Poor Illini

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OK, I understand getting to any BCS bowl is a big deal. As an Illinois alumni, I expect precious little from the football team. I lived in Champaign for the entire Turner era, so it's not like failure and humiliation are foreign to my college football experience.

Yet I have to wonder how it is that in those rare years when the stars align and the U of I football team rises to mediocrity while the Big 10 plummets in overall strength, allowing the Illini to stumble into a bowl, they get the worst imaginable bowl match-ups.

6 years ago Illinois somehow finished atop the Big 10 to earn a BCS slot and they played LSU in the New Orleans (I was there -- except for a brief second half surge, it was tragic).

And this year, Illinois pulled off upset after upset and what happens? They tavel to southern California to play the University of the same name.

Now, of course a major bowl is better than say, the Motor City Bowl or nothing at all, and it's not that I think the lllini had a chance. But when, practically by definition, any Illinois opponent in a big-time bowl is going to be a far superior team, is it too much to ask that they not have home-town advantage either?

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This page contains a single entry by Papa-Lu published on January 1, 2008 9:53 PM.

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