Illini Football 2022

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I've been thinking of this post for a while. Too much talk about how bowl games "don't matter". Well, in one area it does, and that's the final rankings. I'd like to be top 25 and I think it looks and sounds great.

We are 33rd in votes in AP. This bowl list is pulled from SI that I believe is using a different poll.

It looks like we have perhaps 11 spots we could pick up if all goes perfect. However, it's not certain that we'd pass a few losers like ND/SC, Texas, or UCLA if they lost. And there are a few teams behind us that perhaps could overtake us, especially if our win is tight and theirs is convincing or even overwhelming. So we probably need everything to break about perfect to end up ranked.

Friday, Dec. 16:

Bahamas Bowl: UAB (6–6) vs. Miami (Ohio) (6–6), 11:30 a.m., ESPN
Doesn't Matter

Cure Bowl: No. 24 Troy (11–2) vs. No. 25 UTSA (11–2), 3 p.m., ESPN
We pass the loser, UTSA.

Saturday, Dec. 17:

Fenway Bowl: Louisville (7–5) vs. Cincinnati (9–3), 11 a.m., ESPN
Root for Louisville and we pass Cinncinnati who is at 28.

Celebration Bowl: Jackson State (12–0) vs. North Carolina Central (9–2), 12 p.m., ABC
Doesn't Matter

Las Vegas Bowl: No. 14 Oregon State (9–3) vs. Florida (6–6), 2:30 p.m., ESPN
Doesn't Matter

Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl: Fresno State (9–4) vs. Washington State (7–5), 3:30 p.m., ABC
Root for Washington State and we pass Fresno State who is 30

LendingTree Bowl: Southern Miss (6–6) vs. Rice (5–7), 5:45 p.m., ESPN
Doesn't Matter

New Mexico Bowl: BYU (7–5) vs. SMU (7–5), 7:30 p.m., ABC
Doesn't Matter

Frisco Bowl: Boise State (9–4) vs. North Texas (7–6), 9:15 p.m., ESPN
Root for North Texas and we definitely stay ahead of Boise State who is 34

Monday, Dec. 19:

Myrtle Beach Bowl: UConn (6–6) vs. Marshall (8–4), 2:30 p.m., ESPN
Doesn't Matter

Tuesday, Dec. 20:

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: San José State (7–4) vs. Eastern Michigan (8–4), 3:30 p.m., ESPN
Doesn't Matter

Boca Raton Bowl: Toledo (8–5) vs. Liberty (8–4), 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Doesn't Matter

Wednesday, Dec. 21:

New Orleans Bowl: South Alabama (10–2) vs. Western Kentucky (8–5), 9 p.m., ESPN
Root for Western Kentucky and we pass South Alabama who is 32

Thursday, Dec. 22:

Armed Forces Bowl: Air Force (9–3) vs. Baylor (6–6), 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Root for Baylor. Air Force is getting no votes, but if their 10th win is very convincing, who knows.

Friday, Dec. 23:

Independence Bowl: Houston (7–5) vs. Louisiana (6–6), 3 p.m. ESPN
Doesn't Matter

Gasparilla Bowl: Missouri (6-6) vs. Wake Forest (7–5), 6:30 p.m., ESPN
Doesn't Matter, so root for Wake Forest on General Principles

Saturday, Dec. 24:

Hawai’i Bowl: San Diego State (7–5) vs. Middle Tennessee State (7–5), 8 p.m., ESPN
Doesn't Matter

Monday, Dec. 26:

Quick Lane Bowl: Bowling Green (6–6) vs. New Mexico State (6–6), 2:30 p.m., ESPN
Doesn't Matter

Tuesday, Dec. 27:

Camellia Bowl: Buffalo (6–6) vs. Georgia Southern (6–6), 12 p.m., ESPN
Doesn't Matter

First Responder Bowl: Utah State (6–6) vs. Memphis (6–6), 3:15 p.m., ESPN
Doesn't Matter

Birmingham Bowl: East Carolina (7–5) vs. Coastal Carolina (9–3), 6:45 p.m., ESPN
Doesn't Matter

Guaranteed Rate Bowl: Oklahoma State (7–5) vs. Wisconsin (6–6), 10:15 p.m., ESPN
Doesn't directly matter, but a Wisconsin win would make us look stronger.

