So last weekend's Homecoming upset of the Minnesota Golden Gophers seems to have made everyone contemplate a certain question that I was asked a goodly number of times. If you asked it and don't see your tweet listed, it's not because I hate you. It's because embedding eight or so tweets asking the exact same question is a little bit much.
There are two ways to ask The Champaign Room your questions. You can tweet them at us on Twitter using the hashtag #AskTCR -- it just makes it easier to keep track -- or you can email them to us at email@example.com. And if you've got a personal question and you're worried about your privacy, just tell us. We'll change your name to Tom Crean when we publish it on the site. And remember, you can ask us ANYTHING. It doesn't have to be about Illinois or even sports.
@Champaign_Room How much worse a coach is Brady Hoke than Tim Beckman? Give at least 3 supporting details. #AskTCR— Gustavo Adventure (@colintj) October 25, 2014
I'm not entirely sure that Hoke is a worse coach than Beckman, but both might be fine examples of the Peter Principle. Thanks to an incredibly weak year for the conference, Becks may actually get to keep his job whereas we all know Hoke is gone at the end of the year. But here's an attempt at three supporting details.
1. As far as we know, Beckman has never put an obviously concussed player immediately back out on the field, thus endangering one of his student athlete's lives in front of a national audience. Becks may be a goober at times, but he isn't reckless with his players' brains.
2. Beckman's W-L record has improved every year. Two wins in 2012, four wins last year, and already four this year with a solid chance at more down the back stretch. Meanwhile, Hoke has seen fewer wins each year (11 in '11, 8 in '12, 7 in '13, and 3 so far this year).
3. Beckman never turned a blueblood football program into a gaping abyss that no light can escape from. And looking back, why the hell was Hoke actually hired by Michigan in the first place? I must be missing what he did that was so impressive at Ball State and his two years in San Diego.
@Champaign_Room what is this feeling I have in my heart? #AskTCR— Preston G Foolson (@homeydawg) October 25, 2014
Could be pride. Maybe happiness. Probably acid reflux though. Eat a healthier diet.
@Champaign_Room Do you think that Illinois will ever have a "Midnight Madness" event for basketball again? Hopefully back in Huff #AskTCR— Nikhil Kamath (@nikhilkamath_) October 26, 2014
I know that it would be pretty fun if they did. If it's something that John Groce wants to happen, it's going to happen, though I'm more skeptical about it being held in Huff. I wouldn't be shocked to see it return next year. The State Farm Center renovations will be done and the team should be coming off a tournament run with a nice recruiting class. Seems like a nice time to strike while the iron is hot and all that.
An email from WilliamsForThreeeeeee
If a tree falls in the woods, and no one is there to hear it, does Bill Cubit continue to call the heavily-covered backwards screen pass which has now resulted in a turnover in 2 of 3 games? We do not appear to have a play in our set that has a worse Risk to Reward ratio than that play. At least the way we execute it.
Yeah, I'm okay with not seeing this play used anymore. While it can be used effectively, our players haven't demonstrated any sort of proficiency with it. You don't keep giving that toddler a blowtorch. Burn down the curtains once, shame on the toddler. Burn down the curtains twice, WHY ARE YOU GIVING A TODDLER A BLOWTORCH THAT MAKES NO SENSE.
But yeah, Cubit needs to 86 that play pronto.
@Champaign_Room What voodoo was in your MN poster? Will your OSU poster shrink Urban Meyer's head? Why didn't you use witchcraft art sooner?— Chris H. (@GoAUpher) October 27, 2014
You'll have to ask Aaron what dark powers he imbued within that marvelous promo poster. Last night he sent us a draft of this week's poster and he somehow managed to top himself. You'll all be very happy with what's coming through the pipes this week. When we first learned how damn good Aaron is at this, all of us asked him the same question and more or less demanded he start giving the site more artwork. Ideally, we'll be able to talk him into making shirt designs so we can start getting some of that sweet merchandising loot.
@Champaign_Room #AskTCR Give me two more wins. But also don't because that means Beck's keeps his job. Which he shouldn't(?) #Ambiguity— Michael Leszczynski (@The_Chinsk) October 25, 2014
So, after beating a fair Minn team...do you think the Illini can find two more wins? If so, which games? @Champaign_Room #AskTCR— Brad Repplinger (@brepp310) October 27, 2014
@Champaign_Room How many more wins will it take for the age of Beckman to continue? #asktcr— chris davies (@chris_d_davies) October 27, 2014
@Champaign_Room #AskTCR Beckman is still gone, right? Would a bowl game (inconceivable as it sounds) still save his job?— Bob Kibble (@BKibbs) October 28, 2014
See what I meant? I grouped these tweets all together because they're all getting down to the same basic point that I'll address in two parts. First, do I see two more wins on the schedule. I definitely see the possibility of them. Even with Ohio State hurting and them potentially looking ahead to the Michigan State game, I do not see us upsetting them in Columbus this weekend. It would be a lot of fun, but I just don't see it happening. But those last three games? Those are all winnable. Iowa, Penn State, and Northwestern are three teams with good defenses and absolutely terrible offenses. The best win any of the three schools have is NW over Wisconsin. The Illini should be in all three matchups.
