Illini Football 2024

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#151      

redwingillini11

White and Sixth
North Aurora
If you give out free tickets to the public for the Michigan game, no one will ever buy a ticket again. At some point its on the fans to show up and support, not on the DIA to give it all away to the snobs who never show support through buying tickets
I still think that we should distribute a block of free tickets to a rotation of Illinois high schools across the state to distribute to their students and families as they see fit. It fills the seats and it gets prospective students to visit campus and helps drive up interest in Illinois football within the state and builds goodwill with the schools.

This is not the same as just offering free tickets to whomever shows up on Green Street at noon on the day before the game.
 
#152      
I still think that we should distribute a block of free tickets to a rotation of Illinois high schools across the state to distribute to their students and families as they see fit. It fills the seats and it gets prospective students to visit campus and helps drive up interest in Illinois football within the state and builds goodwill with the schools.

This is not the same as just offering free tickets to whomever shows up on Green Street at noon on the day before the game.
That’s a solid idea. To add to it, give them out to charity groups, or something similar like big brother programs. Include an orange illini shirt, maybe some flags to waive… people in the seats for a good cause that the fan who spent $ on tickets couldn’t possibly be mad at.
 
#153      
And I really do appreciate the argument you are making, and you could be right ... I just don't think it's as obvious as people here are treating it. I think this is an actual debate to be had, not a situation where anyone who disagrees with dodging Mizzou ASAP just "doesn't get it" or whatever. I only mentioned my fan experience as a side anecdote, but I am not convinced that going 6-6 is as essential as people here are treating it. While I am sure 4-star football players, in isolation, absolutely want to be playing in a bowl each year, I am skeptical of how much making a mid-December bowl game in Detroit feels like accomplishing that goal, extra practices or not. A 5-7 season where we are in a nationally relevant rivalry game to showcase ourselves could be just as valuable to the program as a 6-6 season where we beat up on 3 easy wins in the non-conference and squeak into a crappy bowl game. Of course, when you start talking 7+ wins, I agree that "making a bowl" becomes a clear priority ... and that is why I am sympathetic to the argument. I just don't think it's as clear as, "Why on EARTH would you ever schedule big, scary Missouri?!"

In short, if we get to the point where we are beating Purdue, Northwestern, Minnesota, etc. frequently enough that we are in regular bowl games, I will be sad that Mizzou is not on the schedule, as it represents a unique opportunity for a reciprocal rivalry. So, I would prefer a future where we keep improving at beating BIG TEN schools and have the wiggle room to play an exciting matchup vs. Missouri and not be worried about the low bar of 6 wins. Are we there yet?? I mean, no, I guess not? But I would argue that is because of our disappointing recruiting, and that could have (theoretically) been fixed in isolation of any scheduling with Missouri.

Either way, I am sure most here will end up getting their way, and we will not renew the rivalry.
To tell you the truth, I don't give a d**n about Miznoz other thank to knock the inbred chickenf***ers. I mean, they offer a PhD in Trailer Park Management FFS! 😉

However, in the interest of discussion on scheduling, I offer the following. It appears that scheduIing a light non-con is very beneficial to long term success. Given that a certain SEC team has put together the following non-con since 2010 (arbitrary date choice, I didn't want to search back any further):

2010 - 10
San Jose State
Penn State
Duke
Georgia State

2011 - 1
Kent State
Penn State
North Texas
Georgia Southern

2012 - 1
Michigan
Western Kentucky
Florida Atlantic
Western Carolina

2013 - 7
Virginia Tech
Texas A&M
Colorado State
Chattanooga

2014- 4
West Virginia
Florida Atlantic
Southern Miss
Western Carolina

2015 - 1
Wisconsin
Middle Tennessee State
Louisiana Monroe
Charleston Southern

2016 - 2
USC
Western Kentucky
Kent State
Chattanooga

2017- 1
Florida State
Fresno State
Colorado State
Mercer

2018 - 2
Louisville
Arkansas State
Louisiana
Citadel

2019 - 8
Duke
New Mexico State
Southern Miss
Western Carolina

2020 - 1
COVID, no non-con

2021 - 2
Miami
Mercer
Southern Miss
New Mexico State

2022 - 5
Utah State
Texas
Louisiana Monroe
Austin Peay

2023 - 5
Middle Tennessee State
Texas
South Florida
Chattanooga

2024
Western Kentucky
South Florida
Wisconsin
Mercer

The number after the year is where they finished in the rankings. While they tend to schedule one strong non-con opponent. They consistently schedule three cupcakes year after year. And the final non-con cupcake is always very late in the season, maybe to give their guys a physical break after a tough SEC schedule, but also knowing that it will absolutely not hurt their standings in the polls.
 
