Pregame: Illinois at Virginia, Saturday, September 11th, 10:00am CT, ACCN

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#76      
I was going to trek down from New York to watch this game in person as I typically do whenever we play a game east of Columbus. But then I saw that start time. How does a person even tailgate for an 11am local kickoff? Bacon? Scones? Mimosas and avocado toast?
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you need to leave NY about 5 am
 
#77      
Kelso, WA
I was going to trek down from New York to watch this game in person as I typically do whenever we play a game east of Columbus. But then I saw that start time. How does a person even tailgate for an 11am local kickoff? Bacon? Scones? Mimosas and avocado toast?
All due to the dictates of television, of course, and the $$ it brings. If a network wanted a game to start at 5:00 AM, it would.
 
#80      
Chicago, IL
I was going to trek down from New York to watch this game in person as I typically do whenever we play a game east of Columbus. But then I saw that start time. How does a person even tailgate for an 11am local kickoff? Bacon? Scones? Mimosas and avocado toast?
The way we've been tailgating for all of our BTN games. 11 am start times are nothing new for us.
 
#82      
Bethesda, Maryland
you need to leave NY about 5 am
It's 2-1/2 hrs from DC, which is ~ 3-1/2 hrs from Manhattan by car (which I know well from long, ugly experience.) If all goes smoothly, 6 hrs total. Things rarely go smoothly on I-95. You'd need to depart at ~ 3 a.m. to make a 10 a.m. kickoff and it would be tight.

Advice: get a hotel room Friday night somewhere along the way. Say, Fredericksburg, VA off 95 if you don't have one already in Charlottesville and can hump it that far on Friday. (Lots of hotels off 95 around F'burg, and lots of good breakfast options.) That's ~ 90 mins from UVa's campus, and a pretty, relaxing drive over to C'ville via Orange, VA.

It's an unpleasant drive no matter how you slice it (NYC area, Jersey Turnpike, getting around DC on Beltway, dealing with the I-95 traffic cluster that mysteriously always seems to exist between DC and F'burg.) May the driving gods smile upon you. :illinois:
 
#83      
The optimist in me says maybe we are better suited for Big Ten play, and if we can steal one at UVA, we are still in an excellent position to have an exciting and successful season.

The pessimist in me says Nebraska might just be absolute trash, we are in for a rough weekend in Charlottesville and it will take BB and staff at least 2-3 years to get a roster put together that can start showing serious improvement.

Right now, I’m kind of torn in between. I DO believe that UTSA is an extremely good team that could take down a couple other Big Ten teams, and I am trying to keep in mind that we are learning a new system short handed. However, I kind of worry that our big flaws against UTSA aren’t a great match for an ACC team. :/ My head says we play hard, keep it close and eventually run out of gas and give up a few big 3rd down conversions that put it out of reach … heart says we come out and fix a few more issues en route to a nice upset on the road. Like many have already said, I’m hoping the heart wins out.
 
#84      
The optimist in me says maybe we are better suited for Big Ten play, and if we can steal one at UVA, we are still in an excellent position to have an exciting and successful season.

The pessimist in me says Nebraska might just be absolute trash, we are in for a rough weekend in Charlottesville and it will take BB and staff at least 2-3 years to get a roster put together that can start showing serious improvement.

Right now, I’m kind of torn in between. I DO believe that UTSA is an extremely good team that could take down a couple other Big Ten teams, and I am trying to keep in mind that we are learning a new system short handed. However, I kind of worry that our big flaws against UTSA aren’t a great match for an ACC team. :/ My head says we play hard, keep it close and eventually run out of gas and give up a few big 3rd down conversions that put it out of reach … heart says we come out and fix a few more issues en route to a nice upset on the road. Like many have already said, I’m hoping the heart wins out.
All I am saying my only prerequisite for this year was not to get blown out. We know we aren't the most talented team and trying to establish a scheme while putting current players in a position to win is hard. UTSA is not bad, and they are talented to say the least. We were also a foot away from tying that game with a hail Mary. I firmly believe now that we have current tape on our opponents we will scheme better and not put ourselves in a hole. We may not won 6 games this year but I fully expect us to be competitive in 12. We will keep improving through this year and in year 3 I fully expect us to be a tough loss and a consistent bowl team. In year 5 I hope we are running with the Iowa's, Wisconsin's, and NW's.
 
