Illini Football 2021

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#27      
Champaign
Love that we are back to normalcy. Would love to see our fan base begin to start filling the stadium again. I know fans want to see a decent product on the field first but I think with BB we are heading in the right direction. ILL

I got my tickets already! Can't wait for some tailgating!
 
#29      
Richmond, VA
Anyone know if there are any uni changes in store for 21?
 
#32      
Anyone know if there are any uni changes in store for 21?
Asked about game day experience, Bielema answered, “There’s a few things in the works that I haven’t shared with the team yet. From uniforms to the way we are going to play. People come to watch players play.”
 
#33      
Video: Bret Bielema Press Conference
Have you ever watched a Lovie Smith press conference? Since you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve watched at least one. Go enjoy this cool, refreshing, palate cleanser from Bret Bielema.

(Some take aways and Halloween promotion rambles are ahead if you don’t want to spend 30 minutes watching the presser.)

Bielema admitted the obvious, Illinois is a golf school. Not that Lovie wouldn’t admit this fact, but Bielema is not afraid to give us some sort of peek behind the curtain. He genuinely seems excited about his opportunity to be here. Sure, it could be some suffocating sales smoke, but fake it ‘til you make it, right?

Money was a very clear undertone. And the solution was made even more obvious — get people in the stands. Which makes sense for a couple reasons, none bigger than the pandemic. An entire fiscal year was lost for the majority of athletic programs globally, because well… pandemic.

Beginning with August 28th against Nebraska, get the cashflow rolling with 60,000 hungry football fans showing up on National Cherry Turnover Day for some football AND free cherry turnovers! Or, for the winos out there, a Merlot or Cabernet? Oh, did you think I was mentioning National Red Wine Day? No, come on now, allowing alcohol sales within all of Memorial Stadium. That’s a great way to keep the ride going from the tailgate right into the stands. Not just for Week Zero, but the whole season, forever and always.

Continuing the food and drink theme to lure in fans, October 30th is National Candy Corn Day. To some, amazing. To most, gross.

Rather than give away candy corn, the give away should be: any kid, 12 and under, that attends the Rutgers game wearing a Halloween custom (Illini themed costume contest?), gets a free ticket/admission for the post-Thanksgiving showdown against Northwestern on November 27th. A game slot that historically has godawful attendance could get a boost with parents buying additional tickets for the whole family and some delightfully delicious beer sweaters, too.
 
#37      
Forgottonia
I’ll go ahead and state that, record aside, looking like we prepped for the opponents and aren’t completely lost on D would be considered “progress“
I agree and I hope the fan base in general will give what is an excellent staff by most any standard, the time to prove themselves. I love what they are doing on the recruiting front, but that’s not going to translate to a ton of wins over the next 2 years. Keeping some enthusiasm in the stadium and around the program will be needed to help build this thing long term.
 
#38      
I agree and I hope the fan base in general will give what is an excellent staff by most any standard, the time to prove themselves. I love what they are doing on the recruiting front, but that’s not going to translate to a ton of wins over the next 2 years. Keeping some enthusiasm in the stadium and around the program will be needed to help build this thing long term.
You are wrong Sir. There schedule is set-up for at least 6 wins on the low side, with a possibility of 7 if Offense clicks like I think it will
 
#39      
Forgottonia
You are wrong Sir. There schedule is set-up for at least 6 wins on the low side, with a possibility of 7 if Offense clicks like I think it will
I think and have said 6 wins is a goal and a good season. I think you are making my point that if we win 3-4 games some of the fan base will quickly get disillusioned. We could start 6-0. We could also start 3-3. We have not “significantly” upgraded the talent yet. We are not the only team with super seniors. My opinion is guys expecting 7-8 wins this year and next are likely to be unhappy. That’s all I’m saying. You are free to disagree.
 
