Illini Football 2022

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#451      
We’re going bowling. Book it.
I normally trust SP+ and SP+ says we are big dogs to everyone but Nebraska and Northwestern in conference

While I get that WI game will tell us a lot, I think 7-5/8-4 is doable, and even 10-2 is on the table, despite what SP+ says today. Other than Michigan I'm not sure any team has looked that scary.
 
#452      
Thanks for these numbers. That ESPNU slot is awful. The other chart showed BTN getting numbers similar to ABC for the noon slot, which surprised me. I wonder what match-ups were opposite our game against NW last year, because even that game on BTN should have out-drawn this year's VA game on ESPN-U.
Yeah, I am not sure if this is still the case, but I know that several years ago only certain cable companies and streaming services offered the alternate BTN channels. In other words, most packages/markets only got one BTN game if there were multiple during a given time slot, and I distinctly recall coverage maps being published when BTN first came onto the scene. Looking at last year's schedule for the "rivalry weekend" games (God, I wish we had a cool rivalry...), we were actually the only BTN game in that slot. However, we had plenty of competition for eyeballs:

2:00-2:30 pm CST Games - Roughly in order of total viewer reach
#3 Alabama at Auburn on CBS
#18 Wisconsin at Minnesota on FOX
Penn State at #12 Michigan State on ABC
#11 Oregon at Oregon State on ESPN
Indiana at Purdue at on FS1
Vanderbilt at Tennessee on SECN (ESPN+)
Virginia Tech at Virginia on ACCN
Arizona at Arizona State on P12N

So, even though we are on a "better channel" than SECN, ACCN, P12N and arguably FS1 (not sure on this one, anyone?), I would argue almost every single one of those matchups is better than Illinois/Northwestern. Alabama/Auburn, PSU/MSU and likely Oregon/Oregon State and Wisconsin/Minnesota are going to take nearly all of the available "casual viewers" during that time slot. Combine that with Northwestern's tiny fan base and many casual Illini fans likely electing to do something else after our loss to Iowa the previous week likely ending our bowl chances, and you are going to have an awful rating.

It really is a shame that there is no clear "natural rival" for us at any point in the foreseeable future besides Northwestern. In a universe where Bret has us winning 8-9 games pretty regularly and we build the fan base back up, a Saturday-of-Thanksgiving game with the likes of Iowa or a Bears/Packers mirror series vs. Wisconsin (Lambeau and Soldier Field alternating??) could be really cool. Alas ... I quite honestly think the best possible hope for our future Northwestern series is to get good enough that we can make that a tradition in Chicago. It might not ever get a good crowd there, but I don't think it will EVER get one in Champaign on that weekend. Our student body's distribution and the lack of NU fan base makes it too difficult.
 
#454      
From mhuml32's post above:
Third Down Conversion Percentage
2021: 37.99% (76th)
2022: 44.66% (40th)

For more context,
2021 full season was 68/178 (9.17 3&O/game)
2021 through 3 games was 18/41 (7.77 3&O/game)
2022 through 3 games is 21/47 (8.67 3&O/game)

So the quick eye test is that we're worse at this stage of the season than last year, but trending somewhat better than the entire 2021 season.
You're conflating 3rd down conversion and 3 and out. Not the same thing.
 
#457      

illini80

Forgottonia
While all the teams in the west look and are beatable for us, we will be playing them when their backs are against the wall. No chance of surprising anyone unfortunately. Then again, if we are the better team, we just need to go out and prove it.

I’m holding to my 6-6 projection, but we certainly could go anywhere from 4-8 to 8-4. Have I ever mentioned we need to stay healthy??

Be Quiet Jimmy Fallon GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
 
#458      

Mr. Tibbs

southeast DuPage
It violates everything I believe in, but I actually think playing UI-NW on Black Friday in the BearsDome in Arlington Heights makes a lot of sense.

Only if both teams are giving up the home games though, not one way.
that’s light years away , sadly
 
#461      
From offensive standpoint, Illinois has only had six 3 and out possessions this season

2 out of the 6 happened in garbage time (2nd string in Wyoming game and last few minutes of UVA game)

Sure many have mentioned but just need to cut down on the turnovers. Punting the ball and playing field position is not a bad thing with the D that we have. The offense can hopefully be more efficient as the season goes along. If we can get both sides to play a good game we could be quite good. My dream season is going 7-5 or better and having a winning season no matter the outcome of the Bowl game. Small steps but I would be ecstatic with this!
 
#462      
I normally trust SP+ and SP+ says we are big dogs to everyone but Nebraska and Northwestern in conference

While I get that WI game will tell us a lot, I think 7-5/8-4 is doable, and even 10-2 is on the table, despite what SP+ says today. Other than Michigan I'm not sure any team has looked that scary.
10-2 is not on the table, let's just win back to back games for the first time in the Bielema era before talking about 10-2.
 