#86      
Cary, IL
All I am saying my only prerequisite for this year was not to get blown out. We know we aren't the most talented team and trying to establish a scheme while putting current players in a position to win is hard. UTSA is not bad, and they are talented to say the least. We were also a foot away from tying that game with a hail Mary. I firmly believe now that we have current tape on our opponents we will scheme better and not put ourselves in a hole. We may not won 6 games this year but I fully expect us to be competitive in 12. We will keep improving through this year and in year 3 I fully expect us to be a tough loss and a consistent bowl team. In year 5 I hope we are running with the Iowa's, Wisconsin's, and NW's.
Did you have to include NW? I know, I know, I just don't like admitting it.
 
#87      
All I am saying my only prerequisite for this year was not to get blown out. We know we aren't the most talented team and trying to establish a scheme while putting current players in a position to win is hard. UTSA is not bad, and they are talented to say the least. We were also a foot away from tying that game with a hail Mary. I firmly believe now that we have current tape on our opponents we will scheme better and not put ourselves in a hole. We may not won 6 games this year but I fully expect us to be competitive in 12. We will keep improving through this year and in year 3 I fully expect us to be a tough loss and a consistent bowl team. In year 5 I hope we are running with the Iowa's, Wisconsin's, and NW's.
I even look back at Minnesota in 2019. They went 11-2, but the beginning of that year was rough. Beat an FCS by 1 TD and had to stage a comeback to beat Georgia State I believe. I'm not saying Illinois will go 11-2 this year or anytime soon, but people need to realize that non-P5 teams are going to continue to beat good P5 teams. It happens every week and every year.

What stinks is, to the casual fan, a loss to UTSA tells them, "New coach, same story." That hurts in trying to win back fans for now. I would much rather see a loss to UTSA and a win at Virginia than vice-versa. We shall see.
 
#88      
I agree with those who think UTSA is a pretty good team and I think there are other B1G teams they could beat. I don’t ,however, believe they could play a complete B1G schedule and have any more or even as much success as us. It was a B1G win for them but I really think they would be lower tier in the B1G. Our problem is we need to get out talent level to the point where the UTSA’s of the world can’t look at us as a way to make a name for themselves.
 
#89      
I even look back at Minnesota in 2019. They went 11-2, but the beginning of that year was rough. Beat an FCS by 1 TD and had to stage a comeback to beat Georgia State I believe. I'm not saying Illinois will go 11-2 this year or anytime soon, but people need to realize that non-P5 teams are going to continue to beat good P5 teams. It happens every week and every year.

What stinks is, to the casual fan, a loss to UTSA tells them, "New coach, same story." That hurts in trying to win back fans for now. I would much rather see a loss to UTSA and a win at Virginia than vice-versa. We shall see.
I think the thing here unless we started the year 6-0 the average/casual fan wasn't going to notice Illinois and when they did notice us the tough part of our schedule would kick in and we would finish the year 1-5 which they would say oh they suck and fell apart. Regardless, this isn't the year for the casual fan to matter or care. Coach had a plan, and he is starting to get the area kids on board and coaching staffs on board. Once kids from local schools start showing up fans will come to support them. We can see our goal is to build an OL like UW and Iowa and just roll up rushing yards and TOP. Of we can do that our D will be well rested and it will be easier to make big plays and get off the field because they won't be winded. We are making progress and I can see it. UTSA may not stand up to a B1G schedule but we already knew we couldn't either. So we have to build and get there and we are taking those steps and I think in 3 years we will be a good team. That isn't asking too much after 15 bad years with no/little hope.
 