#40      
Parts Unknown
I think and have said 6 wins is a goal and a good season. I think you are making my point that if we win 3-4 games some of the fan base will quickly get disillusioned. We could start 6-0. We could also start 3-3. We have not “significantly” upgraded the talent yet. We are not the only team with super seniors. My opinion is guys expecting 7-8 wins this year and next are likely to be unhappy. That’s all I’m saying. You are free to disagree.
This is where I’m at and the basis for my expectations that as long as we don’t look like we put 11 raffle winners on the field, I’ll be ecstatic.
 
#42      
For the Gameday experience I wonder if they still have some Lovie beards left. Looking forward to the first game under BB.
 
#43      
We have not “significantly” upgraded the talent yet.
From what we've seen from interviews of the staff and HC, the strength and conditioning program is far superior to what we had before. We have more super seniors than any other school. And we have vastly improved coaching and instruction. So our team right now is way ahead of where they were last year.
 
#44      
From what we've seen from interviews of the staff and HC, the strength and conditioning program is far superior to what we had before. We have more super seniors than any other school. And we have vastly improved coaching and instruction. So our team right now is way ahead of where they were last year.
I think the pre-season over/under per the media will be 3 wins - UTSA, Charlotte and Rutgers. MD, PU and Nebby are winnable. Anything over 4 wins, especially if we look competent on the field and the sideline, should be viewed as a success.
 
#45      
From what we've seen from interviews of the staff and HC, the strength and conditioning program is far superior to what we had before. We have more super seniors than any other school. And we have vastly improved coaching and instruction. So our team right now is way ahead of where they were last year.

New schemes/coaching techniques sometimes take awhile to get used to.

Having very experienced super seniors helps bring that time down, but it’s not a guarantee of success.

We could technically be “way ahead of last year” when it comes to the bigger picture rebuild of where we want Illinois to be, but still have some hiccups this year that result in losing more games than we want.

Ive set my own expectations at winning 3 games, and then seeing where we go from there.
 
#46      
I’ll go ahead and state that, record aside, looking like we prepped for the opponents and aren’t completely lost on D would be considered “progress“
For us to be lost on D by a former coach that is known for Defensive abilities was disappointing. However, outside of turnovers, we were awful and I thought had solid defensive talent. I do think Bret will be a much better coach in terms of having us prepared. I don't see these blowouts consistently happening. The key will be to me not next year, but year after, will we have enough talent and recruiting to win? I do think we will be better than expected if can stay healthy since our depth is the issue. I think we will be above .500.
 
#47      
I really don’t have much in the way of expectations as far as wins for next year. Yes, Illinois returns a lot of super seniors, but the team wasn’t exactly a world beater this year. If pressed, I’d say 4 or more wins would be successful — though I am hopeful the team could surprise. Like some have mentioned though, I really just want to see this team more prepared and making the adjustments and showing the fight to avoid the demoralizing beat downs we’ve seen in the past.
 
#48      
For us to be lost on D by a former coach that is known for Defensive abilities was disappointing. However, outside of turnovers, we were awful and I thought had solid defensive talent. I do think Bret will be a much better coach in terms of having us prepared. I don't see these blowouts consistently happening. The key will be to me not next year, but year after, will we have enough talent and recruiting to win? I do think we will be better than expected if can stay healthy since our depth is the issue. I think we will be above .500.
I am really hoping the scheme on offense and defense will keep us in games. If we hold on to the ball and run the rock we should at least be in the games during the 4th quarter which is all I care about this year.
 
#49      
we have addition by subtraction

Lovie is/was a great guy. But lets be real, he was really never cut out for the college game and it clearly showed once he was here for 2-3 years.

Really, no excuse for the coaching personnel issues after the first year.
No reason to appoint his son to a job he was unqualified for.
The team will simply be better this year with him gone and BB here.
The changes that have been instituted already , compared to 12 months ago are mind blowing
 
#50      
From what we've seen from interviews of the staff and HC, the strength and conditioning program is far superior to what we had before. We have more super seniors than any other school. And we have vastly improved coaching and instruction. So our team right now is way ahead of where they were last year.
I thought Lou was a good strength and conditioning coach. At least that was the party line. Was it wrong?
 
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