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But Can They Coach? September 30, 2012

If you think you’ve heard this post title before, you have. Back in January, right after all the assistants were hired. Here’s what that But Can They Coach post said:

My signature – the little thing that shows up at the bottom of all posts – on a certain Illini message board that I happen to post on (don’t worry – you couldn’t find it if you tried) says the following:

But can they coach?

Why? Because all I seem to talk about these days are the assistant coaches that Tim Beckman is hiring. And every time I discuss their recruiting acumen, I’m left to wonder one thing. Can they coach?

I guess not.

It’s totally unfair to say that after five games, but is it? Could we have looked more disorganized? A muffed punt and a running-into-the-kicker, all in the first five minutes? The Penn State coaches had to feel like dinner guests with a pushy host. “Here, you take the first points. No really, take the first points. TAKE THEM.”

But it got worse from there. Questionable play calls. Turnovers. A two minute drill with a timeout in our end with 1:56 on the clock. Penalties. And then, for me, the kicker: Penn State gains two yards on first down but is flagged for Illegal Shift. First and 15, right? Nope – we decline to set up second and 8. WHAT? I could understand (maybe) declining second and 15 to set up third and 8. It’s debatable. But turning down a penalty that would have given them negative yards after a play where they gained two on first down? WHAT?

This made the drive home full of some horrible thoughts. If this is a staff of recruiters with no coaching acumen, well, here we go again. If we can’t turn this season around immediately, we’re staring 3-9 right in the face. And this is likely the most experienced and talented roster of the next few years, so if we’re 3-9 this year then…


OK, can’t go there. Let’s get back to this staff. So… can they coach?

Apparently not.

+ OK, let’s get into the “kicked out of the stands… AGAIN” thing. If you didn’t see the other post, EVENT STAFF came calling again. Actually, some may not be aware of the first time. Guess I’ll tell the whole story.

After the Charleston Southern game, I went to a somewhat quiet spot in the West Balcony to record my From The Stands podcast (I’ve done this for three years now). The band plays Illinois Loyalty and then follows up with Alma Mater, and during Alma Mater, while I was recording my postgame thoughts, an usher ushered me out of the stands. This wasn’t even five minutes after the game ended.

I posted it here, and many of you apparently forwarded that to the DIA. Two of you forwarded me the same response from the DIA, which Dan posted over at Illinois Loyalty (the website, not the song). Here’s the text of that response:

Please know that we have spoken to our event staff and this will no longer be a problem. We will wait till the Marching Illini have exited the stadium until we begin asking patrons politely to make their way to the exits as Memorial Stadium has closed. We always want our patrons to have the best fan experience possible when they come to an Illini game, so we are very sorry that you did not. Please know that we will work to correct this.

So today, it was with much confidence that I went to a quiet spot in the stands to record my mini-podcast. I waited for the band to finish Alma Mater (about three minutes after the final whistle), and I hit record. Just over two minutes into that recording, here he came. An usher, ushering me out. I told him of the policy change from the email and pointed to the band, still walking down the stairs from their section – he still insisted I leave. He tried to kick my two sons out as well (they were waiting for me in our seats one section over) – I yelled to them to stay. It was a matter of principle now.

He returned a minute later, I told him I knew the rules and he couldn’t kick me out. He told me he’d go get someone who could (a cop). I kind of regret the next part of the recording, me gleefully knowing that I had this conversation on tape, and that EVENT STAFF would have no way to mischaracterize our chat. But again, the fact that he was doing this less than two weeks after being informed that he couldn’t was ridiculous.

I said on the podcast that I wanted to record the conversation with the cop as well. I didn’t. It wasn’t necessary. I finished my recording and walked out of the stands, and as I reached the concourse, the cop was on his way. I told the him of the policy and the University statement above. He said “then someone should have informed the Champaign Police Department – you have to leave now”. So I left.

Do I want this EVENT STAFF guy fired? No. Am I angry at the DIA? Not really – I’ve met Mike Thomas, and I know he’ll personally talk to the Event Staff coordinators if he has to. Was the cop right to kick me out if he hadn’t heard the rules? Sure, why not. Is it yet another sign that we’re not focused on the fans, and that Memorial Stadium has become a pretty unfriendly place the last 10 years? Of course. The multiple emails I received after the first run-in, all from fans who had experienced rude ushers and unhelpful staff over the last few years, spoke volumes. It’s a problem. Most every fan will tell you that.

And my goal in this whole thing is just this: I want 60,000 fans to join me in Memorial Stadium at every home game for the next 30 years. I dream of a real, legitimate college football environment in Champaign. And if it takes me getting kicked out twice to draw attention to the fact that some EVENT STAFF walk around with Thor’s hammer, so be it.

I’ll be honest, though, I chuckled when reading that statement again. The whole “we will correct this” felt so much like the Ron Zook “we’ll get that fixed”. Say the right thing. Acknowledge the problem. But then it happens again two weeks later. That’s so Zook.

Oh crap – is that so Beckman?

+ Perfect segue right there. That’s my biggest struggle after today’s game. Is this a staff that will say the right things, or a staff that will do the right things?

Read any leadership book, talk to any mentor that’s worth a darn, and that will most certainly be a theme. There are leaders that say the right things – that have the right answers for all the questions – and then there are leaders that doggedly work on the implementation. Just telling me it’s fixed isn’t good enough – SHOW me you’ve fixed it. Demonstrate multiple times that it’s repaired. Anybody can just say “it won’t be a problem again”. That solves the immediate tension. But is the core issue being fixed?

With Ron Zook, it usually never was. Kickoff coverage issues? “We’ll get that fixed”. Timeout problems? “Won’t be a problem again”. But it always was. It never was fixed.

Tim Beckman doesn’t say “we’ll get that fixed” (at least I’ve not heard him say that), but I’m getting the same feeling from this staff. The defensive play calls still seem to be a problem when the opponent cranks the tempo. Turnover problems are still there. The same leaking tight ends from the Arizona State are still leaking out for 10-12-15 yard gains. And now we’ve added odd timeouts and declined penalties to the list.

Those were two new coaching staffs out there today. And Bill O’Brien’s players have been though a lot more than our players in the months leading up to this game. But one team looked disciplined, turnover-free, and precise. And the other team looked lost and uninspired.

Tim Beckman needs to fix this immediately. Wisconsin looked much improved tonight, and they were a wreck the first three weeks. I was OK with the Arizona State loss and even, to a degree, the Louisiana Tech loss (they beat Virginia today – beat Texas A&M at home and they’re going 12-0). But we HAD to show improvement today. And we lost by four touchdowns (again) and had the ball inside the 10 three times with zero points to show for it. Inexcusable.

+ I usually do a “positives” plus mark, right? Hmmm…

Yep, gotta go with Ferguson and Young again. My favorite play of the game was that route Josh Ferguson took up the seam. He’s coming across the middle on a crossing route, identifies the location of the safety, and when he catches the ball, immediately turns up the open seam. And I mean immediately. Reactions like that can’t be taught. Get this kid more space to work in.

Young, too. We struggled running the ball all day (Penn State front-7 just dominated us), but Donovonn did break the one long run and had a few “drag guys two extra yards” plays. He still struggles getting to the edge (that’s not really his thing), but he runs so hard. This is definitely a backfield we can work with for the next three seasons.

+ Everything else was frightening. Everything. Nate’s two interceptions. Offensive line getting dominated. Defensive line looking like a shell of their former selves. Back seven of the defense missing assignments. More injuries (PNY’s looked like a season-ender). Coaching decisions. Missed field goal. Poor kick returns. Muffed punt. Everything.


+ One good thing, though. As I mentioned last week, Verizon has come to my rescue. They’ve given me a free demo phone to try (Droid RAZR M) and a data package to use. They’re not paying me or anything – my job is to simply use the phone and post my honest opinions. I’ve received other offers like this before, but I always turned them down. With my struggles to even get a text in Memorial Stadium, I jumped at this one. And they said I could be honest about everything and post my real experience, so here goes.

