Looking ahead to 2020

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4 or 5 wins next year is probably realistic. If we had Iowa's staff I'd think we could hit 6-8 wins given our talent and experience, but our current staff leaves us 2-3 wins shy of that. We caught a few lucky breaks in 2019 that aren't likely to repeat in 2020.
 
Captain Trips-ville, Planet Houston
4 or 5 wins next year is probably realistic. If we had Iowa's staff I'd think we could hit 6-8 wins given our talent and experience, but our current staff leaves us 2-3 wins shy of that. We caught a few lucky breaks in 2019 that aren't likely to repeat in 2020.
I think we'll do better, probably considerably better.
 
You cannot play the what if game. The opportunities presented themselves and our players and staff seized them. They won those games.
Next year our offense is going to take a big leap forward. The major question is if we can generate a pass rush. If we do, we will win at least 6. If we don't, we could win as small as 3.
 
You cannot play the what if game. The opportunities presented themselves and our players and staff seized them. They won those games.
Next year our offense is going to take a big leap forward. The major question is if we can generate a pass rush. If we do, we will win at least 6. If we don't, we could win as small as 3.
Very trey on what-if. It is the past now.

However, on what-if others have a upgraded pass rush. Then how well will our big-leap-forward perform, even if our O is upgraded.

3 wins IF we beat the first 3.

Given that our B10 West opponents have far better recruiting classes, I just do not see us performing well for years to come. Unless we start recruiting at a very high level, irrespective of our W-L and things like facilities, etc.
 
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Very trey on what-if. It is the past now.

However, on what-if others have a upgraded pass rush. Then how well will our big-leap-forward perform, even if our O is upgraded.

3 wins IF we beat the first 3.

Given that our B10 West opponents have far better recruiting classes, I just do not see us performing well for years to come. Unless we start recruiting at a very high level, irrespective of our W-L and things like facilities, etc.
No one's pass rush was immediately upgraded by this recruiting class, 2-3 years down the road maybe. Our very productive Tackles are now going to be seniors. The two best pass rushers in the conference are entering the draft. I doubt any DE is going to progress past what Vederian and Palcho are going to give us. Plus, we still have Green and the most underrated player in the B1G, Kramer. When Brandon got sacked last year, it was because of the skilled position players. Luke Ford is known as a very good blocker so that will kill some of that noise. And IF (this what if is deserved) Epstien can stay healthy, he is also a very good blocker.
 
Given that our B10 West opponents have far better recruiting classes, I just do not see us performing well for years to come. Unless we start recruiting at a very high level, irrespective of our W-L and things like facilities, etc.
I agree that we will fall back down if we don't take a big jump in recruiting this year. I am considering the 2020 class good depth fillers. We pulled some really nice players. Just no top end talent. Which is what we need in every class. We however could land some players in the portal still so unfinished work gets unfinished grade.
Big Jump or Big Dump - Next year's motto
 
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I received a telephone call this morning from the U of I ticket office wanting to know if I'd buy season tickets. I basically said, "no mas". The guy asked why, and I said that high-priced overly-hyped Lovie has not delivered what we thought we were getting. He has only achieved 15 wins in four seasons. The program was somewhat of a flimsy shack when Lovie was hired to improve it; he proceeded to burn it down and build another flimsy shack (using old cronies and family members as his work force).

I hope we can get significant contributors via the transfer portal, and I hope that the team can win six games again this season -- but I'm not confident.
 
You guys are crazy negative. Our defense had huge gains this year and we return a ton of seniors on offense. Senior QB, OL, and WRs. Our offense should easily improve just based on continuity and defense has DB continuity. Yeah we had a small recruiting class this year, but look at the progress that's been made, not everyone can be Baylor, and if we were as successful as them, Lovie would probably be back in the NFL like Rhule did.

We have a weaker schedule and more experience next year, how will we be worse? Our bad seasons were because we played almost all freshmen, that's over.
 
I get that at this point all we have to hang our hats on is recruiting. And yeah, the numbers don't look good unless you pigeon hole specific stats. 2020 doesn't scare me for this reason. Maybe we don't get to 8 wins, but I think 6 is beyond acheivable, without any major leaps.

Personally, I'd like to see Illinois build something, anything. Back to back bowls is great, I'm more than pleased with this. The problem is, I don't see 2021 going well at all, and that likely doesn't change; especially with our recruiting woes.

This coaching staff has built the beginning of a middle tier P5 team, but they are far from making this a consistent team. If we outperform in 2020 by the tune of 8 or 9 wins, I'll reconsider my worries, but for now we look to be trending downwards in another year to me.
 