#90      
BRucks for someone who bleeds O&B, I feel like I’ve seen you shoot down the idea that Illinois has a high ceiling on more than one occasion.

Hard to achieve our potential and sell a new generation of recruits on it if our own most loyal fans can’t even buy in…
Youthful enthusiasm? Get back to me in 40 or 50 years. I'm not sure how you define a high ceiling but in my time as a season ticket holder we've gone 188/285/10 in conference. We're on our 13th head coach - all of whom were fired except for Mackovic and Bielema. There have been a few good years in there but it has never lasted. In that time we've gone to 17 bowls including four straight in the early 90s. Beyond that, two consecutive bowls was our best stretch. Perhaps sustained success is around the next corner but my perception of our ceiling is likely different than yours. It's certainly different than mine was 60 years ago. I thought Butkus, Grabowski and Taliaferro had put us on the path to greatness only to run headlong into the slush fund. That said, I'll be in my usual seat vs. Maryland on Sept. 17.
 
#91      
Youthful enthusiasm? Get back to me in 40 or 50 years. I'm not sure how you define a high ceiling but in my time as a season ticket holder we've gone 188/285/10 in conference. We're on our 13th head coach - all of whom were fired except for Mackovic and Bielema. There have been a few good years in there but it has never lasted. In that time we've gone to 17 bowls including four straight in the early 90s. Beyond that, two consecutive bowls was our best stretch. Perhaps sustained success is around the next corner but my perception of our ceiling is likely different than yours. It's certainly different than mine was 60 years ago. I thought Butkus, Grabowski and Taliaferro had put us on the path to greatness only to run headlong into the slush fund. That said, I'll be in my usual seat vs. Maryland on Sept. 17.

I respect what you’ve been through, but unless you believe in curses … there is no magical roadblock to us achieving the improvement Iowa or Wisconsin did in football; there is no reason we can’t be in their shoes, it just takes the right leadership. Do I think we have it now? Yes, but of course only time will tell. My point is none of us should be acting like it’s INHERENTLY harder to win here than anywhere else.
 
#92      
I respect what you’ve been through, but unless you believe in curses … there is no magical roadblock to us achieving the improvement Iowa or Wisconsin did in football; there is no reason we can’t be in their shoes, it just takes the right leadership. Do I think we have it now? Yes, but of course only time will tell. My point is none of us should be acting like it’s INHERENTLY harder to win here than anywhere else.
Correct. There is no magic in the water in Iowa City, Madison, Evanston, Manhattan, or Ames that is missing in Champaign. The right leader makes the right decision to hire the right coach. Simple as that.
 
#94      
Bethesda, Maryland
BRucks for someone who bleeds O&B, I feel like I’ve seen you shoot down the idea that Illinois has a high ceiling on more than one occasion.

Hard to achieve our potential and sell a new generation of recruits on it if our own most loyal fans can’t even buy in…
No need to worry, IMO. Mike White had much less to sell in 1980 in the wake of Gary Moeller. I'm confident that BB can bring in the talent without having the Big Ten Commissioner take him to court over JuCo transfers.
 
#95      
UVA is a legit team nowadays. Mendenhal, their coach, reminde me of what I am seeing in BB. He took over from a pretty deisasterous coach in '16 who absolutely could not rectuir in state, giving way the VT on the very good player while great players went out of state all together after Beamer retire at VT. The team lacked discipline and Mendenhall definitlely got them back to basics. They went 9-5 in '19, losing close games to Miami and Louisville and were competetive until the 4th quarter with ND. They got blown out in the ACC champioship game to Clemson, but that was to be expected. I'd like to see the Illini there 3 years into the BB era. The fifth loss was to I think Florida in the Orange Bowl.

Most of that team is back. Not a juggernaut, but a legit power 5 now. We can win this game, and I'll be there to cheer them - the Illini of course - on.

