SB Nations' Bill Connelly recently wrapped up his individual previews for every team in the Big Ten Conference, and we now have a complete set of preseason power rankings as a result. Illinois football has been slotted at No. 13 in the league. Michigan has been selected as the top team heading into the season, while Michigan State and Ohio State follow closely behind as other 'Tier 1' programs.
B1G POWER RANKINGS: This is Michigan's year. Maybe. Or it's Michigan State's again. Possibly. Of course, Ohio Sta-- https://t.co/0rXKdPqcsW— Bill Connelly (@SBN_BillC) July 28, 2016
The Fighting Illini have been classified as a 'Tier 3' team along with No. 12 Rutgers and, in my opinion, it's hard to justify anything higher than that. While the coaching staff may have received significant upgrades this offseason, the actual depth chart has regressed a bit my eyes. Although if the Illini can escape non-conference play at 2-1 or better, they do have a somewhat manageable Big Ten schedule. They'll have a chance to make some noise if they stay healthy, but their margin for error will be pretty much non-existent.
Do you agree with Illinois' position in these rankings? Let us know what you think down in the comments!
Illinois Fighting Illini Links
As part of the 2016 NIT Season Tip-Off, the Illini will host the Detroit Titans and Winthrop Eagles at State Farm Center this Winter. The two contests will take place on November 18 and 21.
As NFL camps open across the country this week, there are 18 former Illini attempting to make rosters or hold onto starting spots.
Whatever the rhyme or reason -- and this is a billion dollar business we're talking about, so you do the math -- the Playoff caved. Beginning in 2018, all Playoffs will take place on Saturdays and national holidays. Exclusively.