Wednesday, Dec. 28:

Military Bowl: Duke (8–4) vs. UCF (9–4), 2 p.m., ESPN
Root for Duke as we'd pass UCF who is 27.

Liberty Bowl: Arkansas (6–6) vs. Kansas (6–6), 5:30 p.m., ESPN
Doesn't Matter

Holiday Bowl: North Carolina (9–4) vs. No. 15 Oregon (9–3), 8 p.m., Fox
Root for Oregon as we would pass NC who is 26.

Texas Bowl: Ole Miss (8–4) vs. Texas Tech (7–5), 9 p.m., ESPN
Root for Texas Tech as we would pass Ole Miss who is 29

Thursday, Dec. 29:

Pinstripe Bowl: Minnesota (8–4) vs. Syracuse (7–5), 2 p.m., ESPN
Probably root for Syracuse as a strong Minnesota showing (with a big game by Ibrahim, let's say) might move them ahead of us.

Cheez-It Bowl: No. 13 Florida State (9–3) vs. Oklahoma (6–6), 5:30 p.m., ESPN
Doesn't Matter

Alamo Bowl: No. 12 Washington (10–2) vs. No. 20 Texas (8–4), 9 p.m., ESPN
Root for Washington. Still not certain that Texas would drop below us.

Friday, Dec. 30:

Duke’s Mayo Bowl: No. 23 NC State (8–4) vs. Maryland (7–5), 12 p.m., ESPN
Root for Maryland as we would likely pass NC State

Sun Bowl: No. 18 UCLA (9–3) vs. Pittsburgh (8–4), 2 p.m., CBS
Tough call. Pittsburgh is just behind us at 35. A convincing win by them over 18 while we win a close one against 24 might give Pitt the edge.

Gator Bowl: No. 19 South Carolina (8–4) vs. No. 21 Notre Dame (8–4), 3:30 p.m., ESPN
Hope the winner wins big and embarrasses the loser who falls behind us. Ideally ND.

Arizona Bowl: Wyoming (7–5) vs. Ohio (9–4), 4:30 p.m., Barstool
Doesn't Matter

Orange Bowl: No. 7 Clemson (11–2) vs. No. 6 Tennessee (10–2), 8 p.m., ESPN
Doesn't Matter

Saturday, Dec. 31:

Sugar Bowl: No. 9 Kansas State (10–3) vs. No. 5 Alabama (10–2), 12 p.m., ESPN
Doesn't Matter

Music City Bowl: Kentucky (7–5) vs. Iowa (7–5), 12 p.m., ABC
Doesn't matter so root for Kentucky on General Principles

Fiesta Bowl (CFP Semifinal): No. 2 Michigan (13–0) vs. No. 3 TCU (12–1), 4 p.m., ESPN
Doesn't Matter

Peach Bowl (CFP Semifinal): No. 1 Georgia (13–0) vs. No. 4 Ohio State (11–1), 8 p.m., ESPN
Doesn't Matter

Monday, Jan. 2:

ReliaQuest Bowl: Illinois (8–4) vs. No. 22 Mississippi State (8–4), 12 p.m., ESPN2

Cotton Bowl: No. 10 USC (11–2) vs. No. 16 Tulane (11–2), 1 p.m., ESPN
Doesn't Matter

Citrus Bowl: Purdue (8–5) vs. No. 17 LSU (9–4), 1 p.m., ABC
Root for LSU so we pass Purdue who is 31

Rose Bowl: No. 8 Utah (10–3) vs. No. 11 Penn State (10–2), 5 p.m., ESPN
Doesn't Matter


Interesting...Congrats Tank and staff!

No Iowa, Wisc, Nebby or NW in the Top 50? Especially since they focus on development (well, maybe not Neb)


So I went back on ESPN to 2003 (they don't go further) and this is the first time since at least then that we haven't had a loss by double digits. When is the last time that happened? Really pretty remarkable.

I also saw a stat that Illinois was the only team in the country to not allow 21 points or more in a half for the entire season. It's helps they only allowed over that for a game twice all season too.
How great is it that we're still discussing Illini football?

Sort of a flat ending to what was an exciting and program-building season.

A bowl win would have been outstanding... but that's what NEXT year is for. And the years after.

And we can all be thankful that the Illini are not the Purdue footballers today. What a wipe out. Pur... DIDN'T.
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