Illinois’ football attendance has been dwindling for five straight seasons.
No Illini coach has started with three straight losing seasons since 1977-’79.
Don’t blame Illinois’ admission standards for a lack of football talent — the onus is on the coaches.
Former Illinois coach Ron Zook appears destined for Green Bay.
The Tim Beckman hire was a mistake and everybody has known it since his first press conference.
Illinois has a nearly two-decade tradition of retaining coaches at least one season too long.
The only hope for Illinois to continue progress (or start it) is by firing embattled defensive coordinator Tim Banks and hoping that Thomas can hire a talented assistant to replacement him.
It’s that simple. Yet, of course, for the Fighting Illini, it isn’t at all.
What a difference a week makes.
Stanford does it. So does Michigan. Notre Dame, Wisconsin and Vanderbilt do it, too.
Things Illini Nation learned this past week: 1) Ron Zook now works for a bank, and 2) Mike Thomas is willing to invest time in rebutting him.
If Beckman can’t get things turned around soon – both on the field and with the state’s best athletes – he won’t be worrying about recruiting rankings for long.
From 1994-98, I was a student at the University of Illinois, and during those four years I saw a grand total of 14 football victories.
But then there’s the University of Illinois, the sadsack program of the prairie whose last three head football coaches can now be found at Florida International University (Ron Turner), the University of Buffalo (Lou Tepper) and, well, the coaching unemployment line (Ron Zook).
We don’t really know what Ron Zook is up to these days.
Zook, who was fired last year after seven seasons in Champaign, left the Illinois football program in far better shape than he found it.
On Thursday, the bad case of Illini indigestion was finally relieved when Ohio University’s John Groce was announced as the 17th men’s head coach in Illinois history during a press conference at Assembly Hall in Champaign.
Down in Champaign at the state’s flagship school, the football program is listing, which is why Toledo’s Tim Beckman was brought in to right a ship that Ron Zook wrecked after a 6-0 start to the season.
Twenty years ago, after compiling a sterling 30-16-1 record on the football field at that “basketball school” down in Champaign, University of Illinois coach John Mackovic bolted the Land of Lincoln for the gridiron riches of the Lone Star State.
Toledo head football coach Tim Beckman has reportedly emerged as the favorite to replace Ron Zook at Illinois.