Today was awesome. I could Tweet. I could text. I could look up scores and stats. If you’ve followed my Twitter the last three years, you know I’m always complaining, saying that I can’t get service in Memorial Stadium with my iPhone from another company (who I won’t name). I can’t even link to the wifi available at my seat.

Today, I didn’t need wifi. 4G LTE, baby (this is starting to sound like a commercial, isn’t it?). I was seriously giddy. I have no idea why I didn’t try this before. I love interacting with all of you on Twitter during games. But for the most part, I’ve been restricted to text-to-tweet, and when I do that I can’t see any mentions. And it doesn’t even work very much. Today, Twitter app, mobile browser, texts, you name it, I had it available. And super fast. Good call on this whole “let bloggers demo our new phones” thing, Verizon. Sometimes, those bloggers will be thrilled with the results.

Let’s segue back. BUT THOSE WERE THE ONLY RESULTS I WAS THRILLED WITH TODAY. *presses easy button*

That game today, ladies and gentlemen, was clownshoes. I’ll likely remember this game for a long time. That Game Where We Knew It Was Going To Be A Very Long Rebuild. I don’t think Mike Thomas can (financially) or will make any coaching decisions before Year 3. I saw a lot of that chatter on Twitter today – “how long can we retain Beckman when we look like this?” I think he’ll get at least three years to recruit and build the roster the way he wants it. And I think he’ll be a pretty good recruiter.

But can he coach?

This is where I put the badge for the Verizon blogger program. But I’ll almost assuredly do it wrong. But hey, great phone.

GrogsBBQPepperoni September 30th, 2012

I’ve turned the corner on these coaches. I can no longer defend them in any way after that game. SO undisciplined. As you said, Robert, it feels like Zook is still coaching. The only thing missing is the “we were down 5, I mean up 5 – we were up 7?” soundbyte.
And I wonder, will Ferguson or Young become a Pierre Thomas 2.0? A back who comes from a really shoddy Illini team to make (and matter in) the NFL.

Salt Life September 30th, 2012

Heck yeah the Illini coordinators and assistants are outclassed and outcoached. But so is the head honcho, Coach Beckman. It’s his job and responsibility to get the right guys and then make sure they are doing their job or else institute adjustments or changes ASAP. First Beckman brought in the wrong coaches for the job. No way Beckman’s defensive coordinator and staff is better than Koenning’s was, the guy he insulted (yes, he did) and ran off. Defense is a no show this year after being in top ten nationally under Koenning. Offense is likewise worse than last year and this offensive staff run juvenile predictable stuff easily figured out and stopped by opponents. Maybe this crap worked for Beckman in the MAC but he is thoroughly outclassed and getting throughly outcoached at Illinois. For that I blame Thomas who made an extremely poor choice to start with and has saddled Illinois with clownish incompetency for unfortunately perhaps years to come. Sickening me as I write.

DanBloeme September 30th, 2012

Is it too soon to remove this vomitous clown Beckman and his equally incompetent clownish staff from the football program? Forget how that might make Illinois look by firing the AD and football coaches so soon after they were hired. Heck people, Illinois can’t be any more humiliated or look any worse as a national laughing stock and punchline than they are already, having been totally thrashed and blown out in 3 out of their first 5 games so far. All areas of this team look poorly coached and ill-prepared and Illinois might as well have Bozo the Clown in charge with his band of clowns destroying every aspect of offense, defense and special teams equally turning them into slapstick comedy and making Illinois a national punchline and laughing stock. Is it too soon, nah folks, it can’t happen soon enough to yank these sickening clowns from their stage. Give them the Zook, errrr hook pronto. Do it soon before all the good recruits and fans totally desert and no decent coach can be bought anymore at any price.

IlliNYC September 30th, 2012

This looks & feels like a lot of trouble. I’m trying to think back about Zook’s first season–this seems worse, right?

It’s hard when you realize that we have the wrong coach so soon….

