Illini Hire Tim Beckman From Toledo: Very Underwhelming on Paper

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Ohio State hiring Urban Meyer this was not. Utah hiring Urban Meyer this could possibly be.

Even though it’s not official yet, conventional wisdom, the status quo and 4 out of 5 dentists agree: Toledo Rockets head Coach Tim Beckman will soon become the successor to Ron Zook at Illinois. This Illini head coaching hire has far less pizazz and excitement than any hire in recent memory. And that could be bad.

Then again the Zook hire had plenty of hoopla, and much of it was for the wrong reasons, so maybe going vanilla and “meh” is the right thing this time around?

I’m glad Illinois Athletic Director took some big swings, even if he whiffed on all of them.

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Next Illini Head Coach: Houston’s Kevin Sumlin?

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Word is Illini Athletic Director Mike Thomas could introduce the new Illinois Head football coach any day now. He said he would move fast; and he seems to be doing it.

Most of what we’ve being hearing in the media involves guys saying they haven’t been contacted by the University of Illinois. That includes Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who seems very interested in the gig- and a perfect fit.

But Monken claims they haven’t been in touch. If the job is his, he would become the fifth OSU OC among the last 6 to later get a head job.

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So Where Does Ron Zook, a True Nice Guy, Go From Here?

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A funny thing happened on the way to Illinois cleansing and ridding itself of the Ron Zook era.

Honestly, as someone who has written numerous pieces for The Sports Bank about how much Zook needed to be fired over the years, I just didn’t see it coming.

I felt bad.

I really did.

(guest post from Paul Schmidt)

There’s a fundamental problem with dancing on the grave of any head coach, but in particular one like Zook, and it highlights the biggest problem with letting a coach like Zook go from a program like Illinois: I really liked him.

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Top Immediate Priorities for New Illini Football Coach

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Ron Zook is gone. However, he was only one part of a larger college football problem in Champaign-Urbana. Zook “made history,” by becoming the first coach in FBS history to “accomplish” this feat- starting 6-0, finishing 6-6. But Zook wasn’t that much worse than Lou Tepper or Ron Zook, they all won only about a 1/3 of their Big Ten games.

So this needs to be a revolutionary hire for Illinois Athletic Director Mike Thomas. It needs to be a total sea change for Illini football; here’s a few hows and whys.

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