Illini Football 2024

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#101      
Right now, our main goal should be reaching a bowl game. It provides extra practices, extra TV time, extra money, extra publicity. Once you get there consistently and feel like an 8-4 or 7-5 team, go ahead and schedule real non-conference teams. Until then, only one metric matters for postseason entry, and that is wins.

Give me three teams that we can beat every season. Once B1G play starts, we will wish we had only three wins to get.
 
#102      
My objective opinion is that Power 4 programs should mostly or completely avoid an FCS school on the schedule and have to face another Power 4 (or equivalent like Notre Dame) opponent in the non-con. The Big 10 used to have rules requiring that which is a good thing imo. You had to have a Power 4 opponent or approved exception (usually former Big East teams or Notre Dame), and you could only schedule an FCS team if you had only 4 conference home games (so every other year). Those rules obviously created far better matchups than you'd ever see in the SEC. I forgot who it was (thinking Auburn or Florida), but an SEC team played 1-2 FCS schools and filled their remaining OOC with bottom-of-the-barrel FBS teams. That's just stupid scheduling, and objectively, it shouldn't be done in my perfect college football world (that world also includes the Big East, Pac 12, and a max 12-team Big 10 so it'll obviously never happen outside of my NCAA 25 Dynasty saves lol). I just generally think that's the right thing to do for your OOC games.

That all being said, I'd much rather see Illinois go to a bowl game every year with 3 "free" nearly free OOC wins. Everyone else is going to. The Big 10 got rid of the rules forcing it (assuming they did at least since everyone's canceling their P4 OOC), so take advantage of it like everyone else. There isn't going to be another 2007 App State upset. I'll have way more fun watching Illinois in a bowl game than I'd ever have watching us face the Dukes, Mizzous, etc. Get a random FCS team, preferably from Illinois or a bordering state, a MAC team (preferably NIU every 3-5 years), and some unique team a la Wyoming, FAU, or UTSA (but try to avoid them when they're about to 11-1 lol). 3 teams that we can go at least 2-1 against 100% of the time or better and 3-0 at least 85% of the time. If that's what it takes to go bowling at least most years, then so be it. It's a lot more fun watching Illinois play football in December than it is to watch us potentially get blown out by Mizzou with the Walmart logo on their field.
 
#103      
Oh yeah... my bad... it was Cunningham... well, I'm old... I forgot... Yeah SOME of Blackman's players were 'studs' (pun intended)... just weren't enough of them...
Vito Santini. Illini football player in '69 and '70 (my freshman year). Recruited by Butkus, or so the story goes. Tough and hard nosed. Could have been a good one. Lost his scholarship in '71. Rumor was he beat up some hippie type.
 
#104      
My objective opinion is that Power 4 programs should mostly or completely avoid an FCS school on the schedule and have to face another Power 4 (or equivalent like Notre Dame) opponent in the non-con. The Big 10 used to have rules requiring that which is a good thing imo. You had to have a Power 4 opponent or approved exception (usually former Big East teams or Notre Dame), and you could only schedule an FCS team if you had only 4 conference home games (so every other year). Those rules obviously created far better matchups than you'd ever see in the SEC. I forgot who it was (thinking Auburn or Florida), but an SEC team played 1-2 FCS schools and filled their remaining OOC with bottom-of-the-barrel FBS teams. That's just stupid scheduling, and objectively, it shouldn't be done in my perfect college football world (that world also includes the Big East, Pac 12, and a max 12-team Big 10 so it'll obviously never happen outside of my NCAA 25 Dynasty saves lol). I just generally think that's the right thing to do for your OOC games.

That all being said, I'd much rather see Illinois go to a bowl game every year with 3 "free" nearly free OOC wins. Everyone else is going to. The Big 10 got rid of the rules forcing it (assuming they did at least since everyone's canceling their P4 OOC), so take advantage of it like everyone else. There isn't going to be another 2007 App State upset. I'll have way more fun watching Illinois in a bowl game than I'd ever have watching us face the Dukes, Mizzous, etc. Get a random FCS team, preferably from Illinois or a bordering state, a MAC team (preferably NIU every 3-5 years), and some unique team a la Wyoming, FAU, or UTSA (but try to avoid them when they're about to 11-1 lol). 3 teams that we can go at least 2-1 against 100% of the time or better and 3-0 at least 85% of the time. If that's what it takes to go bowling at least most years, then so be it. It's a lot more fun watching Illinois play football in December than it is to watch us potentially get blown out by Mizzou with the Walmart logo on their field.