#463      
Opponents Yards Per Point
2020: 13.4 (79th)
2021: 16.7 (17th) (!!)
2022: 25.7 (13th) (!!)

Love that last stat, as the offense has had turnover issues and has put the defense in a worse spot this year than 2021 but the 2022 defense is still out-performing them. It's also the best looking group of teams; the schools ahead of Illinois: Georgia, Ole Miss, Minnesota, Iowa, 3-0 Tulane, Michigan, 3-0 Duke, TAMU, TCU, Oklahoma, & Washington State.
Can someone give me more information on how to apply that last stat? I understand how it’s calculated but how does it show itself in the game? Why is it good? What’s the goal there? ELI5 please.
 
#465      

pruman91

Paducah, Ky

By Anderson Kimball Decatur (Ill.) Herald & Review

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois football has gone with the committee approach at tight end, and the early results have been promising.
Tip Reiman, Luke Ford and Michael Marchese have played consistent snaps in each of the first three games this season. The trio have combined for 13 catches for 119 yards and a pair of touchdowns from Marchese and Reiman over the first three games.

Both of those scores came against Virginia, with the group carving out their respective niches in the Illini’s new offense.
“I think what we saw from practice, what I saw from spring practice and fall camp is showing up on the field,” offensive coordinator Barry Lunney said. “I think you’ve got three guys who are playing right now who have deemed themselves reliable and tough and competitive and can catch the ball, be factors in the passing game, and I think they’re good, steady guys that hopefully we’ll continue to use. It just kind of happened that it popped last week.”
Lunney is one of a large group of coaches on the Illinois staff with tight end coaching experience. Illinois head coach Bret Bielema hired him at Arkansas as a tight ends coach — that was his first experience coaching the position. Running backs coach Corey Patterson was a tight ends coach at Illinois from 2018-20.

Lunney and Bielema coached three eventual NFL draft picks at tight end, the most notable being All-American and second-round draft pick Hunter Henry.
 
#467      
It won't hold after this week but the top 3 rushing leaders in the nation are from the Big Ten West division (Nebraska has played extra game and on bye week)

Brown-Illinois
Grant-Nebraska
Ibrahim-Minnesota

See how Minnesota fares up during Big Ten play but if any RB in the Big Ten deserves Heisman consideration is probably this guy
 
#469      

mhuml32

Cincinnati, OH
Can someone give me more information on how to apply that last stat? I understand how it’s calculated but how does it show itself in the game? Why is it good? What’s the goal there? ELI5 please.

I'm walking a treacherous statistical argument here: (1) points allowed per yard is a noisy statistic. It's dependent on a few things that are uncontrollable (such as turnovers created by your defense) and others that are dependent on other units on your team (such as a great punter pinning your opponent deep in their territory), that said (2) this stat, and Illinois' ranking on this stat stick out to me because Illinois has a negative turnover differential and special teams has been significantly worse than last year. With those disadvantages, Illinois is still performing well compared to the field.

I wouldn't view Illinois' defense purely by this number, but it can be considered within the pile of other, more reliable categories.
 
#470      
I'm walking a treacherous statistical argument here: (1) points allowed per yard is a noisy statistic. It's dependent on a few things that are uncontrollable (such as turnovers created by your defense) and others that are dependent on other units on your team (such as a great punter pinning your opponent deep in their territory), that said (2) this stat, and Illinois' ranking on this stat stick out to me because Illinois has a negative turnover differential and special teams has been significantly worse than last year. With those disadvantages, Illinois is still performing well compared to the field.

I wouldn't view Illinois' defense purely by this number, but it can be considered within the pile of other, more reliable categories.
So basketball has points per possession forced/allowed to measure efficiency offensively/defensively.

Is there a single stat that captures that sort of efficiency within football?
 
#471      

mhuml32

Cincinnati, OH
So basketball has points per possession forced/allowed to measure efficiency offensively/defensively.

Is there a single stat that captures that sort of efficiency within football?

Opponents points per play is a better comparison. It can also be noisy (Illinois is currently dominating in possession) but it's a better measurement:


Opponents Points Per Play
2020: .473 (98th)
2021: .303 (19th) (!)
2022: .161 (13th) (!!)

For comparison sake, Georgia was #1 in OPPP in 2021 at .154. Illinois has all of their best games ahead of them but playing at a similar performance level in the first three games is a great data point.
 
#472      
Opponents points per play is a better comparison. It can also be noisy (Illinois is currently dominating in possession) but it's a better measurement:


Opponents Points Per Play
2020: .473 (98th)
2021: .303 (19th) (!)
2022: .161 (13th) (!!)

For comparison sake, Georgia was #1 in OPPP in 2021 at .154. Illinois has all of their best games ahead of them but playing at a similar performance level in the first three games is a great data point.
I'm down with OPPP
 
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