Pregame: Illinois at Penn State, Saturday, October 23rd, 11:00am CT, ABC

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#101      
It is Lovies fault at the lack of depth they have on the roster. They have 3 OL on the roster that they trust(slaughter might have made 4) They recruited undersized interior linemen which isn't going to work in the big 10. The WR group as a whole is terrible, The struggle with QB is obvious. Lovies plan of relying on grad transfers was a terrible idea from the get go, never going to get anywhere with that.
We might need to implement this strategy next year if we plan on winning a single game.

Also do we think Lovie knows about growth plates?? Did he not even bother to check that they were still open when he recruited these undersized lineman!?
 
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#102      

blackdog

Champaign
I think we need to clarify what he was saying as well. His statement was saying that they weren't doing anything as far as playing time which is a fact. It is concerning that the guys recruited in the last years by Lovie are not in any position to contribute on gameday and that is what BB is talking about.
 
#103      

DReq

Always Illini
Central Illinois
The News Gazette provides a better explanation of what BB meant about the OL. Most of the players recruited to that squad simply are not here or are playing in other positions. He isn't saying there is deadweight among the players. He is saying they aren't there to a great extent. I am glad we have a coach who (not unlike BU) can look at a situation in the middle and make the changes he sees as necessary.
 
#105      
The WR group as a whole is terrible,
Tough to convince good WR to come to Illinois when the current and previous staffs emphasize run game and the QBs are not good at passing. Also not helpful that the few decent WR recruits (Smalling, Green, Frenchie) didn’t pan out. Illinois is definitely not known as WRU. Staff definitely has their recruiting work cut out for them; this will not be a quick fix (sigh).
 
#106      
Tough to convince good WR to come to Illinois when the current and previous staffs emphasize run game and the QBs are not good at passing. Also not helpful that the few decent WR recruits (Smalling, Green, Frenchie) didn’t pan out. Illinois is definitely not known as WRU. Staff definitely has their recruiting work cut out for them; this will not be a quick fix (sigh).
Plus side is that McDonald has developed enough WR into NFL players that he has the credibility that Illinois is missing
 
#107      

Dbell1981

Decatur, IL
This is gonna be like the basketball board a few years back. A lot of you will be eating crow in a few years when we actually have some B10 sized players out there. They aren't doing well because they are built to run the spread. Bret is gonna tear it down and build it right and ill be looking forward to not seeing the haters anymore. A lot of the Underwood haters are nice and quiet now, except for knocking him on his use of the word "elite". We will get there on the football board as well.
 
#108      

illini80

Forgottonia
Disclosure, I haven’t had a chance to listen to the press conference yet.
After Wisconsin, BB said he would be looking to see how guys responded. I wonder if he didn’t like some things he was seeing and decided it was time to move on? Maybe it’s a “culture” setting move as much as anything. Just my speculation. If that’s the case, I fully support it.
After listening I don’t see a problem at all. He was responding to a question and gave a reasonable response IMO. Regarding player development, someone asked an unnamed player what the biggest change was TY compared to LY. They said they were actually learning how to play football this year.
 
#109      
As a relatively new Illini fan (but a long time college football fan), when can we expect to be done with "tear it down" mode at Illinois? BB is effectively tearing down that which Lovie had just finished tearing down.

Maddening beyond belief, especially when other programs seems to be able to cycle up faster (Iowa State, Rutgers, Purdue).
 
#111      
As a relatively new Illini fan (but a long time college football fan), when can we expect to be done with "tear it down" mode at Illinois? BB is effectively tearing down that which Lovie had just finished tearing down.

Maddening beyond belief, especially when other programs seems to be able to cycle up faster (Iowa State, Rutgers, Purdue).
you don't wanna know 8 ball GIF by Yevbel
 
#112      
As a relatively new Illini fan (but a long time college football fan), when can we expect to be done with "tear it down" mode at Illinois? BB is effectively tearing down that which Lovie had just finished tearing down.

Maddening beyond belief, especially when other programs seems to be able to cycle up faster (Iowa State, Rutgers, Purdue).

BB seems to be more willing to do the groundwork so I'm more optimistic. There's never a guarantee but I think Josh went with BB because he'd been around 3 programs that are built for sustained success now.
 
#113      

Ransom Stoddard

Ordained Dudeist Priest
Johns Creek, GA
BB seems to be more willing to do the groundwork so I'm more optimistic. There's never a guarantee but I think Josh went with BB because he'd been around 3 programs that are built for sustained success now.
I tend to agree with this, but also have to realize that BB's greatest success was at UW, where he inherited an already successful program. I'm hoping he's got the chops to build along with maintain.
 
#114      
As a relatively new Illini fan (but a long time college football fan), when can we expect to be done with "tear it down" mode at Illinois? BB is effectively tearing down that which Lovie had just finished tearing down.

Maddening beyond belief, especially when other programs seems to be able to cycle up faster (Iowa State, Rutgers, Purdue).
BB is not tearing down, more like he is clearing the debris from the last tear down that was never even remotely re-built.

As to your comparisons, these programs are hardly cycling up fast - at Purdue, Brohm is in year 5 and his best regular season record is 6-6 (years 1 and 2) - in fact, prior to the Iowa upset, his seat was beginning to get warm. At Rutgers, Schiano is in year 2 - and he is 6-10 (3-10 in conference - of course, that's in the brutal Big Ten East). Matt Campbell has done better at ISU - albeit in the Big 12 - with winning records since year 2. But he did go 3-9 in year 1 and it did take him until year 5 to get his team ranked.

We are all impatient, but no one could turn this hot mess into a winner overnight.
 
