Illinois football is a work in progress, and while some progress has no doubt been made this season, there is still a lot of work left to do. And tonight presents Tim Beckman and his program an opportunity to speed up that process a bit.
From a football level, knocking off Wisconsin at home during prime time, as the only Big Ten game going on, would be a huge statement to the country, and to the players on this team as well. If they can beat Wisconsin they can beat anybody in this conference.
It would also help jumpstart the program, because as we wrote earlier this week, it's a huge recruiting weekend for the Illini. While running back Madre London is the only player making an official visit this week, the seats at Memorial Stadium will be filled with other recruits -- from both the 2014 and 2015 classes -- on unofficial visits to Champaign. It's an opportunity to impress a lot of people tonight.
It's also an opportunity to see our Big Ten losing streak reach 16 games. In fact, that's the likely outcome, as Wisconsin is a very good football team, and one that the Illini just don't match up with all that well.
But that's the thing about shocking upsets. If we expected them to happen they wouldn't be shocking upsets, would they?
So put on something orange -- or droogish -- and join us in the GameThread for tonight's game.
Illinois 3-2 (0-1) vs. No. 25 Wisconsin 4-2 (2-1)
Time: 7pm Central
TV: Big Ten Network (Kevin Kugler, Chuck Long, J Leman)
Line: Wisconsin -14
Forecast: 48 degrees, clear skies, 10% chance of rain