So uh, holy shit.
Being an Illinois football fan has always been a massively masochistic exercise in stupidity. That's just a fact. This is a program that has ten winning seasons since I was born. I turn 28 next summer. Don't mention the historical greatness. Don't mention Dick Butkus and Red Grange. Let's talk about the world post-Vietnam. Let's talk about what Illinois football has been since computers stopped being bigger than Buicks.
A joke. A punchline. An afterthought.
Yeah, they've been to two BCS bowl games (and lost both). Yup, they had that wonderful Rose Bowl run in 1983. Those are outliers. Outliers, as a rule, matter a lot less.
Illinois is not a sleeping giant. It's not. It's a bad football program. It may have once been a sleeping giant, but eventually that sleep turned into a coma and welp, looks like that coma is actually missing a heartbeat.
I'm pretty sure I've used this article title before, but there's a wonderful line from an issue of 100 Bullets to the effect of "The dangerous part about hitting rock bottom is assuming that means things can only get better. You forget they can stay bad." Things didn't stay bad. Things got worse.
Tim Beckman lied to injured players.
Tim. Beckman. Lied. To. Injured. Players.
That is the unforgivable sin for a coach. You are in charge of the welfare of these young men. Their health and futures are in your hands. And you didn't just drop the ball. You stabbed it with a knife, dug a pit, spiked the ball into it, and lit the pit on fire.
Tim Beckman is now the 4th consecutive Illini football coach to leave the program with a sub-.500 record. George H.W. Bush was in office the last time someone left here in the black. The best record in that time is Lou Tepper's .446. Yeah, that Lou Tepper.
So it's one week until opening night against Kent State and we are already using an interim head coach. That is insane. That is Illinois football.
Yesterday, I predicted the team would go 5-7 this year and that would be the end of Beckman. I thought "well, at least he's leaving the program more stable than when he found it." I am apparently very funny.
So yeah, we'll have some coaching search articles coming very soon. But we need to be honest for a second. This program is every joke that other schools say. It's a tire fire getting hit by a tornado that made a recent pass over a manure field.
Best of luck, Coach Cubit. At least the expectations will be low.