Illini Football 2020

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Its not so much that things change, but why do they change, and what prevents things from changing for the positive for us. I, along with everybody else, thought Lovie would immediately save our program. Not so much that I didn't think we were in bad shape, I think I just overestimated what one guy with no experience at this level can do. Lovie is improving us every year. Not as fast as we like, but as long as the derivative has the right sign, we should be happy. Teams like Wisconsin high the jackpot with Barry Alvarez. If we could have kept Mack and Lou together for a decade, things would be a lot different. I think a lot of it is just taking away the reasons why we do not succeed. Eliminate clown coaches - check. Eliminate non-ideal AD - check. Upgrade facilities - check. One of the unsung reasons for success in college football is continuity of staff. It has taken Lovie a while to get this, but I think he is moving in that direction. Also Lovie needs to lock down the state. I love the SEC country ***, but they should be the gravy, not the potatoes. In- state athletes have coaches, friends, brothers, cousins, neighbors, teammates etc that all can aid in recruiting the next time around. To not have this network in our favor as the flagship school is mind numbing. That, I think, is probably the biggest thing holding us back. I hope we have interrogated Luke Ford about why he didn't come here originally. We need to learn everything we can from him and build our pitch around the lessons. He have to own downstate, get our share from Chicagoland, compete in St. Louis and Indy, and get the occasional highly rated guy that fills a need from Texas, Cali, Florida, etc. To paraphrase Whitey Herzog, getting a highly rated guy from Chicagoland is "addition by subtraction." Not only do we get a guy, but we keep a guy from most likely going to big ten rival.
 
This season/recruiting class will make or break lovie. I think it will be a pretty easy decision. If we don't make a bowl game we should move on. If we do then he survives another year or two. I don't think recruiting will be a big factor when determining if we keep him considering he's clearly improved the roster despite subpar class rankings every year. Right now it can truly go either way.
 
Likes: thunderwear
Geneseo, IL
Trying to imagine the weird sound of thousands of fans screaming and cheering with masks on. Or maybe there will just be polite clapping?
 
Lovie is 50th in total wins which says something about how respected he is as a coach and person to stick around for so long while hovering around a .500 record.

Whether we like it or not the athletic department is essentially the marketing branch of the University. As the head football coach he is the most prominent face representing the school and lovie is doing so much better in that regard than Beckman did. Beckman regularly embarrassed himself, the program and the school while lovie has only brought positive attention to the school despite our terrible record under him. I say he's provided a better roi in that regard alone.
Lovie is well respected as a person, but he certainly isn't as a coach any more. Otherwise we wouldn't be picked to come in last in the Big 10 West with a senior dominated lineup, and we would be doing a whole lot better on the recruiting trail
 
Morris, IL
Trying to imagine the weird sound of thousands of fans screaming and cheering with masks on. Or maybe there will just be polite clapping?
If masks are required, I believe it will be through the turnstile, in the common areas, and rest rooms. They very likely won't be required once in the stands and seated 6 feet from other ticket holders.
 
I posted a link awhile back, Lovie ranked something like 37th, if I remember. and, he turned the bears around and he took the bucs from the basement to 6 wins in 2 seasons. Remember 20+ losses on his overall came from Tampa. That resume warranted the money we spent. I have no doubt about that.

Like many, I thought it would work out better and faster, but I’m not disappointed. In hindsight was it worth the return? At this point, no. But if Lovie sticks around 10 more years (which implies he won enough games to stick around). Then the answer would be an emphatic yes.

as far as I’m concerned, Lovies story is still to be written. I think the next four seasons have the talent to qualify for bowl games. But, I’m not concerned about recruiting nor am I tied to recruiting the way you are. I like the speed and athleticism. It certainly could be better, but hopefully that turns around as well.
 
I posted a link awhile back, Lovie ranked something like 37th, if I remember. and, he turned the bears around and he took the bucs from the basement to 6 wins in 2 seasons. Remember 20+ losses on his overall came from Tampa. That resume warranted the money we spent. I have no doubt about that.

Like many, I thought it would work out better and faster, but I’m not disappointed. In hindsight was it worth the return? At this point, no. But if Lovie sticks around 10 more years (which implies he won enough games to stick around). Then the answer would be an emphatic yes.

as far as I’m concerned, Lovies story is still to be written. I think the next four seasons have the talent to qualify for bowl games. But, I’m not concerned about recruiting nor am I tied to recruiting the way you are. I like the speed and athleticism. It certainly could be better, but hopefully that turns around as well.
This’s the best roster hands down we’ve had since our post Rose Bowl disaster season. Lovie’s kicked the roster talent up significantly with his recruiting/transfer efforts. His ability to recruit hidden gems has been unparalleled. This next season on the field will tell us a lot about the trajectory of the program. Im on the side of team leadership(we have a lot of), especially after a little virus scare
 
This’s the best roster hands down we’ve had since our post Rose Bowl disaster season. Lovie’s kicked the roster talent up significantly with his recruiting/transfer efforts. His ability to recruit hidden gems has been unparalleled. This next season on the field will tell us a lot about the trajectory of the program. Im on the side of team leadership(we have a lot of), especially after a little virus scare
There is no way this roster is better than what we had on board from 2008-2011
 
Oswego, IL
I have not stats to support this comment ---- but I would certainly argue that Zook significantly out-recruited Lovie.
I haven't done the data digging myself to know the answer either, but it's been referenced numerous times on this site that recruiting by the end of Zook era had dropped off significantly.

