VOTE NOW for Illinois Football All-Decade Team

Illinois college football fans can help select the 2001-10 Fighting Illini
All-Decade team by voting online at FightingIllini.com.

Voters can choose up to 32 players from nearly 150 former and current players on the ballot. The ballot was constructed of Illini players who started multiple games during the 10-season period of 2001-10.

You might remember that we did this exact exercise, at the end of the 2009. To see our results and picks go here and here

Voting is open and concludes May 31. The players selected will be honored during the 2011 season. The decade includes teams that won a Big Ten title in 2001, played in the 2008 Rose Bowl and won the 2010 Texas Bowl.

I included the ballot below. You’ll see the RB, OL and DL picks are HARD! It’s also fun to see some of these names and wonder “oh yeah, what happened to him?” Other names will just generate angst.

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Illini Hoops All-Decade team

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By Paul M. Banks & Paul Schmidt of  The Sports Bank and Joe Kutsunis of Hail to the Orange, “Home of the Blogging Illini”

When putting together an All Decade Team, our first effort was Nick Smith, at guard, forward, and center. Nick Smith all the way baby. So obviously someone spiked our Egg Nog with opium or something. Eventually we decided to take the job seriously and put this together; a collection of our favorite memories surrounding the players the three of us deemed all decade.

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Fighting Illini All-Decade Team Defense and 2nd Team

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By Paul M. Banks & Paul Schmidt of  The Sports Bank and Joe Kutsunis of Hail to the Orange, “Home of the Blogging Illini”

For the All-Decade First Team Offense click here

First team Defense

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Fighting Illini All-Decade 1st Team Offense

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By Paul M. Banks & Paul Schmidt of  The Sports Bank and Joe Kutsunis of Hail to the Orange, “Home of the Blogging Illini”

For the 1st team defense and second teams click here

First team Offense

QB Kurt Kittner  – Though he only played two seasons this decade, Kittner deserves the nod here. He led the team to the Sugar Bowl and a Big Ten Championship in 2001, and did it without the benefit of a great running back corps (undersized Rocky Harvey and bulky Antoineo Harris the main contributors). With the passing game being the main focus of the offense, Kittner was still able to dissect opposing defenses.  Still, it was a close finish between him, Juice Williams and surprisingly Jon Beutjer (whose career stats are surprisingly impressive – like second all-time in Illini history for passing efficiency). Kittner’s overall winning record as a starter pushes him over the top.

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