Illinois 47, Northwestern 14 Postgame

#51      
I was a strong advocate for hiring Bielema because of his successful experience as a head coach at the Power 5 level. His first year here reminds me of Lou Holtz’ first year at Norte Dame. That team also won only 5 games and had a bunch of close losses but you could see what he was building and you could see the quality of his coaching. I have no doubt that Bielema will get it done here.
Making any comparison of the Fighting Illini to the Fighting Irish is ok with me.
 
#54      

alamocityillini

San Antonio
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#56      
Even more impressive to me is the four Big Ten wins. Definitely have to give some credit to Lovie for giving BB a foundation to work with, but this coaching staff is heads and shoulders above the previous two, maybe even three or four coaching staffs.
I can't bring myself to give any credit to Lovie. All credit to the new coaching staff. Better schemes, the willingness to adapt, tailoring your plans to the personnel on your team, less penalties, better game-management, and on and on...
 
#58      
I can't bring myself to give any credit to Lovie. All credit to the new coaching staff. Better schemes, the willingness to adapt, tailoring your plans to the personnel on your team, less penalties, better game-management, and on and on...
Without a doubt. That said, the vast majority of players (that played, anyway) were brought in by the previous regime.
 
#59      

skyIdub

Winged Warrior
Big credit to B. Peters for stepping up...and I don't mean to drag him here again...but this is a 7-8 win year with just average P5 QB production.

That speaks so loud for BB and this staff.

Congrats to the Seniors and finally getting the Smartycats monkey off our backs!!
 
#60      
And this team faced that Year 1 pack it up and focus on recruiting moment at least three different times (after Virginia, Wisconsin, and Rutgers) and these kids, but perhaps more importantly the coaching staff kept working and kept playing and kept treating the games as meaningful and the reward has come in the form of a couple of wins now and the establishment of a culture going forward.

It may yet all fall apart, that's life and Illinois is a tough job and we lose a ton in the trenches next year, but it's very refreshing to see such dogged commitment to a well-thought out plan.
 
#63      
Big credit to B. Peters for stepping up...and I don't mean to drag him here again...but this is a 7-8 win year with just average P5 QB production.

That speaks so loud for BB and this staff.

Congrats to the Seniors and finally getting the Smartycats monkey off our backs!!
This is a 7-8 win year possibly if BB just doesn't fold at the end of 3 of our losses.
 
#64      
This is a 7-8 win year possibly if BB just doesn't fold at the end of 3 of our losses.
It was possible with some luck. But I think we looked more like a 5-6 win team than a 7-8 due to our offensive ineptitude for most of the season
 
#66      

lstewart53x3

Scottsdale, Arizona
This is a 7-8 win year possibly if BB just doesn't fold at the end of 3 of our losses.
We finished the year ranked #71 football outsiders F+ rankings, so our final record, based on our schedule, is about right.

The fact that we could’ve won 7-8 games this year with a few more things going our way is a testament to how well coached we were this year.

Did play calls down the stretch cost us a game or two? Maybe. Had we gone for it on 4th *and* converted, there’s good chance we have another win or a two. But a conversion isnguaranteed (see the Rutgers game).

We also could’ve lost to PSU in any of those 9 overtimes.

In any given season, you’ll have multiple wins and losses decided by individual play calls down the stretch, this season was no different. Overall, we finished the season 3-4 in games decided by one possession. Seems about right for the 71st ranked team.

Based on the way we improved throughout the year, I’m hopeful moving forward.
 
#67      

Illiniaaron

Geneseo, IL
I guess I have a complex about Illinois being screwed by Big Ten officiating with what I've seen over the past 40 yrs but that last NW touchdown was one of the worst goal line calls I've ever seen in college or pro sports. I get that the Illini were up big but that wasn't remotely close to crossing the goal line. What were the replay guys doing, saying "Well, we're supposed to review this but we really don't feel like it" or something? I know it doesn't matter but good Lord.
 
#69      

illini80

Forgottonia
If you haven’t yet, I’d encourage everyone to watch this press conference. I’m proud to have BB leading our program and if we can keep him good things are in our future. The guy is real. He loves football. He works hard. He’s no nonsense, but he loves his players and by all appearances they love him back. To hear him get choked up talking about the victory formation to end the game put a lump in my throat.
 
#70      

illini80

Forgottonia
It didn't matter to the outcome of the game, but yet added 7 pts over 9 games in B1G play to our average (yes, stats are for losers and some of us fans....especially when we see eye-popping year over year improvements)
Success breeds success and finally the offense got to see some things work. I really wish/hope we will get one more game just to carry that forward. Probably not going to happen, but I’m holding out hope until the fat lady sings.
 
#71      
If you haven’t yet, I’d encourage everyone to watch this press conference. I’m proud to have BB leading our program and if we can keep him good things are in our future. The guy is real. He loves football. He works hard. He’s no nonsense, but he loves his players and by all appearances they love him back. To hear him get choked up talking about the victory formation to end the game put a lump in my throat.
I enjoyed BB talking about, even if they don't get a bowl, he's going to take advantage of every practice that they have and they'll get them most of this week (allowed by NCAA rules). Our previous regime would almost certainly have turned the team loose for the offseason and not worked the extra 5 (6 or 7? ) practices. These guys get it.
 
#72      
I enjoyed BB talking about, even if they don't get a bowl, he's going to take advantage of every practice that they have and they'll get them most of this week (allowed by NCAA rules). Our previous regime would almost certainly have turned the team loose for the offseason and not worked the extra 5 (6 or 7? ) practices. These guys get it.
This is something that Bobby Knight did every year while at Indiana. He practiced until he couldn't anymore
 
#73      
BB took the fist off the helmets and put the flag back on. Question: What flags were on McCourt’s and Hayes’ helmets.