You guys are crazy negative. Our defense had huge gains this year and we return a ton of seniors on offense. Senior QB, OL, and WRs. Our offense should easily improve just based on continuity and defense has DB continuity. Yeah we had a small recruiting class this year, but look at the progress that's been made, not everyone can be Baylor, and if we were as successful as them, Lovie would probably be back in the NFL like Rhule did.

We have a weaker schedule and more experience next year, how will we be worse? Our bad seasons were because we played almost all freshmen, that's over.
Negative? Realist. A happy bunch, just enjoying Loyalty on days when we have many important things to do. I am happy that I know my coaches, have no idea who is the Governor and have an idea who is the President. (Praying IAFB is good as their Democratic party is in organizing. But, the One above has never listened to me.)

I think we all can agree that ILFB will field far better talent, barring injuries, next year. *My contention* is that so will our opponents in B10 West. Therefore, IMHO, we will be where we are. Win most of those we expect to win, and beat a few that we do not expect to beat. In a very good season 6 wins (IMHO). From what I can see, ILFB has done better every year, but, has been at the very bottom of each and every recruiting class (correct me if I am wrong).Would love a 2019 type of class, with 2 - 4 4*, every year. But, even that will only get us to the middle of the pack.

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Captain 'Paign
Phoenix, AZ
We lot two games we shouldn't have and won two games we shouldn't have. We were the very definition of a mediocre, inconsistent team last year. I think this year is going to be a lot more fun, because we will be the older, more experienced team in every game, even if we don't always have the same level of talent. But I think we'll have enough at key positions to make some (Illi-) noise, especially with some nice newly eligible players like Ford and Derrick Smith in the fold. I fully expect 7-8 wins this season and a decent bowl game despite other teams' improvement as well. Don't let me down, Lovie!
 
I received a telephone call this morning from the U of I ticket office wanting to know if I'd buy season tickets. I basically said, "no mas". The guy asked why, and I said that high-priced overly-hyped Lovie has not delivered what we thought we were getting. He has only achieved 15 wins in four seasons. The program was somewhat of a flimsy shack when Lovie was hired to improve it; he proceeded to burn it down and build another flimsy shack (using old cronies and family members as his work force).

I hope we can get significant contributors via the transfer portal, and I hope that the team can win six games again this season -- but I'm not confident.
You waited through 'Not ideal' and the rebuild, and the year of the payoff you're not renewing tickets?!! You're like the guy who brags about having sold TSLA in june and avoiding all that 'volatility'. Buy the tickets. Enjoy the games. You'll see more wins in Memorial Stadium this year than you have in over a decade. Don't skip out now.
 
Negative? Realist. A happy bunch, just enjoying Loyalty on days when we have many important things to do. I am happy that I know my coaches, have no idea who is the Governor and have an idea who is the President. (Praying IAFB is good as their Democratic party is in organizing. But, the One above has never listened to me.)

I think we all can agree that ILFB will field far better talent, barring injuries, next year. *My contention* is that so will our opponents in B10 West. Therefore, IMHO, we will be where we are. Win most of those we expect to win, and beat a few that we do not expect to beat. In a very good season 6 wins (IMHO). From what I can see, ILFB has done better every year, but, has been at the very bottom of each and every recruiting class (correct me if I am wrong).Would love a 2019 type of class, with 2 - 4 4*, every year. But, even that will only get us to the middle of the pack.

??????????????
The 3 non-con games s/b in the bag, although I thought that in 2019 as well. We should beat Rutgers, although Schiano will have them much more competitive. We will be at a talent disadvantage against every other team we play; we will also be at a coaching disadvantage other than maybe Nebraska. The talent disparity will be narrow enough against PU, IU and NW that we can maybe pull out another win. Unless we get some studs in the portal my best guess is we go 5-7
 
I get that at this point all we have to hang our hats on is recruiting. And yeah, the numbers don't look good unless you pigeon hole specific stats. 2020 doesn't scare me for this reason. Maybe we don't get to 8 wins, but I think 6 is beyond acheivable, without any major leaps.

Personally, I'd like to see Illinois build something, anything. Back to back bowls is great, I'm more than pleased with this. The problem is, I don't see 2021 going well at all, and that likely doesn't change; especially with our recruiting woes.

