Biggest Game:Â November 20 Northwestern @Wrigley
Predicted record:Â 4-8 (2-6)
Projected Big Ten standing:Â 8th Â Â Â Â Â
Returning Starters:Â 12 OFFENSE:Â 5 DEFENSE:Â Â 7Â Â Â Lettermen return:Â 48 Â Â
Head Coach:Â Ron Zook 6th Season at Illinois Last Season:Â 3-9 SN Predicted 10-2 Lifetime:Â 44-53
Top assistant:Â OC Paul Petrino
Last season was the nail in the coaching coffin of Ron Zook.Â A great recruiter, he proved that he has no business being the head man in NCAA 2010 for Play Station let alone a Big Ten program.Â He has hemorrhaged staff and this past year I got to talk to players, coaches, and people within the University at length and really learned a lot.Â A LOT!
Several people at Illinois told me that if the school did not have several major openings above him and been short on cash, he would have been gone.Â Instead, the great fans at Ill have to watch their once great program suffer through atrophy.Â It is a shame what that school has let the program become.Â I love Illinois and the fan base.Â They deserve a lot better.
At the Big Ten media days Coach Zook talked about players needing to step up and be accountable.Â That didnâ€™t sit well with me knowing what I have learned.Â I reminded him (publicly) that he had major upgrades from the school, turned over numerous staff, and wasnâ€™t it his time to be accountable and step up.
The folks who call themselves Illinois fans are superb. These fans are some of the best in the nation and they will suffer through more mediocrity and Zook.Â This job will be one of three and possibly four open at the end of the year.Â Hopefully, the school gets a coach that is worthy of the fans and program he will inherit.
September 4 Missouri LOSS
September 11 Southern Illinois WIN
September 18 Northern Illinois WIN
October 2 Ohio State LOSS
October 9 @Penn State LOSS
October 16 @MSU LOSS
October 23 Indiana WIN
October 30 Purdue LOSS
November 6 @UM LOSS
November 13 Minnesota WIN
November 20 Northwestern @Wrigley LOSS
December 3 Fresno State LOSS