Unless they make it a rule that we canā€™t schedule a FCS team we better do it yearly. We are a long way from being ready to line up against Mizzou in non conference. I think more realistic options would be teams like ucf or usf. It would also be good for the Florida recruitment get a game back home
 
#105      
Does anyone know how much it would cost to buy out the Missouri games? Not sure Illinois has the funds now that they have to pay there players 22 million
 
#106      
So you'd rather see Mizzou on the schedule than a bowl game?
To be completely honest with you yes. Current bowl games to me are worthless. They are a glorified Spring Training game where most of the guys who got you there are sitting out because they are focused on the next level, as they should be. It is kind of nice to have the extra practice and see who might play next year if they don't transfer out, which if they play well is always a question. It's also likely to be against a team I could care less about playing a various percentage of their 2-3rd stringers for the same reason.

To me, a September game against Mizzou or another regional/closer Power 3 team is way more fun and meaningful to me than a mid-December neutral site game between 2nd stringers against a mid level SEC or ACC team.

Now I'm sure the bowl game money is nice, but I think I remember it being about a wash after you account for travel, marketing, etcetera.

Now if we were actually to make it to a CFP game I would most definitely change my opinion but we aren't there or else we wouldn't be so concerned about playing Mizzou or our B1G slate, we'd welcome the press/prestige of that win to boost us into CFP position.
 
#107      
To be completely honest with you yes. Current bowl games to me are worthless. They are a glorified Spring Training game where most of the guys who got you there are sitting out because they are focused on the next level, as they should be. It is kind of nice to have the extra practice and see who might play next year if they don't transfer out, which if they play well is always a question. It's also likely to be against a team I could care less about playing a various percentage of their 2-3rd stringers for the same reason.

In the grand scheme of dumb NCAA rules, the idea that bowl teams get extra practice time while non-bowl teams don't has to be pretty high on the list. I get that bowl teams need to prep for their game, but it's the non-bowl teams that actually need more practice.
 
#108      
To be completely honest with you yes. Current bowl games to me are worthless. They are a glorified Spring Training game where most of the guys who got you there are sitting out because they are focused on the next level, as they should be. It is kind of nice to have the extra practice and see who might play next year if they don't transfer out, which if they play well is always a question. It's also likely to be against a team I could care less about playing a various percentage of their 2-3rd stringers for the same reason.

To me, a September game against Mizzou or another regional/closer Power 3 team is way more fun and meaningful to me than a mid-December neutral site game between 2nd stringers against a mid level SEC or ACC team.

Now I'm sure the bowl game money is nice, but I think I remember it being about a wash after you account for travel, marketing, etcetera.

Now if we were actually to make it to a CFP game I would most definitely change my opinion but we aren't there or else we wouldn't be so concerned about playing Mizzou or our B1G slate, we'd welcome the press/prestige of that win to boost us into CFP position.
I feel the exact same way. Other than the CFP bowl games, the only attraction to the other bowls is an opportunity to travel to watch your team. The games themselves are exactly what you have described. I'll take good rivalry games over easy wins (JMHO). When we beat a non-power conference school (not dissing the MACs, MVCs, ...) my reaction is either "Eh" or "let out a sigh of relief". When you play good games (win or lose) against good power teams, it is fun. And when we pull off the victories, it's great.

I have my opinions of how I would like to see the bowl system work, but that's a different discussion.
 
#109      
The actual bowl game to me doesn't matter. It's a one-off meaningless game against some other mediocre opponent. Making a bowl game is binary metric of success. You can instantly equate that with "they made a bowl game the last 5 years, so they must have it together." It sounds a lot better than "we went 5-7 the last 5 years but at least we played a good non- conference schedule."
 
#110      

SampsonRelpenk

Edwardsville, IL
In the grand scheme of dumb NCAA rules, the idea that bowl teams get extra practice time while non-bowl teams don't has to be pretty high on the list. I get that bowl teams need to prep for their game, but it's the non-bowl teams that actually need more practice.
I'd have no problem letting everyone have postseason practice, but it makes sense in that it's part of the reward for a "successful" year.
 