It still may be better than what Lovie has done, but I think the gap is at least closer than most would suspect.
 
Making bowl games consistently, no matter what bowl game it is, is huge for us. We aren't a good football program and likely won't ever be. Hopefully the bowl game train keeps rolling this season. I'm just happy to be competitive.
 
Making bowl games consistently, no matter what bowl game it is, is huge for us. We aren't a good football program and likely won't ever be. Hopefully the bowl game train keeps rolling this season. I'm just happy to be competitive.
Depends on what you mean by "good." Will we ever be like Alabama, Clemson, or Ohio State? Highly unlikely. But I don't see any reason why we can't eventually get to the Iowa type of level.
 
I haven't done the data digging myself to know the answer either, but it's been referenced numerous times on this site that recruiting by the end of Zook era had dropped off significantly.

It still may be better than what Lovie has done, but I think the gap is at least closer than most would suspect.
Zook's early years were good, his later years tailed off, which was one reason why he was let go despite qualifying for back to back bowl games (an oddity in Illinois football history).

The problem is assessing a year like 2009, the year after we qualified for the rose bowl, with a year like 2019, where we brought in comparable talent to a rosebowl run, (granted a much smaller class), but the numbers are even better when considering transfers.

Ultimately, the only thing that matters is not talent, but what you do with talent. I would much rather under recruit and over perform than over recruit and underperform. Nebraska, right now, is a good example of this, 4th best talent composite, but not even bowl qualifications.
 
In a previous quote, I confused the site I looked at for bowl history, which shows a gap (because a year is double counted.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Illinois_Fighting_Illini_football_bowl_games

But @ILL_INI pointed out I was incorrect. Lovie would need to qualify for 5 bowls to tie the most consecutive bowls in a row by our program, not 4. Three in a row has only been done once in Illinois program history.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illinois_Fighting_Illini_football#Bowl_games

To temper expectations, for us to be a perennial bowl team would be a break from the historic mold of our football program. Although we are not doing as well as I would have liked, if we can consistently qualify for bowls for the next decade, I would be happy. If we could potentially compete for Big titles 2 or 3 times in that span, it would be even better.

On a side note, the comparisons for Fleck, if you look at our bowl game history and compare it to Minnesota, Minnesota has qualified for as many bowl games since 2000 as Illinois has qualified for since the bowl era began (excluding the three prior to the modern bowl era). Fleck took over a much healthier program than we have ever had at Illinois.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Minnesota_Golden_Gophers_bowl_games
 
I am curious, what are you basing this on? Seniors, classes, your feel, the number of preseason all conference selections?
Here's a list of NFL players off those Zook teams...
Jeff Allen
Jon Asamoah
Arrelius Benn
Josh Brent
Jerry Brown
Nate Bussey
Jack Cornell
Jeff Cumberland
Vontae Davis
Will davis
Glenn Foster
Justin Green
Michael Hoomanawanui
AJ Jenkins
Mikel LeShoure
Corey Liuget
Whitney Mercilus
Brit Miller
Akeem Spence
Justin Staples
Hugh Thornton
Martez Wilson
Tavon wilson

Do you think the current roster has 23 future NFL'ers on it?
 
Here's a list of NFL players off those Zook teams...
Jeff Allen
Jon Asamoah
Arrelius Benn
Josh Brent
Jerry Brown
Nate Bussey
Jack Cornell
Jeff Cumberland
Vontae Davis
Will davis
Glenn Foster
Justin Green
Michael Hoomanawanui
AJ Jenkins
Mikel LeShoure
Corey Liuget
Whitney Mercilus
Brit Miller
Akeem Spence
Justin Staples
Hugh Thornton
Martez Wilson
Tavon wilson

Do you think the current roster has 23 future NFL'ers on it?
I will give it a crack for this roster.

Brandon Peters (Late round-UDF)
Josh Bhebhe (Mid round)
Luke Ford (Drafted)
Daniel Barker (UDF)
Alex Palcho (Early to mid)
Kendrick Green (Early to mid)
Verdarian Lowe (Mid to Late)
Doug Kramer (Late to UDF)
Milo Eifler (Mid to UDF)
Jake Hansen (Late to UDF)
Marquez Beason (Making an assumption)
Nate Hobbs (Mid)
Tony Adams (UDF)
Sydney Brown (UDF)
Blake Hayes (Late to UDF)
James McCourt (Late to UDF)
TreSean Smith (Shot in the dark)

17

I think there are some others, but need to see development and health.
 
I will give it a crack for this roster.

Brandon Peters (Late round-UDF)
Josh Bhebhe (Mid round)
Luke Ford (Drafted)
Daniel Barker (UDF)
Alex Palcho (Early to mid)
Kendrick Green (Early to mid)
Verdarian Lowe (Mid to Late)
Doug Kramer (Late to UDF)
Milo Eifler (Mid to UDF)
Jake Hansen (Late to UDF)
Marquez Beason (Making an assumption)
Nate Hobbs (Mid)
Tony Adams (UDF)
Sydney Brown (UDF)
Blake Hayes (Late to UDF)
James McCourt (Late to UDF)
TreSean Smith (Shot in the dark)

17

I think there are some others, but need to see development and health.
If 17 guys off the current roster make the show I'll be ecstatic; we should expect to win 8-9 games this year given a weak schedule and this level of talent
 
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