#154      

217sports

Springfield
I still think that we should distribute a block of free tickets to a rotation of Illinois high schools across the state to distribute to their students and families as they see fit. It fills the seats and it gets prospective students to visit campus and helps drive up interest in Illinois football within the state and builds goodwill with the schools.

This is not the same as just offering free tickets to whomever shows up on Green Street at noon on the day before the game.
I'm fine with charities and local schools. But everyone on X complaining when theres not a buy 4 for $50 deal is the long term issue
 
#155      

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#157      
@IlliniInBuckeyeState, I know it is a ways off, but I am getting college football fever! Any guesses on what attendance will be for our first two games based on an apparent increase in season tickets sold? Unfortunately, our home opener is on a Thursday, so I am guessing that one will be pretty disappointing. However, assuming no disastrous opening loss, I think we will draw well for Kansas the next week under the lights!

We drew just under 49k for the opener vs. Toledo last year, but we were drawing crowds pushing 55k by mid-year!
 
#159      
Wrt sheduling Mizzou, if we could make it a truly competitive matchup year after year, it could become a marquee SEC/B1G matchup for marketing purposes. That's how I see the opportunity. Alas, Illinois was off my radar until Mosaic, which is why my fandom only spans an era that makes me flinch when reminded of Mizzou football. Blech! So I'm very, very gunshy about the Rob Gunther approach of getting so far out over our skiis that recruits would ABI (anywhere but Illinois). We spent so much time in the basement we became a laughingstock.

I'm a big believe in good process = good results. I thought I was going to see those results last year, which reminded me of all the climb-and-fall cycles I've watched. I want to be good THEN schedule good teams. If we're going to schedule good teams we had better effing be good, because otherwise we're going back to the basement. That is not an acceptable outcome. Which is why I would demand we be demonstrably good before elevating the schedule.

NOW, that actually sets up this next observation nicely. Seth, Gabe and Pat share the experience of not having the year they (and fans!) hoped, last year. The fact that they're going to Media day for us tells me they are NOT backing away from they. They're going to own it at media days, then go prove it on the field. If that's the case I APPLAUD those three, and look forward to their success. So...maybe there's confidence in the Smith Center that all the pieces are in place? Maybe playing a tough schedule will be a good thing, because we're actually good and can prove it? I would like that. I just don't remember it in football.
 
#160      
Part of my thinking with Mizzou, too, is that I think Braggin' Rights is the coolest setup for a rivalry in any sport that I have ever seen. Regardless of which team is good or even if both suck, that atmosphere is so elite, and I have always been pretty bummed that football has sucked in comparison (when it is even played). Unfortunately, what makes Braggin' Rights so special (the 50/50 crowd providing a truly unique, electric atmosphere with a bit of holiday cheer thrown in) is much more difficult to replicate in football. You could realistically recreate the "holiday" aspect by having it on Labor Day every year (and maybe even strike up a scenario where Illinois and Mizzou each get to be Week Zero teams so it's not the opener??), but not having it outside in St. Louis would be a crime.

I know most would hate the "non-football stadium aspect," but in an alternate universe where Illinois was experiencing the consistent success that Missouri has, I would very much support playing them at Busch Stadium. Even as a Cubs fan, I can admit that the Ballpark Village area is pretty awesome, and it would be an amazing event atmosphere for football. Florida/Georgia or Texas/Oklahoma aren't freaking out about "losing a home game" (every other year) because they know their neutral site rivalry events are worth it because they're so cool and unique. Alas, I'll concede this will literally never happen, and we are not in a position to pursue that.
 
#161      
I’d like to point out the hypothesis (is it a theory at this point???) of each time Illinois schedules a mediocre/bad team to a home and home, said team has a string of success that effectively peaks the year Illinois plays them.

We all know it, it’s standard ops for us.

I think what we are seeing in Miznoz’s unprecedented performance and recruiting success is inescapable proof of the “Illinois Scheduling Boost”. However, we didn’t just schedule a home and home…we scheduled a freaking series. Which only strengthens the power of the boost.

How else can we explain all these 4 stars flocking to the middle of nowhere Missouri? Money? Nay…it’s because we’ve been way to cavalier with our scheduling and have tempted the football fates.

I’m ready to claim this is a law of nature and no longer a theory.

Drop Miznoz for the sake of college football and possibly humanity.
 
#164      
IDK man, to be honest - Bret going and whining to our AD staff that we need to drop the locally owned charter bus company because they did one charter for Purdue isn't a very alpha dog move.
Pathetic if true. https://www.news-gazette.com/busine...cle_292a0cec-3e07-11ef-aad0-7bba2a856512.html. Petty, childish, foolish, and a disgrace to the university if true.

