Beckman’s immediate future should hinge on homecoming effort

Mike Thomas is doing his best Bond Villain impression. Instead of cutting ties with Tim Beckman quickly like the yank of a Band-Aid, he’s got Beckman tied to a conveyor belt heading towards a buzz saw. I can’t imagine a scenario where Beckman wiggles off and escapes the unemployment line, but I can understand Thomas evaluating whether firing a coach mid-season is in the best interests of Illinois Football moving forward. This week in particular, homecoming against Minnesota (6-1), should provide Thomas with all the evidence he needs for either decision. Continue Reading →

Parting Shots: Illinois vs. Michigan State

I’m about to go on a very long rant, and to those who are willing to read what I have to say … good luck and thank you. A loss to Michigan State yesterday was expected, yes, but there were literally zero things that happened in that game that were seen in a positive light by yours truly. I defy you to come away from that game with three legitimate positives to hold on to. Which is why I can’t for today’s column. Today’s column, instead of three positives and three negatives, will be more like zero positives and seventeen negatives. But it’s not because I’m a pessimistic person. It’s just that the state of this football program left me questioning my fandom after Saturday’s embarrassment. Continue Reading →

Parting Shots: Illinois vs Nebraska

I’m sorry, I forgot to introduce you. Illini, meet reality. Reality, this is Illinois. Saturday’s slug-fest in Lincoln was both surprising and unanticipated. In fact, many were calling for Nebraska to be on upset alert. But the Huskers firmly reasserted themselves into the Big Ten title picture with a dominant win over the Illini, 39-19. The score isn’t even indicative of how ugly it truly was. But I wonder how ugly this game would have been if it weren’t for the 35 mph gusts of wind. I also wonder if Illinois would’ve lost by 20 if their defense had decided to actually tackle a running-back. Either way, the result left Illini fans with a very bad taste in their mouths and stretched the Big Ten losing streak to 15 games, which is something that has to change… now.   Continue Reading →

Parting Shots: Illinois vs Miami (Ohio)

CHAMPAIGN — In 12 games last season, the Illini looked competitive in three and won two of them. In four games this year, they’ve looked competitive in all of them and won three. The improvement is clear; Illinois is going to beat the teams they’re supposed to and lose to Top-25 teams. And I’m totally OK with that.

Before we delve into the specifics of the game, let it be known that Miami (Ohio) is simply terrible. Awful. The RedHawks are 0-4 with a 40-point loss to Marshall. They just don’t look like a competent football team at all. Not too much to analyze here. If you are a football team with 11 living, breathing humans on the field, you can expect to beat them.

That being said, Illinois looked pretty damn good on Saturday. The Illini appeared to be a well-oiled machine on both sides of the ball and were consistent. For the first time in my days as an enthusiast and writer for the Fighting Illini, I had more trouble thinking up three negatives than I did dreaming up some positives.  Continue Reading →

With Timbo, we’re talkin’ bout practice … halftime practice

Recently, superstar Twitter maestro and Illini newshound @ALionEye reported that Illinois football coach Tim Beckman was going to practice halftime because his squad played poorly after the break last season.

This brings about a number of reactions by the staff here at Illini-Nation.com, the first of which was putting our faces in our hands and shaking our heads.

He’s practicing halftime? Really? Listen, Timbo, the team wasn’t just bad after halftime last season. Let’s get that out of the way first. Continue Reading →