The Fighting Illini may have been completely outmatched against a MAC program on Saturday, but they evidently did enough to improve their standing in the latest S&P+ rankings. The Orange and Blue improved two spots, and now sit at No. 61 nationally — a single spot behind Western Michigan despite the 34-10 loss.
Illinois’ offense is ranked No. 82, making it the team’s worst phase by a wide margin. The defense is still respectable at No. 47 overall, and I think that’s because advanced stats are taking opponents’ average field position into account; Lovie Smith’s talented front four can only do so much when pinned inside their own territory. Lastly, the program’s special teams units check in at No. 37.
ELSEWHERE. Did y’all see what Louisville did to Florida State? In case you haven’t, viewer discretion is absolutely advised. Ohio State and Michigan State each notched huge victories for the conference over Oklahoma and Notre Dame, respectively, while Michigan held steady with their own win over Colorado.
Here’s what the national landscape looks like with three weeks in the books.
|AP (prev, if diff)||Coaches (prev, if diff)||S&P+||Massey|
|2||Ohio State (3)||Ohio State (4)||Alabama||Ohio State|
|3||Louisville (10)||Clemson (3)||LSU||Clemson|
|8||Michigan State (12)||Michigan State||Louisville||Tennessee|
|9||Washington (8)||Washington||Florida||Florida State|
|10||Texas A&M (17)||Wisconsin (12)||Florida State||Wisconsin|
|11||Wisconsin (9)||Georgia (13)||Ole Miss||Michigan State|
|12||Georgia (16)||Tennessee (15)||Stanford||Arkansas|
|13||Florida State (2)||Texas A&M (20)||Tennessee||Oklahoma|
|14||Tennessee (15)||Florida State (2)||Baylor||Texas A&M|
|15||Miami (25)||Baylor (19)||Miami||Baylor|
|16||Baylor (21)||Florida (23)||USC||Washington|
|17||Arkansas (24)||LSU (22)||Oregon||LSU|
|18||LSU (20)||Arkansas (24)||UCLA||Georgia|
|19||Florida (23)||Miami (25)||Texas A&M||Utah|
|20||Nebraska (NR)||Nebraska (NR)||Wisconsin||Ole Miss|
|21||Texas (11)||(tie) TCU (NR)||Notre Dame||Nebraska|
|22||San Diego State (NR)||(tie) Ole Miss (17)||Auburn||Iowa|
|23||Ole Miss (19)||Utah (NR)||TCU||Oregon|
|24||Utah (NR)||Texas (16)||Virginia Tech||Miami|
|25||Oklahoma (14)||Iowa (11)||Oklahoma State||North Carolina|