Looking ahead to 2019

Iowa and MSU are (by what I've read) are projected to have down years, but I would shocked to see them as anything less than touchdown favorites, at this point at least.
This emerges from having watched a whole lot of 3-0 teams that Vegas knew perfectly well were total garbage.

If we're actually good, and MSU and Iowa are actually down, the lines will reflect that.

Remember when we were favored as an unranked team against #5 Wisconsin in 2007? I remember us being strangely big favorites for that Syracuse road game that looked like a stumbling block earlier in the year too. Vegas knows.

We need to go from the 109th best team in the nation to something like the 70th, or better. If we do that, the wins will be there.
 
CU Expat
Chicago
I'm guessing this has been discussed somewhere, but where the heck did this @UConn game come from? I see we play them at home in 2020, but a home-and-home with UConn? Really?
 
Likes: ChiefIllini
UConn also has a home-and-home series with Indiana during 2019-2020. Draw your own conclusions. I assume that the people at UConn who scheduled these games a few years ago were unrealistically hopeful about the trajectory of their football program.
 
CU Expat
Chicago
UConn also has a home-and-home series with Indiana during 2019-2020. Draw your own conclusions. I assume that the people at UConn who scheduled these games a few years ago were unrealistically hopeful about the trajectory of their football program.
And schedulers here and at IU must have agreed.
 
Naperville
I'm guessing this has been discussed somewhere, but where the heck did this @UConn game come from? I see we play them at home in 2020, but a home-and-home with UConn? Really?
The series was announced in February of 2014 when Thomas was the AD.

Cincinnati and UConn were in BIG East when Thomas was the AD at Cincinnati so I'm sure that's where the connection comes from.
 
Looking at next years schedule does anyone else think it would be a huge failure to get at least 6 wins? UConn, Rutgers, Akron, Minnesota, and Eastern Michigan are all games that this team would’ve won this year. So if the 2018 team would’ve went 5-7 at least with the 2019 schedule you have to envision that one of vs Nebraska, @Purdue, vs Northwestern, or vs Wisconsin turns into a win.
Last year expectations were 4-6 wins for me. Got 4 wins, offense showed progress, recruiting good, acceptable. The betting line was 3.5 I believe.
This year expectations tick up to 5-7 wins. Win 5, show progress, will be acceptable to me. Win 6, go bowling, progress...great. Win 7, probably means we went 4-4 in big ten, awesome.
 
Little Rock, Arkansas
Last year expectations were 4-6 wins for me. Got 4 wins, offense showed progress, recruiting good, acceptable. The betting line was 3.5 I believe.
This year expectations tick up to 5-7 wins. Win 5, show progress, will be acceptable to me. Win 6, go bowling, progress...great. Win 7, probably means we went 4-4 in big ten, awesome.
Don’t we play 9 B1G games now? So 4-5? In the B1G? Either way, completely agree with your post.
 
Likes: Chukwuwumba
I'm guessing this has been discussed somewhere, but where the heck did this @UConn game come from? I see we play them at home in 2020, but a home-and-home with UConn? Really?
When the Big Ten set some rules on non-conference scheduling back when Thomas was AD they included the former Big East as schools that counted for the "one major conference school per year" rule, and that's when Thomas pounced on scheduling USF and UConn for home and homes in his quest to make our football schedules more conducive to winning. It was a smart move. If Ron Guenther had had the same foresight back in the mid-90's (when you could make a schedule much, much weaker than today hello Glen Mason) Ron Turner might still be the coach here with a statue outside MS.
 
Likes: illinifan4249
I posted earlier on recruiting thread, wrong choice. I think Ford and Thomas qualify under hardship clause to play next season. As I said, it's time NCAA did something nice for Illinois. And I hope for a healthy DeKalb guy, Dre Brown, next season.
 
near Ogden & Rt 83
I posted earlier on recruiting thread, wrong choice. I think Ford and Thomas qualify under hardship clause to play next season. As I said, it's time NCAA did something nice for Illinois. And I hope for a healthy DeKalb guy, Dre Brown, next season.
one can hope both get waivers, but likely less than 50/50 both do

it used to be a rather objective test and it still officially is , but it seems to have become way more subjective lately. The NCAA is and always has been a very "political" organization and we seem to usually get left out . At least that's how things look to me.

both lads are coming back "home" and there are recent cases where that appears to be an important factor for item a below.
Not sure how willing we are to fight the NCAA rulings should one or both lads get denied. I'm not sure if Thomas' issue with the team means he fails item b below, and if UGa opposed Fords transfer (item d)

We certainly are due for positive NCAA news for a change

a waiver can be granted if the following conditions are met :
a. The transfer is due to documented mitigating circumstances that are outside the student-athlete’s control and directly impact the health, safety and well-being of the student-athlete;

b. At the time of transfer to the certifying institution, the student-athlete would have been athletically and academically eligible and in good standing on the team had he or she remained at the previous institution;

c. The certifying institution must certify that the student-athlete meets percentage-of-degree requirements; and

d. The previous institution’s athletics administration does not oppose the transfer.

