The state of Illinois football has long been declared a disaster area. FEMA will be sending aid soon to clean up the wreckage created my Superstorm Tim Beckman. Actually, the true creator of this mess is Athletic Director Mike Thomas, but that’s another column for another time. Clearly, Beckman is in way over his head, and Thomas had no clue what he was doing when he hired him.
I’ve seen NFL mock drafts with four Illini defenders being taken in the first three rounds. And what has Beckman been able to do with that talent on defense? 31.5 ppg against. second to last in the Big Ten.
They’re also last in the league in scoring. So hey, at least there’s balance. Illinois really has no chance to win a game again this season. Purdue is awful, but they at least have a single conference victory. And they’ll be playing the Illini with bowl eligibility on the line. They’ve been much more competitive in their losses than Illinois. The Illini are the worst team in a very bad conference. The league is as down as I’ve ever seen it. But enough about how bad the 2012 Illini are. That’s been said enough. Let’s look at how the soon to be 2-10 Illini compare versus other recent HORRIBLE Illinois football teams.
The 2012 team is worse than…….
2005 (2-9) First year of the Ron Zook era, and this team could not stop a nose bleed. A mediocre Michigan State team hung 60 on them. Penn St. could have scored 80 if they wanted to. However, one of their two victories was over a 7 win, bowl bound Rutgers team, so they get the edge.
2006 (2-10) This was quite honestly the best 2-10 team ever. They were in almost every game, just they couldn’t close. Kind of like Northwestern.
2004 (3-8), 1998 (3-8) It’s really sad that there are so many seasons like this in Champaign, in recent memory too. No matter who’s in charge. These “rebuilding years” were under the Ron Turner regime.
The 2012 Illini are equally as bad as….
1996 (2-9) Lou Tepper’s final year featured a team with zero style points. Just like this year’s bunch. This is why every winning season seems like a fluke. Believe it or not, Illinois has as many BCS appearances as the Iowa Hawkeyes.
The 2012 Illini are actually better than…
2003 (1-11) How Ron Turner kept his job after this is beyond me. By this point he was recruiting only Champaign, Ford and Vermillion counties. Which explained the lack of talent.
1997 (0-11) Turner’s first season and the 0 says it all. Michigan State dominated them the least, only beating them by ten. So yes, as hard as it’s been to watch Beckman ruin the program this year. It really could be worse. It’s ACTUALLY BEEN WORSE. Twice in recent memory.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.