Big Ten conference play begins with the annual in-state rivalry game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Illinois Fighting Illini. It does feel a little weird not having this game played on the last week of the season, when all the other intrastate, intra-region bloodfeud games are held. But last year it was such a special event that it's hard not to get excited for the 2011 … [Read more...] about #22 Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Northwestern Wildcats: Brutally Honest Game Preview
You're like, "ok Captain Obvious." Not so fast my friend, I was saying this in August too. I thought my local media friends would find that assertion crazy given all the BCS preseason hype Notre Dame was getting, and the fact that Illinois was getting zero votes in either poll. But the truth is Notre Dame is 2-2, and very mediocre, while the Illini are this year's … [Read more...] about Why the Illini Will Win More Games than Notre Dame
Fans of the Florida Gators will understand this piece. Actually non college football fans will probably understand it even. It feels like we publish this column every season. Last year, we did the "Did Ron Zook's play-calling cost Illinois a win?" story after the Illini had a chance to upset then #2 Ohio State at home in the Big Ten conference opener. Go here to brush up … [Read more...] about Questioning Ron Zook’s Very Questionable Play-Calls, Rationale
Sandwiched in between last weekend's emotional prime time upset of nationally ranked Arizona State and next week's Big Ten opener versus hated in-state rival Northwestern, today's contest against MAC opponent Western Michigan certainly had a "trap game" feel. And given the Illini performance in the first half, it certainly looked that way for awhile (think Minnesota game … [Read more...] about Illini Escape Western Michigan; Illinois 4-0 First Time since 1951!
With Illinois defeating the #18 Arizona State Sun Devils 17-14 tonight; and getting off to their first 3-0 start since 2001, it's starting to feel quite a bit like that year. It was Illinois' most recent Big Ten title season, but that's not why it feels that way. The Fighting Illini have a long way to go to reach that Champaign Campaign plateau. However, there are a few … [Read more...] about Illini Win Over #18 Arizona State Feels Like Champaign Campaign