So it seems that some people outside the program are a bit more optimistic about Illinois football this season than most of us who follow along closely. SBNation recently had its college writers predict how each FBS conference would lookat the end of the season, and after 43 ballots were turned in -- I was not one of them -- the Illini found themselves tabbed to finish fifth in the Leaders Division.
Here's how the Big Ten looks according to the voters.
Suck it, Purdue!
Now, if you look at this by the "average standing prediction" the Illini were better off than both Minnesota and Iowa as well. Of course, it's important to remember that the teams were predicted in relation to their division. Had Illinois been swapped with Iowa it's entirely possible its "average standing prediction" would have been 6.0.
Either way, it's nice to know we're predicted to finish ahead of a Purdue team that beat us 20-17 in Champaign last season.