#17 Northwestern football vs Illinois Fighting Illini Game Preview



Yes, the Land of Lincoln Hat, or the Land of Lincoln Trophy is on the line when #17 Northwestern football plays Illinois at Soldier Field for what is an Illini “home game.” A season ending, rivalry trophy game with Illini bowl hopes potentially hanging in the balance. Hence the hockey style hashtag above. Expect hockey style in-game Tweets for this too.

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Kirk Herbstreit on Illinois football coaching search


ESPN Analyst Kirk Herbstreit sat down with us at The Drake Hotel this past Tuesday. The ESPN Analyst was in town to reveal the latest edition of the College Football Playoff rankings. The state of Illinois football was a topic we covered in depth, and it was great to finally get the national perspective on the program.

This cruising altitude of 35,000 feet viewpoint is really in short supply these days because Illinois football hasn’t registered, not even a blip on the radar screen, for so long.

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Herbstreit: Illini Football “a sleeping giant” that’s “fallen off”

illini football bill cubit

This is an absolutely critical time for Illini football.

Not just Illini football, but Illini basketball and Illini sports in general.

The top priority is making the correct Athletic Director hire. Yes, finding the right man to be Illini football coach is important, and don’t be too shocked if we’re talking about a basketball coaching search in the not too distant future, but the A.D. decision supersedes both.

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Illini Fans: What Providence Basketball Brings to the Table

providence basketball

With arguably the best point guard in the country, the Providence basketball team will rely heavily on Kris Dunn this season as their roster goes through a significant amount of turnover. Can Dunn’s skill and leadership lead the Friars back to the Big Dance? That’s the question. [Read more…]

Should Bill Cubit Remain Illini Football Head Coach?


Answering the question “Should Bill Cubit return as Illinois Fighting Illini Football Coach in 2016?” is complicated. Most fans are against it. His record on the field does not warrant it, although he has opportunities directly in front of him to change that.

From both a business and logistical perspective, it makes a ton of sense. The players themselves wholeheartedly support it. Given the current chaos at the University, as well as the ultra-competitive marketplace for coaches this season, you can do worse.

Actually, you just did much much worse.

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Illini Football: Big Opportunity Lost with Inopportunistic Offense


This could have been the type of victory that gets an “interim” tag removed.

Even if Interim Head Illini football Coach Bill Cubit had pulled off the upset, it still would have been no guarantee that he keeps his job after this season. That’s up to an Interim Athletic Director, who reports under an Interim Chancellor.

In the Interim though, a win over an undefeated, #1 ranked team that is 47-3 in their last 50, would have been quite the resume builder.

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Illini Basketball Season Opening Disaster: 5 Things We Learned


There is no shame in Illini basketball losing to North Florida, as they are a solid team (ranked #13 nationally in the preseason mid-major poll for what it’s worth). The mighty Ospreys went to the NCAA Tournament last year and they beat a good Purdue team that finished fourth in the Big Ten. There is however, shame in losing this badly to the Ospreys.

You can’t sugarcoat it. This contest was a non-contest from start to finish. We’re fresh out of pig lipstick right now.

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Illini basketball season preview: EYE on Springfield


As one of the few members of the Illini basketball media corps who isn’t granted “first name usage” status from John Groce, I’m well aware of how some may perceive my Illini basketball coverage. Hey, every press corps needs someone providing what Helen Thomas did with her White House coverage. So many U.S. Presidents never called on her.

It is ironic though that I’m the one made to wear the black hat, as I’m an alumnus; from a family filled with UI alumni.


The villain usually has a nicer car and a bigger house anyway.

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Ten things we learned about Illini sports since Mike Thomas was fired


As Elliot Carver, the James Bond super-villain based on an unholy hybrid of Rupert Murdoch, William Randolph Hearst and Bill Gates said in Tomorrow Never Dies, “there’s no news like bad news!”

Today’s University of Illinois Athletic Department shake-up is actually great news though. Yes, lots of media outlets will spin these happenings into a “UI is a totally chaotic mess” narrative and although there’s some truth to that, Monday still marked a major step in the right direction.

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Mike Thomas was Illini sports biggest problem; not Beckman


With Mike Thomas now fired by the University of Illinois, we re-run this op-ed from March 12th. Enjoy:

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Why Illinois’ firing of Mike Thomas was long overdue


The University of Illinois officially announced the termination of employment for Athletic Director Mike Thomas this morning at 9 a.m. Today at 11 a.m. BTN will televise the University of Illinois press conference with Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson and Interim Athletics Director Paul Kowalczyk.

With both Tim Beckman and Mike Thomas now fired by the University of Illinois today, we re-publish this op-ed from May 21st. Enjoy:

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Illini football vs Purdue Boilermakers game preview


The idea of “Illini football Head Coach Bill Cubit” being an actual thing beyond December is now on life support. When you hang your hat on offense yet only manage a “whopping” 167 yards of total offense, and get blanked, in the process, your career stock falls like Enron.

If the Purdue Boilermakers win this one, then #Cubitism at Champaign-Urbana ends with game 12 of this season.

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