Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/16/14

Nathan Scheelhassse

2012 Quickview: Illinois Football

2011 Record: 7-6

Head Coach: Tim Beckman- 1st year

Returning Starters:   13  6-Offense 7-Defense

Nonconference Schedule Breakdown: The Illini nonconference slate is respectable…and by that I mean they play a legit D-1 school on the road…Arizona State (please don’t come at me about who is and who isn’t legit..)…but before that they kick off 2012 with a game in Champana vs probably the front-runner to win the MAC Western Michigan…I bet Alex Carder can’t wait to get the Illini at the Waldo…but other than that..Illinois gets Charleston Southern, who didn’t win a game last year and then Louisiana Tech who finished 2011 at 8-5.

Schedule Rank (in Big Ten): 3rd hardest…Illinois gets a break by whom they miss in 2012 (2 legit Legends title contenders)..but that is the only break they get…the Illini are 73-108 on the road vs the Big Ten teams they face away from Champana (Wisconsin, Michigan, OSU & Northwestern)…that folks..is not good..plus it has been a long time since a rookie coach won the Big Ten title…How long?…the answer later in the primer.

[Big Ten Football Central]

Who they don’t play in 2012:  Iowa, East Lansing , Nebraska

The Skinny: as far as new coaches coming to begin fresh, Beckman gets a pretty decent gig here…good offense coming back and a defense that is missing a few parts but has the potential to be one of the better units in the Big Ten…unless he tries to recreate the wheel, Illinois should get to a bowl in 2012…

Toughest Game in 2012: October 13th at Michigan..the 2nd of tough back-to-back roadies (at Wisconsin the week before) will be enough to break any new coach…oh yeah….also consider that Illinois is 11-33 in Ann Arbor…

Best Player: QB Nathan Scheelhaase..if they would’ve brought back DC Vic Koenig this may have gone to DE Michael Buchanan, but until the Illini prove their defense is still good..I have to go with the 3rd year starting QB…and he also just happens to be one of the better ones in the conference..

What MIGHT happen: The Illini win the Leaders title…I know at least one person believes they will win it…but with the road schedule they have and a completely new coaching staff…I just don’t think it’s in the cards..but they might.

What WILL happen: They will win two of their five road games…all of which are vs legit D-1 football schools…

What WON’T happen: They will not finish under .500…this team has too much talent and that aside..Tim Beckman has a track record of winning…his biggest challenge is keeping the high level of recruiting that Zook had up…his coaching ability and Zook’s players should get them to a decent bowl game…

Why they won’t win the Big Ten: …because Illinois has to play the two toughest teams in its division on the road….and they won’t win either one..

Why they will win the Big Ten:…If Nathan Scheelhaase continues to improve not only his athletic ability and throwing the ball…but his game management skills too..if they do, this kid will be a great senior QB in 2013…

Gotta know about the Illini:  Illinois is the only Big Ten team whose 2012 schedule has a cumulative 2011 W-L record under .500  75-78…Oh…and Gary Moeller shared a Big Ten title in his first year in 1990.

BOLD Statement:…The game that will derail the Illini’s Leaders title hopes will be a November 10th home loss to Minnesota.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Clint Trickett retires due to concussions, hid two

Drew Stanton likely out for the year, postseason included

Byron Scott: ‘Idiots’ think Lakers are better team without Kobe

Undrafted QB Connor Shaw to sign with Browns, likely start

Report: Alex Smith out Week 17 with lacerated spleen

Belichick: Garoppolo has better understanding of NFL

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Lionel Hollins: 'Honored and blessed to coach Kevin Garnett'

Curt Schilling gives Johnny Manziel advice on Twitter

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

Andre Johnson willing to take pay cut with Texans?

Mets star David Wright reaches out to sons of slain NYPD officer

Video: Rudy Gay tosses half-court alley-oop to McLemore

WATCH: Craig Sager is touched by outpouring of support during leukemia fight

Hiroki Kuroda returns to Japan, ditches Yankees

Kevin Garnett: ‘Very weird’ to see Celtics without Rajon Rondo

Report: New Jersey Devils fire head coach Peter DeBoer

Mark Richt confirms Todd Gurley will leave UGA for NFL

Frank Gore: Colin Kaepernick is 'not broke'

The story of Morgan Bulkeley and birth of National League

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things the world learned about the NBA on Christmas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

College Football 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.

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things learned about NBA on X-Mas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Year's most notable sports media stories

'Roberto Gronkowski wishes fans Feliz Navidad

Are the Seahawks back on track?

Wright reaches out to slain officer's sons

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Dan Le Batard sums up Miami's relationship with LeBron

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.