HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT
Rivalry week continues as we march closer the game with Northwestern. Every year, both teams play for the LOLHat (Land of Lincoln), but this year, we play for something more.
Both teams have the same record, 5-6, one win away from a bowl berth. A chance to practice for an extra month, to gain more 'W's, and to grow the program. A bowl game is an understated boon for any qualifying team, missing out can take it's toll in following years.
For Illinois, they haven't been to a bowl since the 2011-12 season, when they won in two consecutive years. Northwestern hasn't been to the postseason in two years, when they captured their second bowl win in program history (Hahaha).
It also may be a battle for one coach to keep his job. Illinois' Tim Beckman doesn't have complete support from his fan base after going 3-20 in conference play since becoming coach in 2012. With wins over a very good Minnesota and a down Penn State, Beckman may have done enough to secure a fourth year, but the outcome of the rivalry game might have more say than anything else.
The game will be played at 11:00 CT on ESPNU.
Also, Happy Thanksgiving to all who read this sentence. If you did not read that sentence, you are not wished a Happy Thanksgiving.