This coaching staff has built the beginning of a middle tier P5 team, but they are far from making this a consistent team. If we outperform in 2020 by the tune of 8 or 9 wins, I'll reconsider my worries, but for now we look to be trending downwards in another year to me.
to everyone, we obviously don’t know how the season turns out, we could easily win 3 if we get no breaks and we could win 10 if we get the breaks all season. It’s not unrealistic with a handful or injuries or a handful of big plays, the season could go any direction. That is college football. look at Miami, UCLA, or usc with loads more talent and pretty ugly seasons.I’m not high on 8. But I think we are roughly 5-7 with 5 being a lot of unforeseen injuries and 8, closing several games.

Im curious, what position are you most worried for 2021.
 
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to everyone, we obviously don’t know how the season turns out, we could easily win 3 if we get no breaks and we could win 10 if we get the breaks all season. It’s not unrealistic with a handful or injuries or a handful of big plays, the season could go any direction. That is college football. look at Miami, UCLA, or usc with loads more talent and pretty ugly seasons.I’m not high on 8. But I think we are roughly 5-7 with 5 being a lot of unforeseen injuries and 8, closing several games.

Im curious, what position are you most worried for 2021.
Honestly all of them? RB is super solid and I get that it's hard to project 1.5+ years down the line, but I can't think of a group I feel confident in (sans RBs). OL and DB are extreme areas of concern. LB and WR are close seconds. DL at least has some projectable guys.

My point is mainly we aren't a piece or two away in 21 from being in a similar if not better position than next year. We're banking on Williams or a freshman to be the starter at QB, essentially 5 new starters on the OL (if Green sticks around then you'll only have to have 4 new starters, I guess 3 if you think Lowe can step up this year, still a ton of turmoil). Tolson and Cooper are the only two LBs we've got right now that have a shot at being starters in my eyes, and I guess we'll have Beason, Brown, and some combo of Weatherspoon, Martin and Joseph. New punter and kicker too, which can't be overlooked.

Maybe this is just what good teams do--fill in after 2/3 year starters leave, but those good teams typically have options to replace these guys. I just feel like we've banking on batting 1000 on the backups taking over. I don't see us falling off a cliff, but getting some quality guys this recruiting cycle seems imparitive to keeping momentum going, and this staff hasn't done that.

And sure a grad transfer might give you a replacement level player at a position or two, but we've seriously got like 15 starting spots that I don't see
 
There will be a ton of turnover in 2021 but there is an entire season before that for younger guys to step up and prove that they are ready to play. We don't know who the next Witherspoon or Barker is going to be yet. We still have 6 or 7? Scholarships left for what I assume we'll be transfers. Let's just wait and see.
 
The negativity here... it’s like a mediocre 2020 prep class has reduced our outlook for next year

- 2020 HS signees will have zero bearing next year. Roster will improve via newcomers due to newly eligible/healthy Smith, Ford, Brown, Beason; the JUCO signees; and whatever transfers we can wrangle. I won’t even list all the injured personnel we return who only got in a partial 2019

- we return almost all our offensive production including a 5th year QB who improved dramatically last year. Don’t forget what the most important single position in football is - Peters is key to 2020

- from the 2nd half of UM game up through NW we played toe to toe with UM, Wisc, Pur, MSU, Iowa. We have the bodies to keep games within striking distance. Don’t let the NW dud drive 2020 outlook.

I like our upperclassman heavy team. We know that football wins vs losses come down to a few plays and factors - the margin is small, but with upperclassman and returning production the #’s tilt towards us more than in prior years.

If the injury bug bites hard and we catch bad bounces and calls I could see a floor of just 3 wins - I also see if we stay healthy, get the game changing plays, and get the season momentum ball rolling in our favor we have a ceiling of 8 or 9 Wins. We’ll have a lot of nail-biting competitive games next year - will be a fun one
 
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I really wanted us to beat Northwestern. a revenge game and momentum game and we blew it... but their
4th string QB in that game could be their starter or backup 2020?
 
Honestly all of them? RB is super solid and I get that it's hard to project 1.5+ years down the line, but I can't think of a group I feel confident in (sans RBs). OL and DB are extreme areas of concern. LB and WR are close seconds. DL at least has some projectable guys.

My point is mainly we aren't a piece or two away in 21 from being in a similar if not better position than next year. We're banking on Williams or a freshman to be the starter at QB, essentially 5 new starters on the OL (if Green sticks around then you'll only have to have 4 new starters, I guess 3 if you think Lowe can step up this year, still a ton of turmoil). Tolson and Cooper are the only two LBs we've got right now that have a shot at being starters in my eyes, and I guess we'll have Beason, Brown, and some combo of Weatherspoon, Martin and Joseph. New punter and kicker too, which can't be overlooked.

