Saturday, November 14, 2009

Misery is Over ... Prep for 2010

Well, it's official - we're not bowl inelgibile for 2009/2010. Ugh! Actually, it's a relief to be hoonest. What will likely go down as one of the most disappointing seasons in Illinois foot ball history is just about over. We should use the next two weeks against quality opponents as intense schrimaages to develop the squad in all aspects of the game. Forget about winning. That doesn't matter anymore. Instead, let's get Charest some quality snaps and time in down and distance situations. Sure, he'll continue to make mistakes but hopefully he learn as he develops into our QB of the future.

Give credit to the WILDCATS for winning the inaugural Land of Linoln Trophy on the heels of the last Tomahawk Trophy. Right now, NW is a more complete football team - especially in the mental game. They're just tougher than we are, and smarter. Kafka had another great game post 305 yards on 23 of 37 passing and no mistakes. Our defense played well today for the third week in a row, especially in the first half until giving up a late TD right before intermission. That turned out to be a huge game-changing play. We trailed all game after that.

As for the Zooker, I mean what can I say? He's only a man. He can't rebuild Rome in 7 days. No doubt, he's not the greatest collection of football acumen in today's modern game. I mean, what the hell was that? Why were we throwing the ball right before halftime? Pick, short field, TD NW heading into the break. Ugh! Still, palyers have to play and coaches have to coach. And the Zooker can recruit wtih the best of them. Getting all of that talen to play together as a team has been another story. Assuming he comes back for a 6th season, what should the expectations be? How many years can we keep blaming the 'young team'? Sooner or later somebody within the University needs to start asking the tough questions. Nevermind, we haven't been competitive in over 60 years. Why start now.

Changing gears, it's now basketball season where hopes are much higher for the Illini hoopsters. Sure, we took care of business last night against SIEU, 96-69. Our freshmen class is top-10 quality in the nation with Brandon Paul and DJ Richardson leading the way THIS YEAR. Yes, excitement and expectations are high for ILLINOIS BASKETBALL in 2009/2010. It didn't take long for Paul to get into the record books with his 22 freshmen points, breaking Deon Thomas' 21-point effort back in 1990. Wow! As freshmen, Richardson and Paul are starters for the first time since 2002 when Williams, Brown, and Augustine took the floor as freshmen starters for Bruce Weber. We have three more tune-up games at home against cupcakes until we face UTAH in VEGAS on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

It's only November, but the Chief is into some early-season predictions for Illinois Basetball, 2009-2010:

1) 20 wins and an NCAA tourney appearance are a lock.
2) We will win our first two tourney games en route to the SWEET 16.

My top 10 heading into the beginning of rivalry season:

1) Florida - nobody's beaten them yet.
2) Texas - Horns are playing their best ball of the year right now.
3) Bama - good win against MSU. Essentially a tie with #1 and #2 for now.
4) TCU - did you see what happened in Ft. Worth tonight against Utah? Close at top.
5) Georgia Tech - they look better and better to me each week with each win.
6) Cincinnati - slipping a bit this week after a battle at home with WV.
7) Boise State - poor Broncos, just nobody on their schedule to showcase their skills.
8) LSU - Tigers only two losses are against Bama and Florida. Not bad.
9) Oregon - Tough loss last week. Good recovery this week. Off to Tucson.
10) Ohio State - I mean you have to stick the BIG-10 champs in here somewhere.

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