Football recruiting is really going strong...for other members of the Big Ten. For the Illinois Fighting Illini, things are mostly quiet. Lovie Smith has only been on the job for a month and a half now, but it's apparent that he's got his work cut out for him and it's a long way to the top. He hasn't yet established that he's the greatest coach in the Big Ten and won't coach a game until the fall. You know how he could put everyone on notice? By defeating his Big Ten counterparts in single combat.
But what's the best format? Boxing? Wrestling? MMA?
Sumo? (Tracy Claeys would have too much of an advantage) No, in a tribute to how unrealistic this would actually be, I'm envisioning this playing out like Street Fighter II.
P1: Lovie Smith
Attributes: High Defense. Good strength. Average speed. Well-rounded, if not flashy.
Ground Pound: Lovie's bread and butter offensively is a good ground game. Use this attack repeatedly to keep your opponent on his toes.
Deep Bomb: From Rex Grossman to Jay Cutler to now Wes Lunt, Lovie has deployed quarterbacks willing and able to sling it 50 yards down the field. Catch an opponent unprepared and inflict massive damage!
Orange Krush: Lovie's Ultimate Technique in which he convinces Illinois basketball fans that the opponent bad-mouthed Illini hoops on the internet. Watch a frothing, rabid sea of orange devour your foe!
Stage 1: Tracy Claeys
Attributes: High defense. Low speed.
Dilly Bar: It's never too cold for this projectile-based attack
Leidner Punch: A wildly inaccurate physical attack
One of the less intimidating physical specimens, I can't help but think that in real life, Tracy Claeys could easily be dispatched by Lovie. Use the punches, use the kicks, but don't attempt a throw or you might hurt yourself. Lovie wins!
Stage 2: Mike Riley
Attributes: Average across the board.
Clock Management: Deals and receives triple damage with single digits left on match timer. May backfire.
Bicycle Kick: Years of riding his bike to work have inspired him to take a page out of Liu Kang's book.
Pressure to be nicer than Bo Pelini makes Riley less ferocious in combat. Therefore, a sustained assault with punch combos to set up the Deep Bomb finish is all that's required. Lovie wins!
Stage 3: Paul Chryst
Attributes: Above-average offensive rating. Good alcohol tolerance.
Hand of Barry: Athletic director Barry Alvarez does what he does best and intervenes in his coach's affairs to throw a punch
Keep blocking until his
top runningback fist suffers an inevitable injury. Ground Pounding won't work here, so set up the Deep Bomb and execute it. Lovie wins!
Stage 4: Kevin Wilson
Attributes: High offensive rating. Cannot block.
Airstrike: Projectile attack!
Air Raid: Super projectile attack!
Attacks must be timed with care to ensure the ability to block his projectiles. He's vulnerable to a well-executed Ground Pound. Lovie wins!
Stage 5: DJ Durkin
Attributes: Gathers energy quickly. Good defensive rating. Looks much older than he is.
HARBAUGH: Invokes the name of former boss Jim Harbaugh, causing his opponent to cover his ears. Everyone's sick of hearing about him.
A relative newcomer, little is known about this competitor. Standard attacks will work, but watch out for getting distracted by residual HARBAUGH buzz. Lovie wins!
Stage 6: Darrell Hazell
Attributes: Actually is in pretty good shape. Alternates between rage and sadness.
Headbutt: Attacks with his oddly creased hat brim
It's probably best to just use standard attacks and wait for him to self-destruct. Lovie wins!
Stage 7: James Franklin
Attributes: High speed. Easily confused. Very loud.
Taunt: Pisses people off
Punch him in the face when he starts any of his special abilities. Hit him with the uppercut. Lovie Wins!
Stage 8: Chris Ash
Attributes: Extremely hairy. Good defense. Very good at making sad faces.
Pikachu Assist: Ash summons his best friend Pikachu to deliver a Thundershock. Ash wants to be the very best, like no one ever was.
Spinning Piledriver: From hairy compatriot Zangief
Attack from a distance; you don't want to get too close to the wool. The Deep Bomb will work wonders here. Lovie wins!
Stage 9: Kirk Ferentz
Attributes: Slow and steady. Not a risk-taker.
Depending on the year, could be easy or very difficult. Finding a way to deal with the Punts is the key. Lovie wins!
Stage 10: Pat Fitzgerald
Attributes: Smug. Very little offensive ability. Good on defense.
Tribune Smear: A Northwestern graduate takes a shot at Illinois in the media
Imaginary Car: Vroom Vroom!
Keep guard up, don't listen to Greenstein. The most satisfying thing to do would be to back him into the edge of the screen and hit him with a cheap facepunch combo that becomes unblockable. Noob move, but the imagery of punching Pat Fitzgerald in the face repeatedly would redeem it. Lovie wins!
Stage 11: Mark Dantonio
Attributes: High defense. Permanent scowl. Able to block and counterattack effectively.
Shoulder Chip: Has an infinite supply of chips on his shoulder, so he can throw them at you forever.
Trick Play: A Dantonio appears above you, in front of you and behind you. Which is the real Dantonio?
A tough one. Read and react and throw the Deep Bomb when you can land a couple shots. Lovie wins!
Stage 12: Jim Harbaugh
Attributes: Is absolutely crazy. High defensive and offensive stats. Yells his attacks very loudly.
Wait until Harbaugh spins around in one of his tantrums, then strike with all you have. Lovie Wins!
Final Stage: Urban Meyer
Urban Meyer is the end boss with unfairly high stats on offense, defense, speed and everything. His attacks are incredibly cheap and infuriatingly effective. You can't play as Urban Meyer. That code you heard about that lets you unlock him? Turns out that's an Urban Legend.
Money Bags: Various bagmen come out of the woodwork and assault you with sacks full of cash.
Hit Squad: Plain and simple. Urban Meyer hires a hit squad. The Columbus police ask no questions
Buckeye Blast: Meyer chucks a bunch of poisonous nuts at you.
Block, block block and call upon the ultimate: the Orange Krush! Only a wave of orange fervor can defeat this monster. Lovie wins!
Lovie Wins! I'm gonna go play Street Fighter II.