#111      

redwingillini11

White and Sixth
North Aurora
To be completely honest with you yes. Current bowl games to me are worthless. They are a glorified Spring Training game where most of the guys who got you there are sitting out because they are focused on the next level, as they should be. It is kind of nice to have the extra practice and see who might play next year if they don't transfer out, which if they play well is always a question. It's also likely to be against a team I could care less about playing a various percentage of their 2-3rd stringers for the same reason.

To me, a September game against Mizzou or another regional/closer Power 3 team is way more fun and meaningful to me than a mid-December neutral site game between 2nd stringers against a mid level SEC or ACC team.

Now I'm sure the bowl game money is nice, but I think I remember it being about a wash after you account for travel, marketing, etcetera.

Now if we were actually to make it to a CFP game I would most definitely change my opinion but we aren't there or else we wouldn't be so concerned about playing Mizzou or our B1G slate, we'd welcome the press/prestige of that win to boost us into CFP position.
The actual bowl game to me doesn't matter. It's a one-off meaningless game against some other mediocre opponent. Making a bowl game is binary metric of success. You can instantly equate that with "they made a bowl game the last 5 years, so they must have it together." It sounds a lot better than "we went 5-7 the last 5 years but at least we played a good non- conference schedule."
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I just don't get this at all. Sure, in a vacuum, waking up on a Saturday about to play Mizzou is a lot more exciting than waking up on a Saturday to play Kent State. And you might not care about an appearance in the Reliaquest Bowl or Music City Bowl or Guaranteed Rate Bowl. But this side of the argument has to understand how it affects the perception of our program. Recruits want to win games. Recruits want to get out of Champaign in December and January to go somewhere warm and get wined and dined on a bowl trip. Recruits aren't going to say "well, it sucks I never made a bowl game in college, but I'm sure glad that we played Mizzou in September even though we already play a gauntlet B1G schedule that included Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, USC, Oregon, and Wisconsin." Our national perception matters now more than ever. We want to be seen as a player at the table, and we get that perception by being a winning program and being talked about after Thanksgiving. Plus there are the extra practices to help make the team better for the following season.

We can choose to ride a high horse and play a really hard non-con schedule where we go 2-1 or 1-2 and then get our butts kicked during the B1G season because we aren't recruiting at the same pace as the other teams in the conference, and then we will be comfortably in the 3-5 win bucket we are all sick of being in. We will continue to suffer in recruiting, even compared to teams outside of the Power 2. Then, when it comes time to decide who is in the top level of play when the B1G and SEC break away from the NCAA, we will get left behind with the rest of the plains states schools like Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and other teams like Boston College, Wake Forest, etc. Now you may think that you'd rather compete in football that conference rather than against the Ohio States, Michigans, etcs. of the world, but if we aren't getting those B1G TV checks, it won't just be the football team that suffers. It will be the whole athletic program, including basketball. Josh and the DIA has openly acknowledged this, that big investment in the football program is necessary priority for the good of the health of every Illini team.

I will say, if they change the 6 win rule for making bowl games to accommodate these huge B1G and SEC super conferences, which I think there is a solid chance they do, then I may come around to the other way of thinking. Maybe a loss to Mizzou doesn't hurt our bowl selection chances while a win against an FCS school doesn't help us. Then certainly, we can start scheduling big boy teams. But right now, the system is set up where we need to go 3-0 in noncon for a bowl game, and our scheduling should reflect that being a priority for the health of our football program and the whole athletic department.
 
#113      
We can choose to ride a high horse and play a really hard non-con schedule where we go 2-1 or 1-2 and then get our butts kicked during the B1G season because we aren't recruiting at the same pace as the other teams in the conference, and then we will be comfortably in the 3-5 win bucket we are all sick of being in. We will continue to suffer in recruiting, even compared to teams outside of the Power 2. Then, when it comes time to decide who is in the top level of play when the B1G and SEC break away from the NCAA, we will get left behind with the rest of the plains states schools like Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and other teams like Boston College, Wake Forest, etc. Now you may think that you'd rather compete in football that conference rather than against the Ohio States, Michigans, etcs. of the world, but if we aren't getting those B1G TV checks, it won't just be the football team that suffers. It will be the whole athletic program, including basketball. Josh and the DIA has openly acknowledged this, that big investment in the football program is necessary priority for the good of the health of every Illini team.