 
Likes: Dude
I will enter 2019 as delusionally positive and excited for football as ever, but I would be somewhat nervous if I were Lovie. Conventional wisdom seems to be we need to go bowling. Good recruiting news aside, the casual fan that drives ticket sales and revenue needs to see postseason play in 2019 ... many have already jumped ship. Sticking with trying to be positive:

BEST CASE
W at UConn
W vs. Eastern Michigan
L vs. Nebraska
W at Minnesota
L vs. Michigan
L vs. Wisconsin
W at Purdue
W vs. Rutgers
W at Michigan State
L at Iowa
W vs. Northwestern

You can shuffle around the wins and losses, but these are the most likely results, IMO. We are due for a surprise (W at MSU), and Iowa/Wisconsin seem to absolutely own us. With that said, I could see (nay, hope for) a determined Illini squad being VERY hungry for an upset at Iowa after they embarrassed us this year, and Iowa might be looking ahead to a trip to Nebraska the next week. Either way, I think our best case is 7-5 with that schedule. I would take it enthusiastically!

MY PREDICTION
W at UConn
W vs. Eastern Michigan
L vs. Nebraska
W at Minnesota
L vs. Michigan
L vs. Wisconsin
W at Purdue
W vs. Rutgers
L at Michigan State
L at Iowa
W vs. Northwestern

We beat Northwestern at home to make a bowl. However, I could go 50/50 on winning at Purdue. :( Even though my "prediction" is to be a coin-flip-bowl-team, no postseason is probably going to do it for me as far as supporting staying the course. Call that illogical or whatever, but we need to get to six wins next year.
 
I will enter 2019 as delusionally positive and excited for football as ever, but I would be somewhat nervous if I were Lovie. Conventional wisdom seems to be we need to go bowling. Good recruiting news aside, the casual fan that drives ticket sales and revenue needs to see postseason play in 2019 ... many have already jumped ship. Sticking with trying to be positive:

BEST CASE
W at UConn
W vs. Eastern Michigan
L vs. Nebraska
W at Minnesota
L vs. Michigan
L vs. Wisconsin
W at Purdue
W vs. Rutgers
W at Michigan State
L at Iowa
W vs. Northwestern

You can shuffle around the wins and losses, but these are the most likely results, IMO. We are due for a surprise (W at MSU), and Iowa/Wisconsin seem to absolutely own us. With that said, I could see (nay, hope for) a determined Illini squad being VERY hungry for an upset at Iowa after they embarrassed us this year, and Iowa might be looking ahead to a trip to Nebraska the next week. Either way, I think our best case is 7-5 with that schedule. I would take it enthusiastically!

MY PREDICTION
W at UConn
W vs. Eastern Michigan
L vs. Nebraska
W at Minnesota
L vs. Michigan
L vs. Wisconsin
W at Purdue
W vs. Rutgers
L at Michigan State
L at Iowa
W vs. Northwestern

We beat Northwestern at home to make a bowl. However, I could go 50/50 on winning at Purdue. :( Even though my "prediction" is to be a coin-flip-bowl-team, no postseason is probably going to do it for me as far as supporting staying the course. Call that illogical or whatever, but we need to get to six wins next year.
You've forgotten Akron, which should be a win!
 
I will enter 2019 as delusionally positive and excited for football as ever, but I would be somewhat nervous if I were Lovie. Conventional wisdom seems to be we need to go bowling. Good recruiting news aside, the casual fan that drives ticket sales and revenue needs to see postseason play in 2019 ... many have already jumped ship. Sticking with trying to be positive:

BEST CASE
W at UConn
W vs. Eastern Michigan
L vs. Nebraska
W at Minnesota
L vs. Michigan
L vs. Wisconsin
W at Purdue
W vs. Rutgers
W at Michigan State
L at Iowa
W vs. Northwestern

You can shuffle around the wins and losses, but these are the most likely results, IMO. We are due for a surprise (W at MSU), and Iowa/Wisconsin seem to absolutely own us. With that said, I could see (nay, hope for) a determined Illini squad being VERY hungry for an upset at Iowa after they embarrassed us this year, and Iowa might be looking ahead to a trip to Nebraska the next week. Either way, I think our best case is 7-5 with that schedule. I would take it enthusiastically!

