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#AskTCR: Beckman, Bowl Games, & Dogs


His hair looks like one of those visors that has fake hair attached to it.
His hair looks like one of those visors that has fake hair attached to it.
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Sorry about the one week hiatus the mailbag took. I was only back in Chicagoland for five days and had a great many people and places to see. Have you been to the David Bowie exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art? If not, you really need to go. It was amazing.

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 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.


Michigan. The question could pair Michigan with almost any Big Ten team and the answer would still be Michigan. The Wolverines have a massive national fanbase that travels well and gets eyes on your bowl game. Northwestern would be picked over very few schools.


It can't hurt it. Any time you can point out to a recruit that "Hey, we made it to a bowl game" is a good time. I don't know how much that actually affects the mindset of a potential recruit, but I'd rather go to a school that just went to one than didn't if all else was equal. What I think will have the greatest effect on that recruiting class is the less tenuous grasp Tim Beckman now has on his job. His continued employment is now more secured, making it easier to convince recruits to suit up for the Illini.

I'm not really sure what there is for Wes Lunt to learn from Reilly O'Toole. They're just two completely different styles of quarterback. There are definitely things Aaron Bailey could learn from O'Toole, but it's not like Lunt is going to be running the option.


Looking at the 2015 football schedule, Illinois should be able to make another bowl game. If they do that, the 2016 head coach will be ... Tim Beckman. The stability he brings might not be the sexiest thing in the world, but it would be pretty damn nice if Fighting Illini football stopped being a roller coaster and turned into something a little more reliable. If they don't make a bowl game, I'm going with Pat Narduzzi (provided he doesn't take over at Nebraska this winter).


First, I ask housing to not kick the students living in the dorms out until the Sunday before Fall Break. Making them leave by 3 PM on that Saturday eliminates almost any chance that they'll stay for the football game.

Second, I give every incoming freshman free tickets to every home football game. Doesn't matter if we're playing Western Illinois or Ohio State, free tickets. If you want butts in the seats, this is a fantastic way to do it. If you hook them while they're young and excitable, they'll keep coming back for more. I feel like a drug dealer typing that, but it's totally true.

A pair of questions from WilliamsForThreeeeeee-

If you could own any dog, real or fiction, which one would he or she be? And you would not have to live in the same timeframe as said dog (that is, if you pick Astro from the Jetsons, it is not assumed you are living in the future – same goes for Old Yeller the other direction).
If you already have a dog, it is understood that you must pretend you don’t since he/she is clearly currently your favorite

Where are my manners - it’s Thanksgiving week! Here’s a festive question: Second helping of turkey and all the fixings, or earmark that stomach real estate for dessert fare?

As you can tell, he sent these last week. But I shall still answer them. Because he's a pretty cool guy.

My family has two wonderful dogs, Cole (lab/mastiff) and Jack (pure lab). But neither of them would feel bad about me choosing Lockjaw over them. Who is Lockjaw, you non-nerdy folk may ask?

That's Lockjaw. He is a member of the Inhumans, a Marvel superhero group closely associated with the Fantastic Four. They've got a movie coming out in the nearish future (2018), so you'll get to see him on the big screen soon enough. Besides being a massive bulldog monster, he has super-strength and is capable of teleporting himself and others anywhere they want to go. That is the best possible dog ever. Throw in the human-length lifespan and it's a no-brainer.

I'm going with a second helping of the meal because I am an absolute sucker for stuffing. Also not huge on desserts. But man, give me like five plates of stuffing.


I imagine Reilly is a better basketball player, on account of his quickness. But now I'm just imagining the two of them in some bizarre sort of pentathlon that is only quasi-related to football. Basketball, darts, javelin, swimming, and ping pong. MAKE THIS HAPPEN, MIKE THOMAS. I WILL PAY TO WATCH IT.


How soon they forget.


Yes. I love cranberries in any form, so having them on the table is always a plus. Did you know they make sparkling cranberry juice now? Because I learned this yesterday while at the grocery store and now have a bottle of it in my fridge, pretending to be wine.


  1. First week of the World Cup. All of the soccer, all of the time.
  2. Opening Day for baseball. I woke up at 3 AM to watch the A's vs Mariners game that was in Japan a few years ago because I missed baseball that much.
  3. New Year's Bowl Day. Nurse that hangover by lying in bed and watching other people hurt their heads!
  4. First week of March Madness. Just like the World Cup, but far more deadly.

And way down around 1,000,000 is the three days after the MLB All-Star game in which zero sports are happening anywhere.


I'm not really sure I understand the question, so I'm going to need you to show up in the comments section and explain it. This does make me think of the people who won't renew their season tickets for next year because Beckman wasn't canned. "WE'RE DEDICATED TO MEDIOCRITY!" they scream to the heavens, ignoring the fact that we've actually been worse than mediocre for most of the past twenty years. Illinois isn't going to get a Nick Saban or an Urban Meyer on the open market. And they aren't going to snag an up-and-comer that's worth a tinker's damn if they can Beckman after three years when his record has managed to improve each year.


I generally don't care for parody accounts. They tend to be poorly done and it's just someone using the same bad joke to get Twitter famous. They're a step above people who thrive on manual RTs. That being said, @FauxPelini was one of the more entertaining ones. I could see a @FauxRyan being pretty similar.



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