Saturday, November 17, 2007

The season that could have been - UPDATED

Illini fans are happy. They should be, after going 4-19 in Zook's first two seasons the Illini are 8-3 overall and 5-2 in the Big 10. But the reality is that as nice as this season has been for them the Illini missed an opportunity for something even bigger. The two conference losses came at the hands of Iowa and Michigan, both games where there were plenty of questionable coaching decisions.

If Zook only knew when to decline a penalty, the Illini would have more than likely beaten Iowa, a hated rival that has poached more than its fair share of recruits out of Illinois over the last few years. Winning that game would have meant a 3-way tie today with Michigan and Ohio State. An OSU win over Michigan today would have catapulted Illinois to the Rose Bowl.

And truth be told, there's no reason that Illinois couldn't have beaten Michigan too. Even if the Big 10 is weak this year, a conference championship is a conference championship. So instead of Pasadena it looks like Tampa or Orlando. Believe me folks, there's a big difference.

Oh and by the way, yes ,I did turn the comments off. I have better things to do with my time than read the irrational ramblings of a bunch of idiots. I'll turn them back on when Illinois reverts to Zookian form and the losers have nothing to say.

UPDATE: With OSU beating Michigan 14-3, you really have to say that Zook declined the Big Ten championship when he accepted those two penalties against Iowa. There will be a lot of rationalization among Illini fans. Without Zook they wouldn't have been in a position to flush a Big 10 Championship down the toilet, they will say. You see there is an irrational idea that there was only one man to hire when RT got fired a couple of years ago. There simply was no candidate out there could coach as well as recruit. There is a saying in politics, we deserve our leaders. And for Illinois this couldn't be more true. Enjoy it folks. I don't think the schedule can be as favorable next season as it was this season.