It’s going to be a rough couple of years.

illiniranger September 30th, 2012

but can they coach? probably not well enough to get us where we want. i’ve given up on this season as a lost cause. for whatever reason we are not improving and after 5 weeks we probably won’t. i would be happy if we don’t win a game this year but play competent football. hey, everyone is going to make mistakes, but let’s stop putting them all together in the same game.
the truly frustrating part for me is that this team is regressing. one of the fun things of the last two years is that we improved defensively. we went from a mess in 09 to much better in 10 to great in 11. i don’t think we are going to see any kind of improvement like that the rest of the year in any phase of the game.
i really thought beckman would turn this battleship in the right direction. but it only seems like he has the cutesy stuff (uniforms, balconies, branding, NU rivarly) down with none of the coaching. and, as you mentioned robert, there is no way beckman get’s less than 3 years due to financial constraints.
i feel like we are standing on the edge of the abyss.

Ktal September 30th, 2012

I don’t think the kids have bought into what they’re being coached to do. If that’s the case, it would show up in hesitation on the field, missed assignments, miscommunications, and kids trying to do too much during a play. We saw a lot of that.
Having too much going on between the ears is the only way I can explain the pure awfulness of todays play. NS missed some very easy, short throws by a wide margin.
How can kids so bad at the fundamentals be starters on a B1G team? Simple, they don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing. And that’s the Catch-22: the harder the coaches push to cover the basics, the more thinking the kids will suffer from on the field, and the more doubts they’ll bring to the next game.
We know from Robert’s reporting that these kids were coached on the fundamentals during Camp Rantoul. But that isn’t translating into fundamentally sound play on the field. The only explanation I can think of, is that these kids are mentally trapped between what they used to do, and what they’re being told to do now. That is no way to play good, solid football.
I am an Illini fan. I will give Beckman time to get his system coached into his players. I just need for it to result in good, solid, fundamentally sound football, play calling, and game management.

rgadde September 30th, 2012

While watching the game from home, I got sick of watching. Then I listened to your From the Stands mini podcast, and have renewed my faith in Illini fandom. Thanks Robert! Is the Razr M big in your pocket?

HHSILLINI September 30th, 2012

If Beckman can’t win with this group, he will never win. Wisconsin will beat us by 40. Sad…Beckman and Banks and every coach on staff must be fired tomorrow!

GrogsBBQPepperoni September 30th, 2012

I was watching 2 teams last night that are excellent programs (Wisconsin and Alabama) and they both had one thing in common: minimal penalties (in the 4th quarter, Alabama got a false start bringing their count to 2 penalties for 8 yards – and Saban looked miffed). Especially after the Zook years, this team needs discipline. By my count, that’s Hawthorne’s second personal foul in as many games, we had a guy get ejected for an illegal hit and the ridiculousness of the first drive has already been documented.
Penalties give away yards, downs and ultimately points. We are not good enough to give up any of those. Penalties also suggest a loose ship being run. I agree, Ranger – sure we’ll lose, but is it too much to ask to at least be in the game at the start of the 2nd half? But the helmet-to-helmet hits, the grotesque facemask penalty from last week, the the other nonsense (8 penalties for 69 yards – that’s the length of a scoring drive) – clean it up, Beckman. “D-I-S-C-I-P-L-I-N-E”.
Not to mention, we averaged 12 yards per kick return, 2 yards per punt return. I see no difference from last year. Well, other than the point differential is worse. Geez, we don’t need to see the word “rout” used in every Sunday headline describing our most recent loss. But looks like we will. Ugh, here comes EVENT STAFF to kick me off this site…

mlp94595 September 30th, 2012

Did anyone notice the “on PSU campus” vs. in State College mistake Dave Pasch made on national TV? Sounds like Beckman will be living that down forever. And Brian Griese implying that the Illini were coached to hit helmet to helmet but didn’t say anything on a hit Donovonn Young took in the second quarter and no penalty was called .

The announcers on the tOSU/MSU game said Urban Meyer always retains the defensive coordinator when taking a new coaching job. Beckman should have known that from his time with Meyer and done the same. What a huge blunder.

My only solace for the day came when watching Wisconsin and Nebraska. I thought I was watching the Illini/PSU game the way Nebraska was playing. Nebraska looked just as poorly coached as Illinois did.

