My first year in Manhattan was the final year Nebraska was in the Big 12. The Huskers came to town on a Thursday night to play the Wildcats. Their fans started arriving in RVs that Tuesday, setting up shop in the sheep pastures that become tailgating lots in the fall. Three nights in a sheep pasture, just to watch a football game. Kansas State plays Auburn tomorrow. RVs started showing up during the day on Monday. I hope that Illinois football becomes that weird someday.
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 #asktcr Now that illini have helmet stickers, is there a helmet-sticker-tracker?— Don Smith (@DCSThree) September 10, 2014
That would be fantastic and I will ask about it at the Purdue post-game press conference. That's right, we're credentialed again. But yeah, I'm just thrilled we have helmet stickers in general. I've always been a sucker for them and they're probably my favorite part of college football uniforms. I'm surprised they haven't gotten more attention.
@Champaign_Room It's gone very very bad every time we play on the road vs. the Pac-12. Why do we keep doing it??? #askTCR— Austin McDowell (@austin_mcd97) September 13, 2014
Got to. This America, man. The good news is that at least it seems every Big Ten team craps the bed when they head out west for football. We have to play out there if we want Pac-12 opponents to come to the Midwest. They aren't the MAC and actually require quid pro quo scheduling series. And it's kind of nice seeing a random west coast opponent every year or so. The Washington series was the last of the Ron Guenther Schedule Experience, so we're done with the Pac-12 for a little while. We get North Carolina (15-16), South Florida (17-18), UConn (19-20), Virginia (21-22), and Kansas (23-24) over the next decade and that should all be far more manageable.
@Champaign_Room do the Illini respond with a blowout win this week after the loss, or do we have to rally again in the 4th quarter? #AskTCR— Guillermo (@g_mo68) September 15, 2014
You'll have to wait 'til the prediction thread on Friday to find out!
An email from WilliamsForThreeeeeee-
You are allowed to purge your memory of viewing one televised college event and one televised pro sports event in your life that you watched. So you will have no memory of watching those games and literally get those (2 hours, 3 hours, etc.) of your life back. What are they, respectively?
For my pro game, I'm going with Super Bowl 41. Other than watching Vontae Davis spring through the halls of Scott Hall after Devin Hester housed the opening kick, I could happily live without the following hours spent watching it in 391 with my future roommates I would end up not getting along with.
College game? The 2008 Rose Bowl. As much fun as laying down hungover on my parents' couch in misery watching my beloved Illini get absolutely demolished by John David Booty was, I would happily take those hours back. God, that game sucked and it went downhill from there very fast.
@rjnjr86 @Champaign_Room if we finish in last place of this B1G West, do you think we should stop trying at football? #AskTCR— Lance Rabenort (@rabo12) September 15, 2014
I won't say demolish the program, but Tim Beckman and Tim Banks would both need to be gone. There's no excuse to finish behind Purdue this season. I need to see more of Northwestern before believing they'll finish above us as well. Hell, Iowa might even be in the conversation (maybe). But yeah, a last place finish in the West, which likely would be last overall in the conference, results in a ride on the three-legged mare.
@Champaign_Room it has been reported that Video killed the Radio Star. Will Goodell suspend Video for next two games? Season? #AskTCR— BigToe (@BigToe66) September 15, 2014
He'll take the credit for their second symphony, that's for sure.
@Champaign_Room Any chance of an updated time line of basketball recruits' official visits to u of i campus? #AskTCR— Jordan Barr (@jayBarr21) September 15, 2014
Seeing as either Matt or Jim favorited this tweet using the account, I'd say the odds are pretty good that you'll be getting this in the near future. I'm sure they'll answer you in the comments.
@Champaign_Room What will the media say when the Illini are in the playoff w/ one loss? After they beat Oregon to be Natl Champs? #AskTCR— Mike Zagorski (@mzagorskijr) September 16, 2014
I think they'll be far more concerned about how the Antichrist rose to power without any of us noticing it or the fact that the dead are walking the Earth once more. We'll get pushed back to the post second commercial break segment, since no one watches that anyways.
An email from David-
In my own personal dream world, where would Illinois football be with a coaching staff of Zook recruiting, Koenning running the D, and Wild Bill Cubit on O?Bigger athletic department moment: smashing #1 Wake Forest or taking down mighty #1 Ohio St in the Horseshoe?With all the pub DCSIII has been getting on #askTCR, is Plainfield officially the mecca of Illinois fandom?
I know I'm not the only one thinking it, but man, it's really weird that no team in all of college football seems to want to have Ron Zook on their staff in any capacity. Maybe he's happier being an NFL assistant or maybe the money wasn't good enough, but you'd think one of the 100+ teams would have found a place for him. I think the most important variable is who the head coach actually is on this dream team. If it's an average coach, that trio would probably be an 8-4/7-5 kind of team, which would be nice.
You know what's depressing about both of those moments? They ultimately led to nothing. The basketball team at least lost in the championship game that year, but we haven't even been back to the Sweet Sixteen since. No forward momentum at all. Same with the Ohio State upset. Yeah, it got us back to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1984, but we were blown out and have been in a tailspin more or less ever since. I'll take the Ohio State upset though because I was on campus for it.
Can't remember if I've told this story on here before or not, so here we go. My senior year at Plainfield Central High School, I was invited to one of the Rotary Club Lunches to be vetted for a scholarship. I went in a group that was me and two girls who were also going to Illinois the next fall. When that was announced to the crowd, one old man loudly announced "Well, none of you must be football fans then" and started laughing very hard. I, in my wonderful 17-year-old wisdom, just stared at him menacingly.
I did not get that scholarship.
Both Turner and Zook had upset wins in their 3rd year. Which game is Beckman's upset win this year? @Champaign_Room #AskTCR— Brad Repplinger (@brepp310) September 16, 2014
Been seeing this a lot lately. In my mind, an upset has to be beating a team that is at least going to a bowl game because how much of an upset is beating a five win squad really? Not much of one at all, that's how much. So even if we go into the Northwestern game as the underdogs, it's not really going to qualify. Which makes my choice Iowa. Been far too danged long since we've played the Hawkeyes and they look vulnerable.
#AskTCR How will Malik play against Texas St? What player would you most want to see at a different position- based on entertainment?— Bryce (@OrangeBlueCraze) September 16, 2014
Turner, and the passing game in general, should have an easier time against Texas State solely because the talent level disparity. Are we a demonstrably better team than they are? Maybe not. But the players have more talent, which helps in those matchups.
Based solely on entertainment value, I want to see Jihad Ward play tight end. Really I just want to see him play anywhere on offense because I think it would be hilarious. But if you used him as a tight end or fullback in a goal line set? That could actually be productive. The man is a massive athletic freak of nature and could blow up a linebacker with ease.
#AskTCR So Penn State is having a Joe-out this week for their game versus UMass. Cool, lame or just cut the f@ckimg cord folks? I say lame.— Andy George (@MrOrangenblue) September 17, 2014
It's both of the last two. It's not an official school-sanctioned thingamajig, so it at least has that going for it, but holy shit is it time to move on. They might be able to put that statue back up some 20 or 30 odd years from now, but no way in hell does the university get to honor Paterno and not catch massive (and reasonable) amounts of flak/hell for it. I still think vacating all of his wins was odd, but that's how I always feel about that as a punishment in general. I had and still have zero problem with basically taking his name off everything though. It's going to take at least five years for crap like this to die out. Look at our own fanbase and the Chief Illiniwek battle that's still raging despite his retirement as a symbol seven years ago.
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