Originally posted on The B1g Time  |  Last updated 1/17/13
If you haven't seen groundhogs day, first off - what the hell? Second off - shame on you. Lastly, you have seen it and you just don't know it yet. That's because we're witnessing a big time case of it with 2012/13 Illinois Fighting Illini basketball team and some of us, if not most of us fell for it once again this year - so I guess it's shame on all of us.  Just how groundhogs day is this team? Let's play a little game of guess the season shall we? Illinois started the season off hot, winning two games against teams that will make the NCAA tournament only to lose to rival Missouri. What Illini season are we talking about? No, we aren't talking about this season, we're talking about the 2011-12 Bruce Weber led Illini. However, you wouldn't be wrong in saying the same thing about the 2012-13 version of the Illini either as they own two impressive wins over Butler (the Maui Invitational championship) and at Gonzaga, only to lose to Missouri.  So, we'll take either as the correct answer to that one. The Illini put their near flawless record up against Purdue early on in Big Ten play, on the road, and lost. Only to come back and beat a top 10 ranked Ohio State squad and follow that up with three straight losses immediately following the OSU win.What Illini team are we talking about?  If you guessed both you are correct and you should be seeing a pattern by now. Yes, the Illini were able to jump up and bite another ranked opponent last year and they could well do so again this year, but it's seriously eerie how much of a mirror image last season and this one have been already for this team. The point of this little exercise? It's not only to point out how groundhog day(ish) these two seasons have been, but to also point out that pundits and bloggers (myself included) should've seen what is happening right now coming from the very beginning. It also points out that perhaps we put way, WAY too much stock into what a team is doing in November and early December than waiting to see what a team is doing in mid-January and early February.  We all love to point to and talk about rankings from the jump of the season, but if we're really self-analytical (and we should be) and honest, perhaps we are better off waiting to talk about how good a team is and that means stopping the pattern of putting too much faith in arbitrary rankings and "strength of schedules". I don't know about you, but taking a look at a team through the prism of Ken Pomeroy or other analytical means sounds a heck of a lot better than some arbitrary ranking that a writer or coach (who probably have never seen team X or team Y play a game) put together and tell us it's gospel. So, perhaps we all have learned a lesson through all of this. Stop putting so much faith a team that wins two good games sprinkled around some really crappy games against teams they should've beaten until they can prove it on a night in and night out basis. Oh, and also stop putting teams that lose tough games early in the season on the scrap heap until they do it again in conference play. I mean, all you need to do is look at the Illini for examples of the former and to Wisconsin for the later.  Maybe the Illini will turn it all around and find a way to win some really good games down the stretch, but I'm a fan of history and recent Illini history with the players on this team tell me it's probably going to be more of the same - winning a rare game against a ranked Big Ten opponent and then turning around and losing a head scratching game or two as well. 
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Griffin to wear shoes designed by young leukemia patient

Jack Del Rio frustrated Raiders can’t provide support to Aldon Smith

Bengals owner admits he could be ‘overtolerant’ with Pacman Jones

Rumor: Panthers trying to acquire No. 2 pick from 49ers

Mets’ Jeurys Familia suspended 15 games for domestic violence incident

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge won’t make Opening Day roster?

Arkansas athletics fear new gun law could threaten their SEC membership

LeBron on Cavs: ‘It’s a delicate time right now’

These nine MLB prop bets should be money in the bank for 2017 season

Vin Scully talks preservation of his Polo Grounds call, first season outside MLB booth

Odell Beckham Jr. once took serious measure to boost ‘Madden’ rating

The 'So, is this the last ride for the Dead Man?' quiz

2016 MLB playoff teams that won't make it back this season

Box Score 3/29: Free hats (Caps fans only)

The 'Are you mentally prepared for 'One Shining Moment'?' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Serge Ibaka can't connect

Can the Padres' Christian Bethancourt really succeed at pitcher and catcher?

The Raiders will forever belong to Oakland

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Box Score 3/28: Wilt's last game

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

The 28 craziest ballpark foods for the 2017 season

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
THE B1G TIME

The 'So, is this the last ride for the Dead Man?' quiz

2016 MLB playoff teams that won't make it back this season

The 'Are you mentally prepared for 'One Shining Moment'?' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Serge Ibaka can't connect

Can the Padres' Christian Bethancourt really succeed at pitcher and catcher?

The Raiders will forever belong to Oakland

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker