THERE IS COLLEGE FOOTBALL ON TONIGHT! Yes, it's only Abilene Christian at Georgia State, but that doesn't mean I won't be stopping by the liquor store to buy my traditional first week of the football season case of Hamm's after surgery lab. BECAUSE I CAN AND THERE WILL BE TAILGATING THIS SATURDAY. These are truly the salad days!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
That's a damn fine question that I think depends on what position group you lump the STAR in with. Personally, I consider the STAR to be part of the secondary. More of a mega-safety than an extra linebacker. And since Earnest Thomas III should be one of the defensive stars, I'm going to have to go with the secondary. The linebackers will be solid and reliable, which is more than I'm ready to say about the defensive line.
That leaves us with the formerly much-maligned secondary. The battle-tested group should be more than ready enough to step up behind Thomas' leadership and V'Angelo Bentley's incredible athleticism should result in a vast improvement in coverage and interceptions this fall.
I tend to keep it fairly simple. I just order six spicy garlic and six jammin' jalapeno. I'm mostly indifferent as to whether they're boneless or not. But the important part is ranch dressing. Blue cheese is absolutely disgusting and if you like it I don't know what to say about that. It's mold! You like dipping your deeply fried chicken remnants in mold? No. No no no no no. What is wrong with you.
Also, I do not understand why they offer carrots and celery. I like carrots, but I don't see what they have to do with chicken wings. Doesn't make any sense. And celery? Celery is straight up worthless. It tastes like crunchy nothing. And don't say "BUT YOU CAN EAT PEANUT BUTTER ON IT!". You are an adult. You can just eat peanut butter out of the jar. You don't need to put it on the most lackluster vegetable known to the western world.
An email from James-Who do you think are potential head coaching candidates for the football team in 10 years? 20 years?I hope the best for Beckman, but he wont be here in 10 years.Juice? Aaron Morehead? Todd Monken?
This ... this is hard. Ten years in the college football world is an insane amount of time. The only thing we know for certain is that Bill Snyder will still be coaching a group of JUCOs and cattle thieves to a 10 win record in Manhattan, Kansas. That and the unstoppable forward march of time are all that are certain.
I don't know that Juice will be ready to run an entire team in ten years. He's not even really coaching any position right now and you need to make your bones in the lesser leagues before being given the reins of a Power 5 squad. Ten years from now, they'll either be reaching for an up and coming MAC or C-USA prospect (best case) or a bigger Power 5 school retread (please never return to this well).
It's not impossible. Washington does have a new (but very good) coach, lost Bishop Sankey and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and will be without their starting QB to open the season. So there's always the chance that they won't have completely gelled or worked out all the offseason regime change kinks by week three.
But it isn't very likely. I'd give the Illini maybe a 20% chance of going undefeated before conference play. I'd be thrilled, but I'm not holding my breath. I'd pass out by then and that would be no good. Be all unconscious, prolly hit my head on something as I fall. Don't want that at all.
Comparatively, I feel like I have to go with Groce. While we're all optimistic that Beckman will finally lead the football team back to the promised land of a bowl game, we'll all be shocked if the basketball team doesn't make it back to the big dance. So right now, I'm betting on the basketball team having a better year though I do still believe that the football team takes a nice step forward this fall.
An email from Shane-
Fun fact: Pronouncing Joliet as "Jolly-ette" is a misdemeanor in that town which can be punished with a $5 fine.What bothers you more? When people pronounce Illinois as "El"inois or when they say the "s" as the end. Don't get me started on when they do both at the same time.Do people in Kansas have as big of a problem as I do with Kansas and Arkansas being pronounced so differently despite there being no logical reason for that to happen?
Saying the "s" at the end actually doesn't actually bother me. It makes me laugh. No one in their right mind actually believes that Illinois ends with a verbal "s". Pronouncing it "El"inois just makes you sound like a bumpkin.
The only time I've noticed the Kansas Arkansas pronunciation difference come up is when talking about a lovely town in southern Kansas called Arkansas City. It's pronounced like the state I live in, but with are at the front. It makes no sense and sounds terrifying and I never plan on visiting.
Nope. Still super confused about it and actually never want to be informed of the meaning. It's more fun as a mystery.