LongLiveTheChief98 September 30th, 2012

Anyone know the last time we had three losses by 28 or more points in a season? I’m afraid to look it up. And it’s not like they’ve been against Alabama, LSU, and Oregon, either.
Of all the things I’m most disappointed at, it’s myself. To think I had these guys going 7-5(4-4) this year…what a hopelessly optimistic moron am I. You would think after following Illinois football devoutly for the last 21 seasons that I would have easily learned my lesson by now. Nope. Fool me once, shame on you…fool me twice, shame on me…fool me countless times over, time for a new sport to focus on.
I have season tickets, so unfortunately I will have to witness the spiral in person for the remainder of the schedule…and I’ll even be in Evanston for the LOL game. However, it’s going to take some interesting turn of events to get me back in that stadium after this year. Call me a bad fan, but after 21 years of being jerked around, I think I’ve officially had it. I’d rather spend my money osomething that doesn’t give me heart palpitations, balding, gray hair, and foul moods.
Mike Thomas…hope you’re getting a good night’s sleep knowing that you’ve just set back this program another 6+ years (the minimum time left on Beckman’s tenure PLUS what it would take the new guy to potentially turn things around). And if Groce’s guys show similar meltdowns this year, you may just hear about a guy in the Chicago area who, dressed in all orange and donning Chief headgear, jumped in front of a train screaming, “Why, God, why?!”
And Robert, as you continue to sit in your season seat at Memorial Stadium through this all, you will show what a better man your are than I.

Harry Lime September 30th, 2012

To put it another way: is our student athletes learning? They is not. Same dumb mistakes from past seasons, mostly by seniors and coaches. I’m pretty sure at this point that Zook is the voice in Beckman’s headset.

I haven’t heard anyone mention the awful punting, aside from that long bounce that was downed at the one. A 39 yard average, including the 57 yarder. It was not windy. There were no attempts to block.

I find it very hard to defend this staff only 4 games into their tenure. At the end of 3 years they will be fired and the brand will be much less attractive to potential coaches. It’s a cycle of poverty for Illinois football.

LongLiveTheChief98 September 30th, 2012

Just out of curiosity, I just checked the Sagarin ratings…Illinois is now at #93, behind Indiana and officially last in the Big Ten. And even behind such football powerhouses as North Dakota State, Youngstown State, Cal Poly-SLO, Harvard, and Northern Iowa – all FCS teams.
Yup, 2-10 it is for this year.

GrogsBBQPepperoni September 30th, 2012

Looks like we’re heading back to being everyone’s Homecoming foe…

lowellhamilton September 30th, 2012

I think I’m going to start selling t-shirts outside the stadium that say “When does basketball start again?” Obviously, anyone being fired is not going to happen for another few years, but this season does appear to be over. With only a few exceptions, I don’t think anyone older than a junior should see the field from here on out. And I wish we had some hope at QB. NS is injured, but he also throws horrific, horrific picks.

DanBloeme September 30th, 2012

Updated Illinois Stats:

78th – Total Defense
99th – Total Offense

Groundhogday September 30th, 2012

Given that we’ve actually been pretty close in yardage against LaTech and PSU, but the stupid mistakes are killing our chances of winning, I’m guessing that we get lucky in some random game and pull an upset to finish 3-8.

DanBloeme September 30th, 2012

Illini Offensive Stats:

98th – Yards per Game
60th – Passing Yards
77th – Rushing Yards
99th – Points per game
105th – 1st Downs

GrogsBBQPepperoni September 30th, 2012

LongLiveTheChief98, here’s your answer. In 2005 we had the following blowout losses (among other losses that were “closer”):
61-14 (MSU at UIUC)
35-7 (UIUC at Iowa)
63-10 (PSU at UIUC)
40-2 (UIUC at OSU)
37-3 (UIUC at PU)
Good lord, tell me THAT’S not happening again. Fun Fact, both Pierre Thomas and Rashard Mendenhall were on that team. Mind boggling.