Maybe this is just what good teams do--fill in after 2/3 year starters leave, but those good teams typically have options to replace these guys. I just feel like we've banking on batting 1000 on the backups taking over. I don't see us falling off a cliff, but getting some quality guys this recruiting cycle seems imparitive to keeping momentum going, and this staff hasn't done that.

And sure a grad transfer might give you a replacement level player at a position or two, but we've seriously got like 15 starting spots that I don't see
In 21 we will certainly take a step back, as expected. However, I’m not add down on 2021 as you are. I’m also not as high on 20 as most on here.

In 21, we have some talent, but little depth.
I think we will be fine at qb, at line we will have Green, slaughter, brown and pearl as upper classmen. We will pick up one or two and I think many will be surprised. Oline is usually dependent on age and maturity. 4 upper classmen should have us competitive. We have competent receivers and running backs, and will continue to add impact making depth.

on defense, we will have 4 senior dts: pâté, woods, Avery, shipton. Good rotation and we can add in okpala. At de, we will have inexperience, with Holmes, Coleman, randolph, and at least one transfer. Our lb core looks good, with cooper, Barnes, tolson, smith and gArdner. At cb, we will have Witherspoon, Wyatt, and beason. I think that core may be better than this year. At safety: brown, ware, Martin (as seniors). Given smith and gardner can play between lb and dB, o think our dbs look decent that year.

what we lose in experience, we gain in talent. I think the above is bowl Eligible with a few transfers to round out the roster. The biggest question is qb, OL, and DE, in my opinion. But, depending on schedule, that’s a borderline bowl team to me.
 
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According to the preseason sp+ that just came out we are projected to be #61 and 0.5 points better than the average team.
In 2019 we finished the season #61 and 0.6 points better than average.
This is obviously incredibly early so take that for what it's worth.

Source
 
According to the preseason sp+ that just came out we are projected to be #61 and 0.5 points better than the average team.
In 2019 we finished the season #61 and 0.6 points better than average.
This is obviously incredibly early so take that for what it's worth.

Source
https://www.espn.com/college-footba...0/preseason-sp+-rankings-alabama-tops-clemson

We were #92 last year before the season and ended at #61. If we can make a jump like that again, we could be from #30 to #50.
 
The only position I really am worried about next year is DE; if Lovie can address that through the transfer portal, I am quite confident of a winning season.

2021 could be grim. BUT, the staff will again have the ability to sell early playing time to recruits. We'll see.
 
You cannot play the what if game. The opportunities presented themselves and our players and staff seized them. They won those games.
Next year our offense is going to take a big leap forward. The major question is if we can generate a pass rush. If we do, we will win at least 6. If we don't, we could win as small as 3.
PASS RUSH!!!!!!!!!!
 
The roster and depth will be so much better next year. Lets not make any bold assumptions on 2021 until we see how some pieces develop. I know none of us were expecting big contributions from lowe, palcho, dre brown, kramer, hansen or navarro when they committed. Lets just see how the staff does with devopling some of the guys this season. Look at guys like slaughter, verdis and pearl. These guys will be crucial going forward. Maybe even a guy like kirts, plohr, tyler, sparks or griffin develops similar to palcho.
 
I was sitting around at work and thinking about the upcoming seasons two deep. I was wondering what y'all were thinking as well. I know well add some transfers but as of right now this is what i'm thinking. Please correct me with your versions or corrections.

QB- Peters (SR), Williams (Fr)
RB- Brown (So), Epstein (JR)
WR- Behbe (SR), Washington (So)
WR- Smalling (SR), Campbell (So)
WR- Sidney (SR), Navarro (JR)
TE- Ford (So), Barker (JR)
LT- Palcho (SR), Cerny (SR)
LG- Green, (JR), Pearl (So)
C- Kramer (SR), Tyler (Fr)
RG- Brown (So), Kirts (Fr)
RT- Lowe (SR), Slaughter (So)

DE- Carney (SR), Randolf (Fr)
DE- Gay (SR), Coleman (Fr)
DT- Woods (Jr), Pate (Jr)
DT- Avery (Jr), Shipton (Jr)
OLB- Cooper (Fr), Tolson, (Jr)
MLB- Hansen (SR), Barnes (So)
OLB- Eifler (SR), Gardner (Jr)
CB- Hobbs (SR), Beason (Fr)
CB- Adams (SR), Witherspoon (So)
S- Brown (Jr), Ware (Jr)
S- Smith (Jr), Martin (Jr)
K- Griffin (So), McCourt (SR)
KR- Brown (So), Beason (Fr)
 
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