I will say, if they change the 6 win rule for making bowl games to accommodate these huge B1G and SEC super conferences, which I think there is a solid chance they do, then I may come around to the other way of thinking. Maybe a loss to Mizzou doesn't hurt our bowl selection chances while a win against an FCS school doesn't help us. Then certainly, we can start scheduling big boy teams. But right now, the system is set up where we need to go 3-0 in noncon for a bowl game, and our scheduling should reflect that being a priority for the health of our football program and the whole athletic department.
If our standard is 3-6 in conference with 3 non-con cupcake wins, we probably don't get a seat at the big boy table anyway
 
#114      
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I just don't get this at all. Sure, in a vacuum, waking up on a Saturday about to play Mizzou is a lot more exciting than waking up on a Saturday to play Kent State. And you might not care about an appearance in the Reliaquest Bowl or Music City Bowl or Guaranteed Rate Bowl. But this side of the argument has to understand how it affects the perception of our program. Recruits want to win games. Recruits want to get out of Champaign in December and January to go somewhere warm and get wined and dined on a bowl trip. Recruits aren't going to say "well, it sucks I never made a bowl game in college, but I'm sure glad that we played Mizzou in September even though we already play a gauntlet B1G schedule that included Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, USC, Oregon, and Wisconsin." Our national perception matters now more than ever. We want to be seen as a player at the table, and we get that perception by being a winning program and being talked about after Thanksgiving. Plus there are the extra practices to help make the team better for the following season.

We can choose to ride a high horse and play a really hard non-con schedule where we go 2-1 or 1-2 and then get our butts kicked during the B1G season because we aren't recruiting at the same pace as the other teams in the conference, and then we will be comfortably in the 3-5 win bucket we are all sick of being in. We will continue to suffer in recruiting, even compared to teams outside of the Power 2. Then, when it comes time to decide who is in the top level of play when the B1G and SEC break away from the NCAA, we will get left behind with the rest of the plains states schools like Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and other teams like Boston College, Wake Forest, etc. Now you may think that you'd rather compete in football that conference rather than against the Ohio States, Michigans, etcs. of the world, but if we aren't getting those B1G TV checks, it won't just be the football team that suffers. It will be the whole athletic program, including basketball. Josh and the DIA has openly acknowledged this, that big investment in the football program is necessary priority for the good of the health of every Illini team.

I will say, if they change the 6 win rule for making bowl games to accommodate these huge B1G and SEC super conferences, which I think there is a solid chance they do, then I may come around to the other way of thinking. Maybe a loss to Mizzou doesn't hurt our bowl selection chances while a win against an FCS school doesn't help us. Then certainly, we can start scheduling big boy teams. But right now, the system is set up where we need to go 3-0 in noncon for a bowl game, and our scheduling should reflect that being a priority for the health of our football program and the whole athletic department.
You didn't read the second half of my post. I don't care about the bowl game itself, but I care about the perks that come with being in a bowl game. Agree with you on pretty much all your points here.
 
#115      
We had some lean years after the Slush Fund but Valek actually recruited reasonably well his last couple years and Blackman brought in some decent talent. If he'd had the benefit of modern scheduling Blackman probably would have gone to bowl games every year he was here. We had no chance against the Big 2, but had an excellent record against the rest of the little 8 during his tenure
Back then the big 10 only allowed one team to go to the Rose Bowl. No other bowls. So heā€™d have had a better record had they scheduled some cupcakes in non conference, not more bowls. That likely had a big part in scheduling tough teams. Get ready for conference schedule, as conference record only determined your postseasonā€¦ had to win conference (or come in second behind a team that was there more recently than you).

Would you have remembered beating eastern Illinois and going 7-2-1 with no bowl or SC coming to town and finishing 6-3-1 with no bowl?
 
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#116      
If our standard is 3-6 in conference with 3 non-con cupcake wins, we probably don't get a seat at the big boy table anyway

We get a seat at the table because the University has a country wide alumni net, and sits in a huge media market that only competes with the much smaller Northwestern.

Our record has little to do with it,unlike some of the more recent additions.
 
#117      

cuillini

San Bernardino, Ca.
JC Davis is going to be a stud. Screams NFL draft pick. Has the measurables, superb technique with hand placement, finishing blocks, good IQ, durability. Can't overstate how good of a pickup he was.

