Ranking ’12 Illini football AWFULNESS among other TERRIBLE Illinois teams

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The state of Illinois football has long been declared a disaster area. FEMA will be sending aid soon to clean up the wreckage created my Superstorm Tim Beckman. Actually, the true creator of this mess is Athletic Director Mike Thomas, but that’s another column for another time. Clearly, Beckman is in way over his head, and Thomas had no clue what he was doing when he hired him.

I’ve seen NFL mock drafts with four Illini defenders being taken in the first three rounds. And what has Beckman been able to do with that talent on defense? 31.5 ppg against. second to last in the Big Ten.

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Illini offensive line among worst ever

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Tim Beckman isn’t the only reason the Illinois Fighting Illini are completely atrocious this season. Sure, he’s the main reason; as he’s clearly over-matched every week and in over his head.

However, the main driving force behind the Illini being awful is the complete ineptitude of the offensive line. More than halfway through the season, the Illini are dead last in the Big Ten (and a very weak Big Ten at that) in rushing yards per game and also dead last in sacks allowed. They can’t open holes nor can they protect the quarterback.

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Illini QB Nathan Scheelhaase tries to hi five referee, fails (video)

Early in the Illini Badgers game Saturday, Illinois had a lead. It didn’t last long as the Illini lost 31-14. But after scoring, Illinois QB Nathan Scheelhaase tries to actually hi five the referee. The zebra knows better than to do something showing allegiance like that, and Scheelhaase stumbles as the ref leaves him hanging.
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Illini coach Tim Beckman caught chewing on sidelines; NCAA violation

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Here’s a multi-media gaffe for you. Getting caught by television cameras with chewing tobacco when you’re a college football coach. And chew at practices and games is a NCAA violation for  players and coaches.

That’s what happened with Illini coach Tim Beckman, who apologized for it after his team got destroyed by the Wisconsin Badgers 31-14 Saturday.

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Why is Illinois so bad at football?

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The Illinois Fighting Illini are 2-3, but those two wins came courtesy of a MAC and FCS team. They’ve been absolutely destroyed by every FBS team they’ve faced this season, even getting routed at home by a non power conference team in Louisiana Tech. In their three losses, the Illini have surrendered an average of 44 ppg.

Yesterday, Illinois, not Penn State looked like the team on sanctions with nothing to play for. The Nittany Lions didn’t gain many more yards than Illinois, but they didn’t make all the mistakes that the Illini did. PSU can’t go to a bowl, but looked like a bowl team. Illinois looks like 3-9, 4-8 at best. Considering that Illinois still has talent on the roster how did this happen?

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Illini vs. Washington at Soldier Field in 2013

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University of Illinois Director of Athletics Mike Thomas announced that the Fighting Illini will play the Washington Huskies at Soldier Field in Chicago on Sept. 14, 2013. It will mark Illinois’ second game at the historic home of the Chicago Bears.

“This is a great opportunity for our football team to play in one of the most historic football venues in the nation,” Thomas said. “Soldier Field is in an incredible location that will allow our fans in the Chicagoland area and from around the state an opportunity to watch the Fighting Illini take on an outstanding Pac-12 opponent in Washington.”

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#54 Illinois Fighting Illini: College Football 77 in 77

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The Illini started to get defensive, real defensive in the 2010 Texas Bowl. In that 38-14 trouncing of Robert Griffin III and Baylor, they held RG3 and the Bears in check.

The man who would win the Heisman trophy and become the #2 overall pick in the NFL Draft the very next season was out of rhythm, out of sync versus the Illini in Houston. And that D carried over into 2011, when they Illini had a top 10 national defense.

A lot of that was the personnel, a lot of it was coordinator Vic Koenning, who unfortunately had to move on when Ron Zook was replaced by Tim Beckman.

Can they keep it going this fall, despite the coaching changes?

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Illini QB Nathan Scheelhaase: should he keep his job?

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In the 2012 Illini spring game, they seemed to have the same exact issue that they have during the final seven games of 2011- throwing the ball forward.

Perhaps part of the spring scrimmage m.o. was to hold back that part of the offense, but then again it’s a preseason exhibition why wouldn’t you let it fly?
Unless it’s simply because you can’t?

And the statistics for starting quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase were extremely putrid that rainy Saturday, continuing the regression that he showed the final seven games of 2011.

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