Illini Football 2021

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#1      
Have you guys looked at next years schedule? What a weird schedule. We open up in Ireland with Nebraska. Then play a couple of non conference games with one of them being Virginia on the road. Thenn we get back in conference play for a couple of weeks and then play. Charlotte at home. Very strange. Also have 2 off weeks. I have us going 4-8
 
#2      
Cary, IL
Have you guys looked at next years schedule? What a weird schedule. We open up in Ireland with Nebraska. Then play a couple of non conference games with one of them being Virginia on the road. Thenn we get back in conference play for a couple of weeks and then play. Charlotte at home. Very strange. Also have 2 off weeks. I have us going 4-8
I thought that I heard the Ireland game was not going to happen, due to Covid. This is the second time someone brought it up. Did I just make that up in my head?
 
#3      
NW Suburbs
Have you guys looked at next years schedule? What a weird schedule. We open up in Ireland with Nebraska. Then play a couple of non conference games with one of them being Virginia on the road. Thenn we get back in conference play for a couple of weeks and then play. Charlotte at home. Very strange. Also have 2 off weeks. I have us going 4-8
Are we sure the Ireland game is still going to happen? I have heard rumblings that it is likely off.
 
#5      
So, I would still be surprised if the Ireland thing happens. Good news either way, if it happens the Covid situation is behind us, and if it doesn't the game will be in Champaign. But yeah, the Big Ten is doing Week 1 conference games now.

Of course, we are Illinois, so Virginia has risen up enormously under Bronco Mendenhall since we scheduled that game. Les Miles will have turned Kansas around for our home and home with them after that, and then after that David Cutcliffe will have retired at Duke and they will have hit a grand slam with his successor. We are Illinois, every nonconference opponent is guaranteed to be at their absolute peak when they play us, so don't lose sleep over it.

But with the scheduling rules the way they are now, this and all of our future schedules are about as easy as a Power Five team can have. If we're any good there will be wins there.

Interestingly we play Penn State as a crossover game in each of the next five years. So we want the James Franklin situation to stay wobbly. Pat Fitzgerald leaving for the NFL would also be a huge help.
 
#6      
On the plus side, I was FURIOUS when the Big Ten's "parity-based scheduling" handed us Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State as crossover games in 2022. As we get closer to it....maybe that isn't so bad?
 
#7      
NW Suburbs
Interestingly we play Penn State as a crossover game in each of the next five years. So we want the James Franklin situation to stay wobbly. Pat Fitzgerald leaving for the NFL would also be a huge help.
This is some of the worst scheduling ever. Purely from a fan interest standpoint, unless it's a traditional rival from the other division, I don't want to see a team year after year after year.
 
#8      
This is a really good article on the fluid strategic situation flowing from what the roster rules are/are going to be.


The one thing I would say is that the two problems listed there - the 25 new player limit and the fact that players entering the portal in theory give up their scholarships - could potentially solve themselves, all those players can just go back where they came from.

But then you add in the 2022 recruiting class, and it just seems like no way the scholarship limit can revert right back to 85. But there is no official confirmation of that at this moment.

Anyway, we REALLY want the 25 new player limit to stay where it is, because that flips our tiny recruiting class from a problem to a huge strategic advantage.

We have a large, productive senior class with little NFL draft potential, and more open spots to take transfers than our competition. If we can recruit on and off our roster well (stinks to lose Bhebhe), we could be in a really great position to take better advantage of this stuff than the rest of the conference.
 
#9      
This is a really good article on the fluid strategic situation flowing from what the roster rules are/are going to be.


The one thing I would say is that the two problems listed there - the 25 new player limit and the fact that players entering the portal in theory give up their scholarships - could potentially solve themselves, all those players can just go back where they came from.

But then you add in the 2022 recruiting class, and it just seems like no way the scholarship limit can revert right back to 85. But there is no official confirmation of that at this moment.