Gesky/Crisler/Wigenton/Schuster makes for pretty good guard depth. Crisler has a lot of upside if he gets healthy. I don't see Gesky as an all-conference type player, but he looks better/more athletic than he did last year.

Kreutz is a decent center. High IQ and knows all the calls, which you absolutely need out of the center. I don't see him being an all-conference type player, but he won't be a liability either. Him being undersized is less of an issue with our guard depth being way better than last year.

Hard to get a read on RT. Assuming Priestly is still the favorite to start. I think he's going to struggle a fair bit pass blocking as DCs scheme to attack this side. Lot of raw technique with leaning/grabbing that led to being a penalty machine at Grambling. Big Ten's too big of a step up to correct that in one year, but to our coaches' credit, I do see the potential.
I've seem some analysts rate Kruetz as a potential all conference center. Hope that pans out.
 
#119      
I think there will always be concerns with his size... but he plays mean and is one tough guy.
At the line, Kreutz plays with pretty good leverage. I'd like to see him improve his setting/anchoring on pass protection. In college, size disadvantage can be mitigated with proper weight distribution between the post/anchor feet and in turn, aligning shoulders/hips correctly. It's a really difficult technique to master because even the slighest foot misalignment or weight distribution between post/anchoring can result in the lineman losing anchoring leverage and getting driven backward. Even harder when you have to get set 0.5 seconds after snapping the ball and why a lot of tall guards can't play center.
 
#120      
At the line, Kreutz plays with pretty good leverage. I'd like to see him improve his setting/anchoring on pass protection. In college, size disadvantage can be mitigated with proper weight distribution between the post/anchor feet and in turn, aligning shoulders/hips correctly. It's a really difficult technique to master because even the slighest foot misalignment or weight distribution between post/anchoring can result in the lineman losing anchoring leverage and getting driven backward. Even harder when you have to get set 0.5 seconds after snapping the ball and why a lot of tall guards can't play center.
Also quite possibly the most challenging position to play from a football IQ perspective if not just overall.
 
#121      
To be completely honest with you yes. Current bowl games to me are worthless. They are a glorified Spring Training game where most of the guys who got you there are sitting out because they are focused on the next level, as they should be. It is kind of nice to have the extra practice and see who might play next year if they don't transfer out, which if they play well is always a question. It's also likely to be against a team I could care less about playing a various percentage of their 2-3rd stringers for the same reason.

To me, a September game against Mizzou or another regional/closer Power 3 team is way more fun and meaningful to me than a mid-December neutral site game between 2nd stringers against a mid level SEC or ACC team.

Now I'm sure the bowl game money is nice, but I think I remember it being about a wash after you account for travel, marketing, etcetera.

Now if we were actually to make it to a CFP game I would most definitely change my opinion but we aren't there or else we wouldn't be so concerned about playing Mizzou or our B1G slate, we'd welcome the press/prestige of that win to boost us into CFP position.
I agree bowl games have become watered down over the years but it is still used as a measure of success in regards to a program. Much like making the ncaa tournament in basketball. Qualifying for a bowl game every year has to be number one priority for us, then we can build on that and go for loftier goals. If that means scheduling cupcakes for the next few years so be it. We are not ready for a tougher non- conference schedule at this time.
 
#122      
If our standard is 3-6 in conference with 3 non-con cupcake wins, we probably don't get a seat at the big boy table anyway
I don't think "the big boy table" is our current goal...

But, here's a fun stat (and yes, I sort of cherry picked a team). There's a team in the SEC that from 2015 to 2022 went to 8 straight bowl games without having a single winning conference record those 8 years. They only went 29-37 in conference those 8 years with a 53-41 overall regular season record during that same span (24-4 non-con).

Here were their non-conference teams during those 8 years:
2015
Southern Miss
Northwestern State
Troy
Louisiana Tech

2016
South Alabama (L)
UMass
BYU (L)
Samford

2017
Charleston Southern
Louisiana Tech
BYU
UMass

2018
Stephen F. Austin
Kansas State
Louisiana
Louisiana Tech

2019
Louisiana
Southern Miss
Kansas State (L)
Abilene Christian

2020
None (Covid)

2021
Louisiana Tech
NC State
Memphis (L)
Tennessee State

2022
Memphis
Arizona
Bowling Green
East Tennessee State

During this time, they won 5 bowl games, only losing 3... including beating our beloved in 2022/2023's Reliaquest bowl. Now tell me you wouldn't want to have the same level of program as Mississippi State. Also, they only finished the season ranked twice during this stretch. So, it's not like they were some natural powerhouse that was beating up good teams, too.