DanBloeme September 30th, 2012

Illini Defensive Stats:

78th – Points Allowed
32nd – Yards Allowed
73rd – Passing Yds Allowed
44th – Rushing Yds Allowed
62nd – Interceptions Made

Harry Lime September 30th, 2012

DanBloeme those stats are all offensive. Don’t be fooled by our 32nd ranking in yards allowed-we’re giving opponents some very short fields with our turnovers and awful special teams play.

LongLiveTheChief98 September 30th, 2012

Thanks for the info, Grogs. That 2005 team went 2-9 (0-8). And it looks like this year’s team is headed for a similar fate.
Which leads me to this thought….with players like Thomas and Mendenhall on that ’05 team still resulting in a bad record, maybe the emphasis should be less on the skill positions and more on linemen. Most of our glaring problems on this year’s team stem from bad and inexperienced offensive line play, and defensive linemen who can’t take to a new system. You can have a superstar QB but he won’t do squat if he’s constantly scrambling out of a collapsed pocket. For the opposite, look at Penn State – Saturday, McGloin could stand there all day looking for his receivers, and he’s a former walk-on. La Tech’s linemen did whatever they wanted all game…heck their center even calls all the plays from the line. We need 4-star linemen…and a line coach that knows what the hell he’s doing.

gyc September 30th, 2012

All of this is very hard to understand.

Tim Beckman rebuilt the Toledo program and they went 7-1 the last two years in the MAC. Was that a fluke? Maybe if he only had one really great season, but he’s had two great seasons and Toledo’s doing very well again this season. Did he suddenly forget how to coach? Unlike Zook, Beckman showed that he could coach and build a program before he came to Illinois, so what happened?

Regarding the poor ST play, I remember Robert posted some very impressive stats about his previous ST teams. So obviously he can also coach. Once again I have to ask, so what happened to make him all of a sudden incapable of coaching a competent special teams unit?

Regarding the horrid offense, once again Tim Bank’s previous defensive units were very solid units and ranked well in total defense. He’s no Vic, but his previous defensive units showed he knew how to coach a competent defense. Once again, what has happened since he landed at Illinois to make him totally unable to coach a competent defensive unit?

Now, on the offensive side, clearly Gonzales and Beatty are struggling, and they don’t have any record of previous success at calling plays, but really our offensive was just as bad last year, so there’s not much to say about them. But it’s just mindboggling how coaches who seemed like very solid coaches based on their previous track records are now suddenly incompetent. Is there something in the water in C-U?

IlliniJeffrey September 30th, 2012


When examining whether or not they can coach, there are things far more important than declining penalties, or bad timeouts, etc. He most damning thing is how badly these coaches are being out schemed. our defense has no shot to stop the opposing offense because they have no clue what they are doing. QBs have 3 wide open receivers to choose from. On offense, it looks like the defense knows what we’re doing before the snap. Our offense is an embarrassment, and if you take a look around, it’s certainly not hard to put up points in today’s college football.

last year, with pretty similar talent, we completely shut down Penn State’s offense, in State College. This year, with their team stripped of many of their best players, they come to Champaign and dominate us. The difference: The coaching staffs.

Beckmann has been an embarrassment so far. He can barely put a sentence together, has chronic, laughable misspellings on his twitter page, looks like a fool in most of his press conferences, and even managed to make Penn State a sympathetic figure by his terrible decision to send all those coaches to State College. As if getting completely owned by opposing staffs isn’t enough, he managed to make our program look like a bunch of desperate vultures.

Recruits want to play for a coach that they can feel confident in. They want to know that their guy is going to put them in a good position, and will out scheme the other guy. How can anyone watch this team and have any of that kind of confidence. Every day this Buffon remains the coach, the longer it will take to recover.

Joe John September 30th, 2012

I’m not surprised that the offense is bad. I expected it to be. The offfense doesnt have elite playmakers at the skill positions, and the line is young and unathletic. The biggest letdown of this season is for me the defensive line. Penn State was just blowing guys off the line of scrimmage repeatedly in the 2nd half. It really looks like the Illini defense has either quit, or is so confused that frustration takes over and they start playing undisciplined (witness the personal foul penalties). You cant let the 4th string PSU running back just run all over you. Its like the Illini defense has no heart at all. There’s alot of “give” in them. I’m not sure what 3rd win you see on the schedule…maybe Indiana at home for homecoming? Every other game I dont see as competitive at all. This Penn State team is mediocre…completely.