Anyway, we REALLY want the 25 new player limit to stay where it is, because that flips our tiny recruiting class from a problem to a huge strategic advantage.

We have a large, productive senior class with little NFL draft potential, and more open spots to take transfers than our competition. If we can recruit on and off our roster well (stinks to lose Bhebhe), we could be in a really great position to take better advantage of this stuff than the rest of the conference.
I agree. I think K. Green is the only one who has a serious shot at being drafted. Maybe Milo. Yeah, I know, lots of guys are willing to shoot for landing a gig as a undrafted FA, but also must consider improving their odds by returning for another season. We should learn soon enough who BB wants to retain or not. I think it would be wise to try and keep as many players from the 2 deep as possible and jettison the fringe guys, leaving more than enough open spots available to find upgrades elsewhere.
 
#10      
Forgottonia
This is a really good article on the fluid strategic situation flowing from what the roster rules are/are going to be.


The one thing I would say is that the two problems listed there - the 25 new player limit and the fact that players entering the portal in theory give up their scholarships - could potentially solve themselves, all those players can just go back where they came from.

But then you add in the 2022 recruiting class, and it just seems like no way the scholarship limit can revert right back to 85. But there is no official confirmation of that at this moment.

Anyway, we REALLY want the 25 new player limit to stay where it is, because that flips our tiny recruiting class from a problem to a huge strategic advantage.

We have a large, productive senior class with little NFL draft potential, and more open spots to take transfers than our competition. If we can recruit on and off our roster well (stinks to lose Bhebhe), we could be in a really great position to take better advantage of this stuff than the rest of the conference.
I've yet to be convinced of this, but I could very well be wrong. It just seems to me that our guys that were largely outmanned their entire career. And expecting our competition to lose all their top players and not have them replaced with equally as good players is a pipe dream. Plus if large numbers of our guys are staying, some of the guys on other teams are too. And they were likely better than us previously. Maybe our new staff can coach them up to their true potential and make a real difference?

Maybe, but I'm less certain the extra year is the windfall for us that many seem to think. However, I do think we may "gain" by the guys coming back, strictly because we don't have the guys behind them that most other teams do.
 
#17      
This is a really good article on the fluid strategic situation flowing from what the roster rules are/are going to be.


The one thing I would say is that the two problems listed there - the 25 new player limit and the fact that players entering the portal in theory give up their scholarships - could potentially solve themselves, all those players can just go back where they came from.

But then you add in the 2022 recruiting class, and it just seems like no way the scholarship limit can revert right back to 85. But there is no official confirmation of that at this moment.

Anyway, we REALLY want the 25 new player limit to stay where it is, because that flips our tiny recruiting class from a problem to a huge strategic advantage.

We have a large, productive senior class with little NFL draft potential, and more open spots to take transfers than our competition. If we can recruit on and off our roster well (stinks to lose Bhebhe), we could be in a really great position to take better advantage of this stuff than the rest of the conference.
I thought there was a stipulation about Seniors that stay not counting towards the 85 player limit. I'm not sure how that continues down the line with Freshmen/Soph/Juniors staying 5 years. But I just thought it would continue until all 2020 players are no longer in college.
 
#18      
Admin
OL Doug Kramer said he was thinking about this for a while and Bret Bielema's hire was "the final topping" on returning especially after sitting out several games this season (contact tracing and injuries).

Doug Kramer: Bielema thinks we can win right away and have the people do that. Said he hangs his hat on Bielema's characteristics of "smart, tough, dependable" players.

Kramer on Bielema: "A lot of the guys ... were really impressed with that initial speech he gave to our team. ... Hearing that sort of stuff from him on Day 1 is awesome."

Doug Kramer said Palcho coming back "played a huge role in my decision." Could've still come back but made it easier.

Doug Kramer on message to signees: Stick with it. Commit to a university, not a coach.

Asked Doug Kramer if he's a bigger Tommy Boy or Van Wilder fan. Unsurprisingly, the #illini offensive lineman said Tommy Boy.