This is all I really want. Consistent 8-4 seasons where occasionally we finished ranked. I want games in December against average teams, not getting blown out in September vs. good teams. Take from this what you will, but I know you all know you would have killed to have that same 8 year stretch.
 
#123      
To be completely honest with you yes. Current bowl games to me are worthless...
This forum has become so adamantly anti-scheduling-Mizzou that it now seems almost scary to speak against the consensus :ROFLMAO: ... but put me down for this opinion, too! Do I want Illini football to improve?? Yes. However, I am not that sympathetic to the idea that making the types of bowls 6-6 teams make will move the needle past the improvement Bret has already accomplished. 8-4 New Year's Day bowls like 2022?? Sure. 6-6 bowls in mid-December? I'm not convinced. Those are to give fans a vacation, and for all you know it could be to Detroit in December.

Basically, I see it this way. We need more money to get better NIL to get better recruits. I do indeed fear we have maxed out the improvements this program can see if we don't start seeing better recruiting (i.e., 4-stars). And I am not convinced that going 6-6 vs. 5-7 because we don't have Mizzou on the schedule is such a benefit that it outweighs a very compelling non-conference rivalry on the schedule each year. If we are going to turn the corner as a program, it is because we are finally beating Purdue, Indiana, Northwestern, etc. regularly, not because we get to 6 wins instead of 5 by dodging Mizzou. Until we are in the conversation for 7-8-9 wins like we were in 2022, I actually think the exposure of a big-time matchup with Missouri (which would absolutely be on an actual channel, not BTN or Peacock, JMO) helps us just as much as the Music City Bowl.

However, I am not presenting my opinion as a certain ... I don't know which is better. But as a fan, I'd rather get excited for the CHANCE to beat Missouri than watching us beat three patsies in front of 40k at Memorial Stadium. A close loss to Missouri at home in front of a sellout crowd on FOX is just as beneficial for the perception of this program as beating NIU on FS1 with a 60% full crowd, IMO.
 
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#124      

MustangWally

Mayfield
Vito Santini. Illini football player in '69 and '70 (my freshman year). Recruited by Butkus, or so the story goes. Tough and hard nosed. Could have been a good one. Lost his scholarship in '71. Rumor was he beat up some hippie type.
Lived on my floor in Garner Hall. Quite the character. Played the accordion.
 
#125      
This forum has become so adamantly anti-scheduling-Mizzou that it now seems almost scary to speak against the consensus :ROFLMAO: ... but put me down for this opinion, too! Do I want Illini football to improve?? Yes. However, I am not that sympathetic to the idea that making the types of bowls 6-6 teams make will move the needle past the improvement Bret has already accomplished. 8-4 New Year's Day bowls like 2022?? Sure. 6-6 bowls in mid-December? I'm not convinced.

Basically, I see it this way. We need more money to get better NIL to get better recruits. I do indeed fear we have maxed out the improvements this program can see if we don't start seeing better recruiting (i.e., 4-stars). And I am not convinced that going 6-6 vs. 5-7 because we don't have Mizzou on the schedule is such a benefit that it outweighs a very compelling non-conference rivalry on the schedule each year. If we are going to turn the corner as a program, it is because we are finally beating Purdue, Indiana, Northwestern, etc. regularly, not because we get to 6 wins instead of 5 by dodging Mizzou. Until we are in the conversation for 7-8-9 wins like we were in 2022, I actually think the exposure of a big-time matchup with Missouri (which would absolutely be on an actual channel, not BTN or Peacock, JMO) helps us just as much as the Music City Bowl.

However, I am not presenting my opinion as a certain ... I don't know which is better. But as a fan, I'd rather get excited for the CHANCE to beat Missouri than watching us beat three patsies in front of 40k at Memorial Stadium. A close loss to Missouri at home in front of a sellout crowd on FOX is just as beneficial for the perception of this program as beating NIU on FS1 with a 60% full crowd, IMO.
Or get upset by one of those patsies and never live it down.
 
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