Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Big Ten 2010-Illinois Fighting Illini
2009 Record: 3-9 (2-6)
Head Coach: Ron Zook (21-39, 6th season...44-53 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Paul Petrino (1st season)
Defensive Coordinator: Vic Koenning (1st season)
2009 Bowl Game: Not even remotely possible
Offense: This team was last in offensive scoring in 2009. That obviously is no good, and change has to happen. I don't see how it will. There will be a 3 way QB battle between Nathan Scheelhasse, Jacob Charest, and Chandler Whitmer. Scheelhasse has the edge, but that can change in a minute. Mikel LeShoure will be the RB, and AJ Jenkins, Jarred Fayson, and former QB Eddie McGee are the WR group. There is not much to be excited about with this group.
Defense: LB Martez Wilson will be a key component as to how good the defense can be in 2010. the defense was not very good in 2009, but there was no offense to support it either. Wilson missed almost all of last season after a neck injury in game two against Illinois State knocked him out for the rest of the season. I could go all out as to who can end up at which position, but there are way too many question marks at almost every spot. This looks like a potenital train wreck.
Special Teams: Derek Dimke finished strong at PK last seaosn, and returns to grab the job again. He will be a very important piece to the gameplan. Anthony Santella returns as a 4th year starter at punter.
Wins: 9/11 Southern Illinois, 10/23 Indiana, 11/13 Minnesota
Toss Up Games: 9/18 Northern Illinois, 12/3 @ Fresno State
Losses: 9/4 Missouri (@ St. Louis), 10/2 Ohio State, 10/9 @ Penn State, 10/16 @ Michigan State, 10/30 Purdue, 11/6 @ Michigan, 11/20 @ Northwestern
Brutal. Even if the Fightless Illini win both toss games, there will still be no bowl. The non conference game is full of pit falls, and the guranteed wins aren't even all that solid.
Outlook: Grim. Zook should be gone after this season, as if you can't win with guys like Juice Williams and Arrelius Benn, than how can you win with these guys? Zook actually should have been fired after last season, as his record is a nightmare. It was probably all about the buyout.