Illini football has been a Mid-Major program for a half-decade


Under the Tim Beckman and Bill Cubit regimes, Illini football has gone 10-2 versus FCS and FBS non power five conference teams. That’s the good news. The bad news? They’re 4-24 against the power five. In other words, Illini football is not a bonafide Big Ten program right now, and hasn’t been for a half-decade. We crunched the numbers like a Wall Street type trying to utilize the Black-Sholes investing model to maximize returns on his options.

The numbers are brutal, even when you include Ron Zook’s last season to do some positive window-dressing and cherry-picking.

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Illini football game preview (week three North Carolina)


Illinois versus North Carolina- what a wonderful Big Ten/ACC Challenge match-up.

Oh wait, it’s football???

Well then, at least I’ll still have the memories of my second most favorite press conference moment ever. (2010 Roy Williams at Assembly Hall, I guess I’m just an instigator) It is odd though how both Northwestern and Illinois hosted FCS Directional Illinois last weekend, and now head to Tobacco Road to take on basketball blue blood schools this Saturday.

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Five very unlikely Illini football head coaching “candidates”


First off, let’s give Bill Cubit a genuine chance here.

Maybe Cubitism is indeed a real thing. If Cubit is truly a schematic Picasso for Illini football, then what he did with Nathan Scheelhaase in 2013 was his “Guernica.” Scheelhaase was not a great pocket passer his first two years in Champaign, and his third season (2012) saw a horrendous regression.

I’m not saying the two different offensive coordinators calling plays dynamic was the worst idea ever. I’m just saying that it was a worse idea than Crystal Pepsi, the Chevy Chase Show, Rick Perry’s Presidential Campaign and Deion Sanders’ rap album.

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How is Illini football viewed nationally? What level of job is it?


The good news regarding Illini football? The program is no longer led by a man who often came off like a college football version of Lloyd Christmas, Matt Foley, Phil Davison, Tommy Boy or the villain from “Jurassic World.” (Here’s our list of Beckman’s ten funniest verbal gaffes).

In Interim Coach Bill Cubit, you have someone who may not be a big, splashy name, but he’s competent, composed and professional.

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Pundits are overrating the P.J. Fleck to the Illini idea


If you write an Illinois Fighting Illini Head Coaching Candidates listicle, Federal law mandates that you must include Western Michigan Coach P.J. Fleck.

The DOJ or FBI or CIA will likely come after you if publish a list sans Fleck.

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What Bill Cubit brings (and doesn’t bring) to Illini table

Robin Scholz/The News-Gazette Sportstalk with Bill Cubit, Illinois FB offensive coordinator on Monday, September 30, 2013.

Bill Cubit is probably not the long term answer for Illini football; but they can certainly do worse. They just did much worse in fact. As former Illini and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive Tackle Akeem Spence Tweeted yesterday in the wake of Tim Beckman‘s dismissal- “Illinois just got better.”

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Illini football: seven recent AWFUL coordinators


Since John Mackovic left Illini football behind for Texas in 1991 the program has had four coaches; all of which went under .500 during their time in Champaign. They (Lou Tepper, Ron Turner, Ron Zook and Tim Beckman) combined to lose 53 more games than they won. OUCH! The coordinators, many of which were extremely incompetent and/or “eccentric” (or you could say “neurotic”), are a big reason for all the losing.

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Tim Beckman statement implies a potential lawsuit against UI


Yesterday was a very eventful and dramatic day at the University of Illinois. It’s not going to quiet down any time soon either. Tim Beckman was fired by Illini Athletic Director Mike Thomas on Friday afternoon, and Beckman responded with a statement that was very defiant and combative. 

Have a look see:

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Five preliminary Illinois football head coaching candidates


Illinois football deserves so much better than what it currently has. The Fighting Illini were 63-48-4 (.565) during the 1980s. However, they’ve gone just 111-166-2 (.401) since John Mackovic left town to go Coach Texas. Mackovic’s name is critical because he is the most recent Illinois football head coach to leave on his own accord.

Memorial Stadium in Champaign has become a career graveyard for everybody else since (Lou Tepper, Ron Turner, Ron Zook….Tim Beckman). With this inconvenient truth in mind, Illinois Athletic Director Mike Thomas is going to have a hard sell.

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Illini Coach Tim Beckman’s ten funniest verbal gaffes


With Tim Beckman now officially dismissed, we re-live his ten funniest instances of poor media skills while leading the University of Illinois. We are republishing this from September 23rd, last year. So this is before the “OSKEE” train wreck at Big Ten Media Day this year, the “you take away 10 plays, 30 points and we win” or whatever that was after Purdue, and numerous other gaffes. 


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Why Mike Thomas CANNOT make the next Illini Football hire


With Tim Beckman now fired by the University of Illinois today, it’s we re-publish this op-ed from May 21st. Enjoy:

When he took over in 2011, University of Illinois Athletic Director Mike Thomas quickly ousted the head coaches of three Illini sports. Thomas bought out the incumbent football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball coaches, and then replaced them with his own guys.

So how did that work out?

How are Mike Thomas’ guys doing now?

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Illini fire Tim Beckman amidst serious allegations of abuse


Firing your Head college football coach a week before the season starts is a very drastic measure. So these are drastic times at the University of Illinois. Tim Beckman, who went 12-25 (4-20 in Big Ten play) during his three years leading the Illini, has been dismissed by Illinois Athletic Director Mike Thomas.

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