Today: Tom Fornelli from The Champaign Room
SoP: So, um, Illinois football, huh? (Respond however you please.)
FEEL THE EXCITEMENT. Oh, no, wait, that's just terminal cancer. Shit.
Since No. 24 Illinois won 38-35 against Northwestern last year - GAHHHHHHHHH - the Illini are 4-16, with two big losing streaks sandwiched around a bowl win and a win over Charleston Southern. What the Zook happened? What's different about the team that won that game than the one that's been on the field since?
Well, first of all, last year's team lost a ton of talent to the NFL. Secondly, the transition from one coaching staff to the other hasn't been all that smooth. What's really hurt the offense was Scheelhaase getting hurt early in the year and missing time. He then came back less than 100% for Big Ten play with roughly 15 practices and a few live snaps in the new offense.
This is apparently a rivalry, says Tim Beckman and a hat. On a scale of one to snakes/mongeese, how big of a rivalry do you consider NU-Illinois? (Follow-up: would you rather be a fan of a team that does kinda well but hasn't won a bowl game since 1949 or the one that's scorched-earth horrific but won a bowl last year? And what does winning a bowl feel like?)