Too funny. Take a look at this fantastic piece of comedy posted at Daily Illini.com under the headline, "Zook, Illini attempt to emulate 2007 season."
2007 is of course the high water mark for Zook's tenure at Illinois with a 9-3 record and a Rose Bowl appearance (thanks to Ohio State playing in the BCSCG) where the Illini were blown out.
So the solution of course is to emulate what was done that year according to Zook:
“I’ve already done it,” Illinois head coach Ron Zook said of trying to make changes to emulate the 2007 season. “I’ve already gone back and tried to do a lot of the same things with practice times and the whole bit.”
Yes, changing those practice times will surely put you back on the winning track. Of course, if that was the formula for success why did he ever deviate from it?
But Zook's brilliance (sarcasm) continues:
“One of the things, if you go back and look at that year, is that we had some guys who made some plays and you wondered how they made them,” Zook said. “We’re not making those plays this year and even to a certain extent we weren’t last year either. A lot of that has to do with passion.”
Yeap. Passion, that's what the Illini need! Not coaching, not leadership, not discipline, and certainly not X's and O's. It's passion and making plays that leave you in wonderment.
The next few paragraphs are a scathing indictment of Zook:
Ouch. Here's a Zookese response to the lack of wins from such "talented" squad:
The Illini have fallen to the bottom of the Big Ten despite having plenty of returning talent.Quarterback Juice Williams returned to become a four-year starter at quarterback after leading the Big Ten in total offense last season.He was supposed to have one of the nation’s most heralded receiving corps at his disposal, led by junior wide receiver Arrelious Benn, who is projected to be one of the top receivers taken in next year’s NFL draft if he decides to leave early.ESPN’s Mel Kiper has Jon Asamoah rated as the nation’s top senior offensive guard for next year’s NFL draft, and Illinois has three seniors who have seen significant playing time since coming to campus — Williams, cornerback Dere Hicks and defensive end Doug Pilcher.“I remember in the summer during the Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon, a lot of the buzz was about Illinois’ talent, how they were going to be really the most talented team in the league,” Purdue head coach Danny Hope said. “They still might have the most talent in the league.”But talent alone doesn’t win football games, and Zook has largely failed to capitalize on his highly rated recruiting classes. Of Zook’s 2007 recruiting class, which was rated as the No. 20 class in the nation by Rivals.com, only five are currently in the starting lineup. Eight players from the class of 21 are no longer on the team for various reasons.
“A lot of that has to do with passion,” Zook said. “When our guys are finally tired of this and decide, ‘That’s it, I’m sick of it, I’m not going to take it anymore,’ that’s when we’ll get back on track.”Zook pointed to the up-and-down nature of football in both college and the NFL.“There are a lot of things that have to go right to have a successful season, and as I told them last night, the Tennessee Titans had the best record in football last year,” Zook said about the now 0-6 Titans. “They’re basically the same guys, and coach (Jeff) Fisher is a great football coach, but for whatever reason, things aren’t clicking and that’s the nature of this game sometimes.”
There's that blame the players line again mixed in with a "hey look over there!". Of course Zook just has bad luck. Not his fault. Nothing is ever his fault. Those Illini just keep improving and improving.
And this guy has the balls to speak ill of Urban Meyer. I've never heard Meyer blame a player for a loss or simply chalk up a failure to bad luck. Make your own luck, loser.