Now we’re sending the money to Iowa. Will Windstar be fired if they ever carry an Iowa team? Will we boycott airlines for a similar “offense”? Gonna need our own plane then. Peoria Charter barely survived Covid and has always had great reviews for their drivers and service. Who cares what other teams or groups they carry anyway?
 
#166      
Pathetic if true. https://www.news-gazette.com/busine...cle_292a0cec-3e07-11ef-aad0-7bba2a856512.html. Petty, childish, foolish, and a disgrace to the university if true.

Now we’re sending the money to Iowa. Will Windstar be fired if they ever carry an Iowa team? Will we boycott airlines for a similar “offense”? Gonna need our own plane then. Peoria Charter barely survived Covid and has always had great reviews for their drivers and service. Who cares what other teams or groups they carry anyway?
Ironically Windstar does the charters for both Iowa State and Iowa.

So basically Bert either:
a) was mad that Peoria Charter did a trip for Purdue and got the hometown company dropped
b) wanted to hook up one of his Iowa era friends by screwing a local Champaign company

Both options are a bad look.
 
#167      

Illini92and96

Austin, TX
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.
To add more to this, external (outside of the passionate fans) perception of any program is based on total record and getting into the post-season, both for football and basketball. Not strength of schedule. I've lived in Texas and Washington since leaving Illinois, and I often talk Illinois sports with my non-Illinois friends. Their comments on the success of Illinois never get past total wins or getting into the post season or lack thereof. It's never well, you only won 5 games but you had a tough schedule, or you only won 5 games but you were so close in your losses. People might know that about Bama or another team in the spotlight, but they never will about Illinois, Missouri, or Virginia Tech.

If you bias toward maximizing our external perception there is one path. If you bias toward watching exciting opponents and games there is an opposite path. We're not anywhere near being able to have both those things at the same time like some schools can pull off (at least in football)
 
#168      
To add more to this, external (outside of the passionate fans) perception of any program is based on total record and getting into the post-season, both for football and basketball. Not strength of schedule. I've lived in Texas and Washington since leaving Illinois, and I often talk Illinois sports with my non-Illinois friends. Their comments on the success of Illinois never get past total wins or getting into the post season or lack thereof. It's never well, you only won 5 games but you had a tough schedule, or you only won 5 games but you were so close in your losses. People might know that about Bama or another team in the spotlight, but they never will about Illinois, Missouri, or Virginia Tech.

If you bias toward maximizing our external perception there is one path. If you bias toward watching exciting opponents and games there is an opposite path. We're not anywhere near being able to have both those things at the same time like some schools can pull off (at least in football)
I suppose you are very well right, and I am just not as in tune with how your average college football fan perceives things like this, growing up watching such a bad Illini program. Being an Illini football fan from 2000 onward, I kind of learned to think of those lower tier bowls as no different than missing one, as it seemed like Illini football was either terrible (most years), "almost a bowl team" (2002 or 2008) or legitimately good (2001 or 2007). I had pretty much no exposure to the worlds of crap bowl games until I was older, but I'm sure just playing in any sort of bowl is of the same prestige comparatively as making the NCAA Tournament ... and if a program is never in the NCAA Tournament, I don't give them a second thought.
 
#172      

band camp

STL City
Article states, "call came from unidentified UI football staff member".

I hope our coach has zero to do with travel arrangements. He has a staff.

Article also stated that the athletic program uses a travel agency for the growing travel needs of the athletic department.
 
#173      

band camp

STL City
After reading the whole article, there are other points if emphasis from the U.
Such as wrapping the busses in FI graphics, a guarantee of no break downs, which happened last season. The carrier declined to make that guarantee.

And went on to say it will have an impact on the local economy as well.
Still does business with other UI departments.
 
#174      
After reading the whole article, there are other points if emphasis from the U.
Such as wrapping the busses in FI graphics, a guarantee of no break downs, which happened last season. The carrier declined to make that guarantee.

And went on to say it will have an impact on the local economy as well.
Still does business with other UI departments.
To be fair, not sure this is anything that could be guaranteed.
 
#175      
I’m biased as a native Peorian … but couldn’t we have tossed out a subtle non-threat about wanting our Central Illinois travel partner to be an exclusive partner? Peoria Charter would have drawn up the contract addendum in 30 seconds and would never give Purdue a ride again, lol. And we could keep needed money in the Land of Lincoln’s economy.

To grow the fan base, we need to be seen as a team that represents EVERY Illinoisan for sports, not just alumni (like OSU for Ohio). And that dynamic has to go both ways.
 
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