Recruiting simply isnt everything. Purdue has got their program turned around through solid coaching and only average or below average recruiting….And Illinois isnt even close to them.

It definitely is going to be a LONG rebuild….this is 1996-1998 and 2003-2006 bad.

Illinigrad September 30th, 2012

Beckman and his assistants should be fired this coming week if they get blown out at WI along with the AD. Bring in Mike White and any of his assistants to finish the season. Anything would be better that this crap. Hell, get Lou Henson back and pay him a dollar like he worked for at New Mexico after RG canned him. He would do better then these clowns. It is painful to see these players so badly coached.

GrogsBBQPepperoni October 1st, 2012

BTW, the play at the end of the first half (Nate’s pick) was clearly devastating. I’m undecided if that was bad coaching, a terrible read by Nate or just dumb luck. I’m leaning toward coaching because it seemed like PSU had the play read which means we didn’t disguise it well. If we score a TD and go into half down 21-7 it’s still (sort of) a ballgame. But the fact that it felt like they scored a TD going the other way and it was virtually 28-0 had to have taken all of the air out of the stadium (it did to me as a fan). A lot of football is confidence and any remaining confidence we had as a team evaporated on that play.
Man, I’m going to the game in Madison this Saturday. I’ve never been less excited about attending a U of I football game.

kelvinator91 October 1st, 2012

Love your thoughts because they speak to the heart of what so many Illini fans feel. As a very busy father I rarely have time to sit down and watch a football game in its entirety and right now there is no way I can devote ANY time to watching Illinois football. My time is too valuable and if the product is really this bad I won’t watch it and even probably won’t listen on the radio because it will just put me in a horrible mood.

I don’t understand how we can put together a coaching staff that cannot make game adjustments. It is beyond comprehension.

BexleyIllini October 1st, 2012

Kelvinator, I feel the same way as you. I also have little kids and I used to make time to watch Illini sports. Football clearly isn’t worth my time this year. This team has regressed hugely from the WMU game; I just don’t get it at all. I hope MT and TB understand that the fans won’t spend their time and money for sub-sub-standard performances.

kelvinator91 October 1st, 2012

Keep in mind that I do love the University of Illinois. I am a graduate. When I was in high school my bedroom had Illini wallpaper and a flag over my bed. But I cannot and will not give my precious time to a product that is really this bad.

It should bother Mike Thomas and Tim Beckman greatly that they are losing fans like me that simply will not invest their time and money in a program that isn’t doing anything to be rewarded.

Looking forward with great expecatations to basketball.

DanO October 1st, 2012

Regarding that event staff, i remember being in the stands in 1983 when the goal posts were tore down, I’m thinking three times that year (OSU, Mich, IU??).
The event staff pretty much stepped aside and let us sit wherever we wanted, we brought in plenty of refreshments…then towards the end of the game they let us hop over the bottom railing and stand on the sidelines while the game wound down (and while the game was still going on!). There was a general feeling that that was our team, and that the stadium was our stadium. And they loved having us there.
I cannot imagine being asked to leave while the band is still playing. What a different atmosphere for those current students!

wimble October 1st, 2012

As bad as current events are, one thing that makes me even more angry, is the poor timing. From my not-yet-40 perspective of how college football history and pecking orders unfolded – Illinois obviously had a great run of football from Red Grange through the national championships in the 50s. But, we lost that momentum and sputtered right when college football was starting to really catch fire – the mid-60s. Arguably, we had a dance with success in each of the last few decades – Rose Bowls in the 80s and naughts. Some stout defenses in the 90s that made national significance not a hilarious concept.

Having blown our opportunity in the 60s, I feel like now is the next best time to make a stature improvement, what with conference realignment nationally, new divisions in the B1G, television money and contracts being revalued, our own conference as down as I can ever remember it. And, here we are blowing this opportunity too.

Hucklebuck October 1st, 2012

This week’s improvement: My popcorn was better but still just barely edible. Other than that, I got nothin’.