As for if Beckman is gone or not, that all depends. If he makes a bowl game, I don't see how he can get fired. Before the season, we all pretty much accepted that a 6-6 season showed enough improvement that he'd get at least another year. And while the Purdue loss sucked something fierce, the Minnesota win using a backup QB certainly helps to balance things out. Two more wins means knocking off at least one of Ohio State, Iowa, and Penn State. I think Mike Thomas' hands would be tied when it comes to removing Becks. Making changes to the staff though? That should still be on the table.
An email from Shane-
Please reassure me that Beckman is gone after this season. Awesome win this weekend. Very happy for the much maligned staff and players. Somehow I feel like Beckman is screwing up his own firing. How is that possible?What are the top 5 Halloween costumes you've ever seen in person?
Scroll up for the answer to your first question. Second question though:
1. Pac-Man and his ghosts riding around Chambana on bicycles was fantastic. I don't remember what year of undergrad it was, but it was great.
2. The army of human-sized traffic cones. They would just stop moving and block off entire sections of wherever they were at. It was incredibly frustrating, but a damn good idea.
3. A girl dressed as Ripley from Alien with a little xenomorph stuffed animal attached to her. There's something to be said for girls willing to do something different than just sexy version of something.
4. People dressed as Mario Kart characters in homemade karts with balloons attached to the back of them, like they're playing the battle mode.
5. Wasn't a Halloween costume, but once saw a girl at FUBAR for an exchange dressed as Bowser. Trash can back for the shell with little yellow spikes on it and everything. Drunkenly told her that she had the best costume there by a mile. Which she did.
I'm very excited for this and next weekends (vet school Halloween has to be a week late because of exams). Halloween is my favorite holiday. I'm going as Magnum P.I. and have been growing a terrible mustache for about a month now. All of you should share what you're being in the comments.
.@Champaign_Room so who is our quarterback going forward?#AskTCR— Stu Almeleh (@SAlmeleh) October 27, 2014
It feels like it has to be Reilly O'Toole until he either falters (or is injured) or Wes Lunt comes back healthy. Lunt may be ready in time for the Iowa game, making these closely-spaced bye weeks look like a lovely blessing from above. I wouldn't be opposed to using either O'Toole or Aaron Bailey this week, but O'Toole looked pretty damn good until he was pulled out for Bailey last week. I don't really care which one gets the start, I just don't want to screw up the momentum if that QB starts hot.
@Champaign_Room Do you think that O'Toole now has enough confidence, after a Big 10 victory, to go to OSU and lead the Ilini? #AskTCR— Duane Louis Phillips (@RunDLP) October 28, 2014
I'm not really sure how much confidence is going to have to do with it. I'm very happy for Reilly that he finally got to lead the team to victory over a Power 5 opponent because that's something no one can ever take away from him. But there's a large degree of difficulty that gets increased between Minnesota and Ohio State and only half of that applies to him. Ohio State has a better defense. OSU's defensive S&P ranking is 19 compared to Minnesota's 33. More damning? OSU's overall FEI ranking is 20. Minnesota is 53. So even if Reilly can manage to play as well against the Buckeyes as he did the Gophers, the defense has a much tougher test ahead of them. If J.T. Barrett is healthy enough to play, we won't be able to get away with just stacking the box and forcing them to beat us through the air. Barrett can actually do that. If he's out though? Man, who the hell knows.
#AskTCR So when does the 2004-05 national championship banner get raised at the State Farm Center?— TJMC / Pirate Dash (@toonboy92484) October 27, 2014
While the NCAA is probably going to strip the title from UNC, it sadly doesn't get awarded to us retroactively. Which I'm okay with. Screw winning by default.
@Champaign_Room I didn't go into game b/c my tailgate had satellite tv. Am I a bad luck charm? Should I skip the rest of the games? #AskTCR— Mike Zagorski (@mzagorskijr) October 28, 2014
We'll have to test the hypothesis against Iowa. You know, for science.
#AskTCR How come the refs reviewed the ejection hit on the Minny player but didn't review the one we had in the Texas State game? Go Illini!— Rob (@IlliniDodgers) October 28, 2014
Because this was a conference game. I didn't agree with the Earnest Thomas III ejection in the Texas State game, but it was a non-con matchup against an imaginary school. It was a bad call, but no one was watching so there wasn't really any pressure to correct it. I'm actually happy they overturned the call last week. It wasn't targeting. The rule is well-intentioned, but the reviews are pretty necessary. Otherwise defenders get the short end of the stick when an offensive player goes low, like O'Toole did.
@Champaign_Room Why is our basketball team being slept on? Are people actually sleeping on us or are we not that good? #AskTCR— Anthony Borkowski (@AJB_29) October 28, 2014
Deep conference+recency bias+the only thing people think of with Illinois basketball right now is five stars saying no=a slept on team. Missing out on the tournament last year followed by a brief NIT run means we won't come into the season with any real respect, which is kind of fair. I still think the team will be dancing come March though, so there's nothing to really be upset about.
ILL should feel more confident after OSU's close 1 vs PSU,exposing Buckeye holes- OR less bec Bucks will be extra motivated/angry? #AskTCR— BOOERNS (@MichaelBerms) October 28, 2014
I'm not really worried about the Buckeyes being extra angry or motivated against us because of their poor showing against Penn State. The narrative I see as more likely is Illinois covering the spread because of OSU pulling starters in the second half to make sure they aren't injured for the more important game against Sparty.
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