OL Alex Palczewski on return: "It wasn't really my decision. It was my ACL's decision."


 
#19      
I've yet to be convinced of this, but I could very well be wrong. It just seems to me that our guys that were largely outmanned their entire career. And expecting our competition to lose all their top players and not have them replaced with equally as good players is a pipe dream. Plus if large numbers of our guys are staying, some of the guys on other teams are too. And they were likely better than us previously. Maybe our new staff can coach them up to their true potential and make a real difference?

Maybe, but I'm less certain the extra year is the windfall for us that many seem to think. However, I do think we may "gain" by the guys coming back, strictly because we don't have the guys behind them that most other teams do.
Perhaps you should view it differently.

Without the Covid rules, we were very likely going to have the largest drop-off in talent of all 14 teams in the Big 10.....primarily because we had so many senior starters in 2021 and a severe lack of talent behind them. More than anything, the new rules push that "cliff" out to 2022 and give BB an extra year to manage around it.

If Lovie had stayed and if Covid had not happened, we'd probably be facing 0-12 in 2021.
 
#20      
Lombard
I know this is far off in the distance and we don't know if there will be crowds next year, but has BB had any opinions on game day atmosphere at Memorial? First step is to win and get a crowd there, but has there been anything about moving students out of the north endzone(my opinion, it is terrible putting the most energetic people on the moon) and getting the students free tickets. Does he have any say in that?
 
#21      
I don't see why we couldn't be at 50%+ capacity next year with the vaccines rolling out and "herd immunity" achieved by June/July.

TBH I'd rather the Nebraska game be played in Champaign over Ireland, but I guess both programs need an excuse to travel since bowls have evaded both for much of the recent past.

We're 3-9 next year. Maybe 4-8, but no better...that's where I'd put my money, at least.
 
#22      
Perhaps you should view it differently.

Without the Covid rules, we were very likely going to have the largest drop-off in talent of all 14 teams in the Big 10.....primarily because we had so many senior starters in 2021 and a severe lack of talent behind them. More than anything, the new rules push that "cliff" out to 2022 and give BB an extra year to manage around it.

If Lovie had stayed and if Covid had not happened, we'd probably be facing 0-12 in 2021.

Of course we would be (more) terrible if lovie stayed. Hence he's not.
 
#23      
Perhaps you should view it differently.

Without the Covid rules, we were very likely going to have the largest drop-off in talent of all 14 teams in the Big 10.....primarily because we had so many senior starters in 2021 and a severe lack of talent behind them. More than anything, the new rules push that "cliff" out to 2022 and give BB an extra year to manage around it.

If Lovie had stayed and if Covid had not happened, we'd probably be facing 0-12 in 2021.
Plus, it gives the backups another year to develop and add strength. Especially crucial for OL and DL.
 
#24      
Cary, IL
I don't see why we couldn't be at 50%+ capacity next year with the vaccines rolling out and "herd immunity" achieved by June/July.

TBH I'd rather the Nebraska game be played in Champaign over Ireland, but I guess both programs need an excuse to travel since bowls have evaded both for much of the recent past.

We're 3-9 next year. Maybe 4-8, but no better...that's where I'd put my money, at least.
I will wait to see what happens in the transfer market, listen to all the pre-season hype and drink a vat of orange kool-aid, before making my season predictions for next year. I really am hoping that the transfer market can add 10 or so on the 2 deep. (Hopefully, 6-7 starters).
 
#25      
Ireland game still officially on the schedule

I just can't see Ireland happening. Even if covid-19 is a rumor by next August, Illinois needs to re-connect with fans who missed this season. A curious fan base will want to see a BB-lead Illini. Warm weather. Chance of 50K in the seats. Possibly a near-sellout the way NE travels. Illinois needs the gate. I predict no Ireland in 2021, maybe rescheduled to when IL is set to host NE again?
 
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