While some of us hoped that Tim Beckman would be fired after only one season and other were sure he would, Tim Beckman never thought it was an actual possibility. Not even when his team lost its last nine games of the season by a combined score of 333-118 -- which works out to an average of 37-13 -- did Beckman ever really feel his seat getting hotter.
At least, that's what he told ESPNChicago's Scott Powers.
"No [I didn't think I'd be fired.] I just got here," said Beckman.
And he wasn't fired. In fact, nobody on the coaching staff has been fired since the end of the season, which is pretty remarkable given how terrible of a season it was. Though that doesn't mean there won't be staff changes coming shortly, as he refused to comment when asked about any potential comings and goings on the staff.
Beckman did say that he feels pressure to win every year, and that he and his coaching staff knew there were problems that needed to be fixed, they just "didn't fix them fast enough." Or at all, in some cases.
However, he's still confident that he'll be able to accomplish his goals in Champaign in the future.
"I still believe in the plan we're doing," Beckman said. "It's not like it's not worked before, and I'm making this stuff up. I've seen it. I know it works. I believe in this plan. How do you move forward? You go out and get quality football players from quality programs. That's what we're doing.
"This is a great university. The education is outstanding. The tradition of the Illinois football program is at the top when you talk about Big Ten championships and national championships. It's been done here. We have to get back there consistently."
Which sounds nice, but I'm not sure about that tradition Beckman speaks of. Yes, Illinois has claimed 5 national titles, but the last one came in 1951. As for Big Ten titles, it's true we've won the conference 15 times, but only two of those have come since 1984, with the last in 2001.
So lately the tradition of this program has been quite different than the one Beckman portrays.
Of course, as Illini football fans, what else can we do at this point? Whether he's wanted back next season or not by the majority of us, Beckman will be back in 2013. There's nothing we can do to change it.
All we can do is hope that he's right and that his plan will work. If not, well, then we'll just have to start over again.