#115      
It is Lovies fault at the lack of depth they have on the roster. They have 3 OL on the roster that they trust(slaughter might have made 4) They recruited undersized interior linemen which isn't going to work in the big 10. The WR group as a whole is terrible, The struggle with QB is obvious. Lovies plan of relying on grad transfers was a terrible idea from the get go, never going to get anywhere with that.
The fact that Lovie recruited for an entirely different style of ball does not make them terrible. It just means that their strengths may not be suitable for BB's neanderthal style. Even in the NFL, guys have strengths and weaknesses. It is up to the coach to take advantage of the strengths.
 
#116      
The fact that Lovie recruited for an entirely different style of ball does not make them terrible. It just means that their strengths may not be suitable for BB's neanderthal style. Even in the NFL, guys have strengths and weaknesses. It is up to the coach to take advantage of the strengths.
Every single publication I saw, every writer I saw, every commentator I saw had Illinois last in the Big 10 by a pretty good margin. There was a reason for that. it's not like we had a middle of the pack team last year and all of a sudden they were poorly coached. We have a few good players, but especially on offense we have mid-tier MAC or SunBelt level talent, and to compound things, that talent was poorly developed by the previous staff. Lovie was a disaster as HC, and this is a total rebuild
 
#117      
Still think BB has a reasonably high floor. It may take a few years, but I’m reasonably confident he can build us to a point where 6-6 is the expectation year in and year out, with maybe the occasional “good” class or 2 (ie maybe above average recruiting or class exceeds rankings) leading to an 8-4 season, and the occasional rebuilding/injury plagued 4-8 season. Let’s get there before we start worrying about whether our brand of football is exciting or if we can get to New Years Day bowls/college playoffs.
 
#119      
As for wide receivers, no one here or on FB has mentioned that they agree with my opinion that Bhebhe made a huge mistake leaving the college game. Not drafted, and then one team threw him a bone then released him. He should have stayed and tried to be All World catching and scoring. But no.

I'd like to see Johnson get a shot behind center. I do not want to see IW. He does what Scheelhaase used to do (before his senior year), and that is take the snap then pull it down and try to jitterbug, usually for little gain. We have running backs for that. Nathan learned to be a real quarterback his senior year and was great.
 
#120      
>> Let’s get there before we start worrying about whether our brand of football is exciting or if we can get to New Years Day bowls/college playoffs.
BB started out on DAY ONE recruiting in the state of Illinois. He knows this is what it takes. Are we going to win with his incoming freshmen? Well, are we winning with you-know-who's outgoing seniors?
 
#121      
As for wide receivers, no one here or on FB has mentioned that they agree with my opinion that Bhebhe made a huge mistake leaving the college game. Not drafted, and then one team threw him a bone then released him. He should have stayed and tried to be All World catching and scoring. But no.

I'd like to see Johnson get a shot behind center. I do not want to see IW. He does what Scheelhaase used to do (before his senior year), and that is take the snap then pull it down and try to jitterbug, usually for little gain. We have running backs for that. Nathan learned to be a real quarterback his senior year and was great.
Imatorbhebhe's on a practice squad currently, I'd take that over being thrown to by Peters or Sitkowski for another year.
 
#123      
BB is not tearing down, more like he is clearing the debris from the last tear down that was never even remotely re-built.

As to your comparisons, these programs are hardly cycling up fast - at Purdue, Brohm is in year 5 and his best regular season record is 6-6 (years 1 and 2) - in fact, prior to the Iowa upset, his seat was beginning to get warm. At Rutgers, Schiano is in year 2 - and he is 6-10 (3-10 in conference - of course, that's in the brutal Big Ten East). Matt Campbell has done better at ISU - albeit in the Big 12 - with winning records since year 2. But he did go 3-9 in year 1 and it did take him until year 5 to get his team ranked.

We are all impatient, but no one could turn this hot mess into a winner overnight.

When you pick the right coach, things can turn around relatively quickly.

Rutgers was 3-21 the three years preceding Schiano (.125). Schiano, in year 2, is 6-10 (.375) and 3-4 this year. By any measure, that's a swift change in direction, for the better. Very tough division, but recruiting is on the rise too.

Purdue was 8-27 the three years prior to Brohm (.229). Brohm is at (.460) in year 5, has been to two bowl games and is currently in the top 25. Notably, it was just a few years ago when this board was discussing Lovie and Brohm being of similar starting point, and debating which would be more successful. This is where Illinois should be, by now, dating back to Whitman's hire in Feb '16. We're not, we're still probably 5 years away from this.

Iowa State was also 8-27 in the three years preceding Campbell (.229). Campbell was 19-19 after three years and is 39-30 thru current (.565). Every one of Campbell's teams have been ranked during the season at some point, except his first team. And he's been to 4 bowl games in 5 full season, including a NY 6 bowl.

No one is looking for an overnight turn around, that just doesn't happen. But it's brutal to see how others are making progress, when Illinois is not. The Lovie hire set this program back 5 years but there's no point in rehashing that. I do believe BB will be successful at Illinois, but it's going to be a long, slow build.
 
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#125      

Dbell1981

Decatur, IL
Every single publication I saw, every writer I saw, every commentator I saw had Illinois last in the Big 10 by a pretty good margin. There was a reason for that. it's not like we had a middle of the pack team last year and all of a sudden they were poorly coached. We have a few good players, but especially on offense we have mid-tier MAC or SunBelt level talent, and to compound things, that talent was poorly developed by the previous staff. Lovie was a disaster as HC, and this is a total rebuild
Very well put 👏
 
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