Guys. Guys. GUYS (and lady readers too)! FOOTBALL IS NEXT WEEK! We are a mere handful of days away from the wonderful college football season starting! You can almost taste those sweet Youngstown State Penguin tears. We'll actually have things to talk about again and that is super exciting. Can't wait.
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 Is it unreasonable to think I can make the opener against YSU if my wife gives birth the day before? #imkiddingdear #AskTCR— LiquidKourage (@LiquidKerr) August 18, 2014
First off, congrats! You're about to be a dad (if you aren't one already)! That's pretty awesome. But no, it's not unreasonable at all. That baby needs to learn how the world works. As Illini fans, we're only really guaranteed one win per year and this Saturday might be it! Sorry baby Kourage, but your dad needs this. I'm sure the Mrs. will be very, very understanding.
@Champaign_Room #AskTCR All are saying we need a bowl this year and that next year we'll be good. What's min wins for Beckham to survive?— Brad Stahl (@bmstahl) August 18, 2014
This seems to be this year's version of "Are we going to a bowl game?" that Tom got multiple times a week last year (where have you gone, Mike?). I've answered it multiple times now, but maybe you just missed those mailbags. It's okay. You have a busy life and can't hangout with us all the time. We understand.
/wipes away the tears
If we make a bowl game, Beckman will be here next year. You don't fire a guy who's clearly found his sea legs and improved his win total by two each year. What coach would want to come here after that? Any fewer than five wins and he's gone. Five with noticeable improvement is likely the floor for what would be acceptable.
@Champaign_Room Who is your favorite college football player of all-time and why? (You can give an Illini and a non-Illini player) #AskTCR— Aaron Rench (@ARench89) August 18, 2014
I have a hard time picking players from before my actual awareness and understanding of what was happening on the field. I know Red Grange was amazing. But I didn't watch him play. So yeah, I use a lot of recency bias in my choices.
I'll start with my Illini player. It's Eddie McGee. From an entertainment and statistical standpoint, Eddie is a terrible choice. He was a mediocre backup quarterback who then became a bad wide receiver. But he was my neighbor in the dorms and was a very fun and understated guy to be around. Eddie did not have a microwave in his dorm room and would randomly knock on my door, incredibly quietly, and ask if he could heat up a breakfast sandwich. Did not matter what time of day it was, it was always a breakfast sandwich. Never saw the man eat anything else. I miss those days.
Non-Illini division? Probably Collin Klein. He made no sense. Here's this giant antelope of a man with a weird throwing motion that somehow produces laser beams and oh yeah, he cannot be tackled. At all. He's actually still just running around on the Konza Prairie a few miles from my apartment. Also he inspired this loveliness.
An email from Shane-
Help me settle and argument. Which is the better movie, the original Mighty Ducks or D2?Using only 3 words, what is your impression of each Big Ten football team this season?and
Illinois- Better, still meh
Indiana- What's a defense?
Iowa- Ferentz is overpaid
Maryland- Likeliest to surprise
Michigan-Bye bye Brady
Michigan State- Must break you
Minnesota- Letdown season ahead
Nebraska- Pelini gone wild
Northwestern- Back to subpar
Ohio State- Doomed without Braxton
Penn State-Moving back up
Purdue- Still bottom feeding
Rutgers- We're a joke
Wisconsin- Another Rose Bowl
As for your movie question, the answer is neither. Unpopular opinion time, but the Mighty Ducks movies are terrible. So is Rookie of the Year. And Angels in the Outfield. Our childhoods are rife with terrible sports movies made for children.
@Champaign_Room Dunkin Donuts over Starbucks right? Speaking strictly coffee. #AskTCR— Matthew Agase (@mattagase) August 19, 2014
I don't drink coffee, so I have no idea. I do love Dunkin's donuts though and am mad that the closest one is about an hour away and in the middle of the Kansas Turnpike.
@Champaign_Room If outgoing baseball "commissioner" Selig had a walk-up song, what would it be? #AskTCR— BigToe (@BigToe66) August 19, 2014
I've spent far too much time thinking about this question over the past day. Well done, Big Toe. But while sitting here actually putting the article together, the obvious answer hit me, as if through divine inspiration.
I mean, what else could be more perfect? Nothing, that's what.
@Champaign_Room T/F: Illinois football is ranked in 2016 preseason rankings. #AskTCR— Stian Branton (@FriendOfSwayze) August 19, 2014
Hmm. At first I thought you meant 2015, and that would obviously be false. I want to be optimistic, but 2016 is just so far away. I'm going to say false, but we'll be in the also receiving votes section. So not ranked, but maybe somewhere in the thirties, which is a fine enough place to start the season.
Brunson/Bragg and Shamet or Evans/Thomas and Milton? #AskTCR— Chase Rainwater (@ChaseRainH20) August 20, 2014
Give me the latter combo. I've fallen for Jawun Evans' basketballing charms, so him alone would be enough to make me pick that group. Thomas and Bragg are more or less a wash to me. But Milton is the final key cog because his name is Shake and I really want a guy named Shake on our basketball team.
What are the chances they name Reilly O'Toole the starter, since he's a senior and were playing Youngstown State? #AskTCR— Bryce (@OrangeBlueCraze) August 20, 2014
<1%. Unless you got some inside info when you were in Rantoul last week, I just don't see that happening. We'll know for sure today, but I'm pretty damn positive Wes Lunt will be announced the starter. If we go up by enough, Reilly will get some snaps in the fourth, but there's no real reason to give him the start. Come out strong, let the starters work out their first game jitters, keep everyone healthy, and move forward.
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