MY PREDICTION
W at UConn
W vs. Eastern Michigan
L vs. Nebraska
W at Minnesota
L vs. Michigan
L vs. Wisconsin
W at Purdue
W vs. Rutgers
L at Michigan State
L at Iowa
W vs. Northwestern

We beat Northwestern at home to make a bowl. However, I could go 50/50 on winning at Purdue. :( Even though my "prediction" is to be a coin-flip-bowl-team, no postseason is probably going to do it for me as far as supporting staying the course. Call that illogical or whatever, but we need to get to six wins next year.
Don't know about the whole season, but those first two B1G games should tell us a lot about whether the D has made any much-needed improvement. Both of those games seem winnable but not if we continue the Bad News Bears approach on D.
 
Likes: Dude
We are due for a surprise (W at MSU), and Iowa/Wisconsin seem to absolutely own us. With that said, I could see (nay, hope for) a determined Illini squad being VERY hungry for an upset at Iowa after they embarrassed us this year, and Iowa might be looking ahead to a trip to Nebraska the next week.
At this point, I feel like Iowa would beat us in Kinnick with half of their guys suspended.

Let me make the case for our best chance at a surprise W being the one we (probably) would enjoy the most: Michigan at home. For one, I refuse to expect us to jump up and bite someone on the road. It's just outrageously hard to do, especially for a team that has next to no experience, you know, winning football games. Plus, Michigan has Iowa before us and travels to Penn State the next week.
 
At this point, I feel like Iowa would beat us in Kinnick with half of their guys suspended.

Let me make the case for our best chance at a surprise W being the one we (probably) would enjoy the most: Michigan at home. For one, I refuse to expect us to jump up and bite someone on the road. It's just outrageously hard to do, especially for a team that has next to no experience, you know, winning football games. Plus, Michigan has Iowa before us and travels to Penn State the next week.
The "surprise" win, from the vantage point of January, probably has less to do with us, or the venue, or the other team's schedule, than it does with the likelihood that someone on that list is gonna have it all go to hell on them in a way not currently anticipated.

'Bout time for that team to be Wisconsin, wouldn't you say?
 
Yo
I will enter 2019 as delusionally positive and excited for football as ever, but I would be somewhat nervous if I were Lovie. Conventional wisdom seems to be we need to go bowling. Good recruiting news aside, the casual fan that drives ticket sales and revenue needs to see postseason play in 2019 ... many have already jumped ship. Sticking with trying to be positive:

BEST CASE
W at UConn
W vs. Eastern Michigan
L vs. Nebraska
W at Minnesota
L vs. Michigan
L vs. Wisconsin
W at Purdue
W vs. Rutgers
W at Michigan State
L at Iowa
W vs. Northwestern

You can shuffle around the wins and losses, but these are the most likely results, IMO. We are due for a surprise (W at MSU), and Iowa/Wisconsin seem to absolutely own us. With that said, I could see (nay, hope for) a determined Illini squad being VERY hungry for an upset at Iowa after they embarrassed us this year, and Iowa might be looking ahead to a trip to Nebraska the next week. Either way, I think our best case is 7-5 with that schedule. I would take it enthusiastically!

MY PREDICTION
W at UConn
W vs. Eastern Michigan
L vs. Nebraska
W at Minnesota
L vs. Michigan
L vs. Wisconsin
W at Purdue
W vs. Rutgers
L at Michigan State
L at Iowa
W vs. Northwestern

We beat Northwestern at home to make a bowl. However, I could go 50/50 on winning at Purdue. :( Even though my "prediction" is to be a coin-flip-bowl-team, no postseason is probably going to do it for me as far as supporting staying the course. Call that illogical or whatever, but we need to get to six wins next year.
You are optimistic - I would expect 4 wins to be more realistic.
Maybe an over / under of 4.5
 
At this point, I feel like Iowa would beat us in Kinnick with half of their guys suspended.

Let me make the case for our best chance at a surprise W being the one we (probably) would enjoy the most: Michigan at home. For one, I refuse to expect us to jump up and bite someone on the road. It's just outrageously hard to do, especially for a team that has next to no experience, you know, winning football games. Plus, Michigan has Iowa before us and travels to Penn State the next week.
I see very little chance of beating Michigan. The talent level gap is huge along with Michigan having superior coaching.