By the way, as a parent of three UVA alums, while i see the snubbery from some current and former Wahoos, there are a lot of grounded alum as well :) It is less of a tradition, but the gentelman students were wearing coats and ties to the games. Not sure how much of that is still happening, but don;t be surprised if you see that.

With all of that I am still going to predict an Illini victory in a fairly high scoring game. Illinois 33 - UVA 29
Hopefully this is a close one, and I would love to see us bounce back! Thanks for the background and info!
 
#96      
It's 2-1/2 hrs from DC, which is ~ 3-1/2 hrs from Manhattan by car (which I know well from long, ugly experience.) If all goes smoothly, 6 hrs total. Things rarely go smoothly on I-95. You'd need to depart at ~ 3 a.m. to make a 10 a.m. kickoff and it would be tight.

Advice: get a hotel room Friday night somewhere along the way. Say, Fredericksburg, VA off 95 if you don't have one already in Charlottesville and can hump it that far on Friday. (Lots of hotels off 95 around F'burg, and lots of good breakfast options.) That's ~ 90 mins from UVa's campus, and a pretty, relaxing drive over to C'ville via Orange, VA.

It's an unpleasant drive no matter how you slice it (NYC area, Jersey Turnpike, getting around DC on Beltway, dealing with the I-95 traffic cluster that mysteriously always seems to exist between DC and F'burg.) May the driving gods smile upon you. :illinois:
Consider going down I-81. Take I-80 west to I-81 south, follow to I-84 east to Charlottesville. Or get to I-81 via I-78. It’s longer in miles but you don’t have to go by Philly, Baltimore and DC, then I-95 between DC and Richmond. One word of caution: I-80 through Delaware Water Gap/Stroudsburg is not the place to be driving westbound on a Friday night, but compared to I-95, it’s a blip (and it is the off-season, too).

I’m only telling you this because the Illini Nation sticks together. Otherwise, top secret.
 
#97      
Consider going down I-81. Take I-80 west to I-81 south, follow to I-84 east to Charlottesville. Or get to I-81 via I-78. It’s longer in miles but you don’t have to go by Philly, Baltimore and DC, then I-95 between DC and Richmond. One word of caution: I-80 through Delaware Water Gap/Stroudsburg is not the place to be driving westbound on a Friday night, but compared to I-95, it’s a blip (and it is the off-season, too).

I’m only telling you this because the Illini Nation sticks together. Otherwise, top secret.
Waze is your friend.
 
#98      
Waze is your friend.
Of course if you’re starting in New York, by the time you get to Balto, I-95 in Virginia could have gone from clear to constipated. I-95 is NOT your friend.

Allow for the baseline extra time to take the longer route because the shorter route is likely to take more time.

But then, starting in New York is your original sin. Start from somewhere else.
 
#99      
Bethesda, Maryland
Consider going down I-81. Take I-80 west to I-81 south, follow to I-84 east to Charlottesville. Or get to I-81 via I-78. It’s longer in miles but you don’t have to go by Philly, Baltimore and DC, then I-95 between DC and Richmond. One word of caution: I-80 through Delaware Water Gap/Stroudsburg is not the place to be driving westbound on a Friday night, but compared to I-95, it’s a blip (and it is the off-season, too).

I’m only telling you this because the Illini Nation sticks together. Otherwise, top secret.
Just a warning that I-81 is a truck nightmare all the way from Northern PA to Tennessee. It's particularly bad beginning at Harrisburg PA and stretching south. It seems to be the preferred north-south route for truck traffic between the NE and south. Much worse than 95. I've driven it often over the years, most recently at the beginning of August when we drove down to Blacksburg and back.

I-64 from 81 over to Charlottesville is indeed a clear stretch, but I would not want to suffer the 81 truck density in the dark from PA to there in order to enjoy that short stretch of ease.

Actually late on a Friday evening 95 below DC shouldn't be too bad.

Pick your poison.
 
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