Boy, that was something to see live in person.
I sat under the East balcony near the horseshoe, and watching this game, I had this sickening feeling in the back of my mind.
Maybe with a score we can get back in this. Maybe with a score we can make it a respectable loss. I hope. I hope. Maybe. Maybe.
That's the feeling I've had throughout the tenure of Lovie Smith. Glass half full. Look at the bright side. We're young. It'll take time. Blah, blah, blah.
Then reality finally slapped me in the face yesterday, and I realized it's never going to happen under Lovie. This is it for me. This wasn't No. 1 Ohio State or Michigan this year. This isn't Alabama. This is an Iowa team that's disappointed in 7 wins so far. A team that had lost three in a row. It didn't matter. Iowa is a far superior program, and they flexed its muscles against the dregs of the Big Ten. Embarrassing.
You can talk all you want about how four wins is an "improvement" or something, but our average margin of loss in our five Big Ten losses is almost 40(!) points. How is that improvement? How? We were more competitive last year, despite losing more games. Again, please explain to me how we've improved at all.
This is not a difficult game. There are teams all over the college football landscape who are competing with the best who have no business doing so. Don't believe me? Watch Washington State. Or Kentucky this year. Or Syracuse under Dino Babers. Purdue is in the same conference, and the Boilers are drastically improved in two years under Jeff Brohm.
It's not an impossible game. Let's hope Josh Whitman figures it out quickly.
These seniors are what college football should be about. These guys have been through everything at Illinois, and they continue to represent this University with grace and dignity. Austin Roberts, Nick Allegretti, Sam Mays, Mikey Dudek, all the seniors, you are all aces in our book. You didn't deserve this.
Literally everything else: F-
There's not much else to say. In one writer's opinion, Illinois should fire Lovie tomorrow. It's probably just anger talking. However, this isn't getting better. There's no positives to take away from this. Rod Smith has injected some life into this moribund program, but he is the lone bright spot in an otherwise dark time.
It's time for a change. Hopefully the sooner, the better.