Illini Football 2020

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#151      
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.
 
#152      
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.
 
#153      
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.
 
#154      
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.
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#155      
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.
 
#156      
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.
 
#157      
If the season is played out and capacities are reduced, be prepared for the Illini to have the season of a lifetime. Undefeated B1G Champs. I don't make the rules.
 
#158      
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.
 
#159      

Deleted member 746648

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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.
 
#160      
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?
 
#162      
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.
 
#163      
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.
 
#165      

Deleted member 656517

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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
 
#167      
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
 
#168      
I've got Illinois -5 at -110, someone explain to me how this team could regress and not hit that. Dline is weak and injuries were a problem last year but what else?
 
#171      
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.
 
#172      
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.
 
#173      
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.
 
#174      
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.
 
#175      
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
 
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