Football/CollegeTeamTalentComposite/?Conference=Big-Ten

Based on the talent composite, we had the 8th best team in the Big Ten last year. If anything it would make more sense to argue how bad Lovie has been coaching, given the talent composite.


You have a lot here pertaining to personnel, much of it overlapping, perhaps in an attempt to make things look worse than it was. The "not ideal" hiring of Cubit, who never should have been allowed to hire his son as offensive coordinator, was a mistake, a big one. But amid all of this, I don't recall players jumping ship like I would expect to see in a dumpster fire. Maybe we just have a different definition of dumpster fire. So if you want to call it a dumpster fire and keep on hosting your Illini pity party, don't let me stop you. Yes. the program is in a better situation than when Lovie was first hired, but can you honestly say it would be any different with pretty much any other hire with the kind of money he is being paid?
As much as I didn't like the Beckman hire, I don't think it was Beckman that ruined the program. It was having an interim coach for two years, which made it difficult to recruit. Lovie inherited a depleted roster. But this argument has been made over and over.

Now, this team is fully Lovie's team. There are only a handful of remaining players. This year, Lovie will have a lot of graduating players. This season the reload is complete. Let's not talk about the time before Lovie. He has 1 bowl game and this year he needs to have another bowl game. Really, less than 7 wins will be disappointing. 7 would be good enough. 8 or more is the sweet spot.
 
To me trying to validate how good a program can be based off how good they were 40 years ago is useless. Should penn go back to being a dominant football program cause they were good a long time ago? Things change, sports change. It’s stupid to try and contrast a teams potential success based on its predecessors. Some programs improve and some fade, we are the latter. Other programs in our region has improved, it’s not the same landscape or even conferences that it was 30 years ago. So imo it’s useless to try and use previous success as some sort of marker for future success.
The Penn analogy is a really bad one, and the landscape has not changed in some way to disadvantage Illinois specifically vs. our peers. It's been our own incompetence, and that's what is frustrating. If you had told me 30 years ago that we'd be getting beaten like a drum by WI in both sports on a regular basis I wouldn't have believed it. It's high time for the pendulum to swing the other way.
 
Purdue relied heavily on transfers, which are not included in the rankings.
Names? I don't see any listed on 24/7. Any juco transfers would have been included.

To suggest that our team is a dumpster fire, would be ridiculous.
Your sarcasm meter is broken. I even mention that Illinois is improved since Lovie took over and the point of the post was that it wasn't a dumpster fire when he was hired.

As much as I didn't like the Beckman hire, I don't think it was Beckman that ruined the program. It was having an interim coach for two years, which made it difficult to recruit.
Cubit was an interim coach for less than one year and he still out-recruited Purdue.

While I'm in the mood for fact checking, your previous post about bowl games ignored the five year stretch from 1988-1992, which encompasses all four years Mackovic was at Illinois.

I'm all for ending this discussion if people would stick to facts.
 
Clemson doesn't belong on this list, but if you go back to the early '90's, Illinois would be unanimously considered a better football program than UW and Oregon, not to mention Purdue, Minny, NW, IU, Baylor, etc, etc, etc. In the Big 10, only UM and OSU were clearly ahead of us, and we were coming off a really good stretch against OSU.

Obviously this isn't the early 90's, but the point is there is no reason Illinois shouldn't be in the top half of the Big 10 year in year out, just like they were from the beginning of college football through the mid-90's. We have the facilities, we have a lot of latent fan support, we are located in a good recruiting location, all it really takes is the right coach. This is Lovie's 5th year, he has an experienced roster and all his own players. And we are still picked by most to come in last in the Big 10 West, although there are a few intrepid souls who pick us 6th. We have the worst staff in the Big 10 and our recruiting is terrible. Maybe Lovie can beat expectations and win 6 or more this year, but I'm skeptical
While I don't disagree with your overall point, I do want to state that while being in the top half of the Big 10 may not ultimately be unreasonable, I think at the time of Lovie's hire, it was an unreasonable short term expectation (which I admittedly held at the time). It was going to take time to go from such a long bad stretch to getting back to where we were in the early 90s.

Therefore, I no longer expect Lovie to be the one that gets us back there. My expectations for Lovie are now more baby-steps related. I want him to get us back to no longer being a joke in the Big 10. I don't need him to compete for the title, just consistently make bowl games and show some stability in the quality of the program. After that point, I don't think Lovie will be around long enough to take us to the next level. Either he will retire for age reasons, go back to the NFL, or will be fired because after several years of making bowls, we can then realistically expect better results. Then, hopefully, we will be an attractive enough destination to get a successor (whether that be an outside hire or internal promotion) that can get us on the road to the next level.

PS - I wrote this very stream of conscious, so sorry if it's a little confusing.
 
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Beckman made $1.8M. Lovie makes $5M. The results should not be comparable.
And they aren't. The rosters weren't even comparable when they took over. Beckman had some of zooks talent still on the roster, as he started with an average offensive player of a 85.5 compared to Lovie's 83.3. Also he started with an average defensive player of a 85.9, compared to Lovie's 82.5. Lovie has steadily improved the roster while Beckman decimated it. Lovie basically had to rebuild the entire roster from the ground up, beckman inherited a decent roster and drove it into oblivion. And after all this they have similar records- beckman (12-25, 324%)/ Lovies (15-34, 304%), but not a similar starting point.
2020-06-23 (2).png
 
Based on what? How is one not worth it and the other is?
Past performance. Lovie Was in the 50 winningest coaches in NFL’s history when he was hired.

beckman has won 21 games as a head coach in the MAC, with no strong penchant for recruiting and the lawsuit against him from coaching 3 years at Toledo should have been a red flag at Illinois.
 
Past performance. Lovie Was in the 50 winningest coaches in NFL’s history when he was hired.

beckman has won 21 games as a head coach in the MAC, with no strong penchant for recruiting and the lawsuit against him from coaching 3 years at Toledo should have been a red flag at Illinois.
ultimately, it isn’t to say we made the right choice or wrong choice in either instance. Hey m just saying, when Lovie was hired, few disliked the hire. When beckman was hired, many didn’t like it.
 
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