I had somewhat high, but what I thought were still realistic, expectations coming into this season. Eight wins at the most, if everything went right. Six or seven wins on days I was feeling more realistic.
I talked it over with some current players and Derek Dimke on Independence Day this summer. They agreed with my assessment and we all looked forward to the first season in the great Tim Beckman turnaround. There was some grumbling about his leadership style, but everything was still shiny and new.
Then things started falling apart everywhere. Injuries. Confusion. Disappointment.
And then, on October 27th, the Fighting Illini lost to the Indiana Hoosiers. At home. Welcome to the nadir of the season.
Coming into this game, the Hoosiers' defense had only recorded twelve sacks all season. They managed seven today. Seven. Remember when the OL was a strength of the team? Now it looks like me standing outside the bar on a cold night. "Oh, you need to get by? Go ahead, I'm not that cold".
The offense isn't working. The defense isn't disciplined. The special teams have not improved. Tommy Davis should never be allowed to return a punt again.
We lost to Indiana. Things can't really get worse than that. But don't make the mistake of believing that means things can only get better.