Illinois: One Year Away from Popping the Champaign

This is a team that could turn some heads this season if they get hot at the right time. They luck out not having to play Iowa, Michigan State, or Nebraska. They also get OSU, Michigan and Wisconsin at home. Also, don’t be surprised if they edge out Northwestern at home for their conference opener.

Quarterback Nathan Scheelahaase is young and talented. Seventeen TD’s last season is not really impressive, but compared to only 8 interceptions and 868 yards rushing… this kid is good. So long Mikel Leshoure (RB); let’s see what senior Jason Ford has in him. He didn’t play a ton last season, but when he was in he made a difference, averaging 4.8 yards per carry, leading to nearly 500 yards and 7 touchdowns. Look for the Illini to finish in the middle of the leaders division. Possibly near the top if they can squeeze out a “W” over Wisconsin or Ohio State. My opinion, expect a 4-4 record. They have talent to give the tough matchups a scare, but they are still a year away from getting to the top.

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