Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/21/14
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.
PLAYERS: Nathan Scheelhaase
TEAMS:
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Michael Vick: Percy Harvin won't be a monster here

Robert Griffin III 'guaranteed' to be back in Week 11

Urlacher: Cutler paid like elite QB, hasn’t produced like one

Hoyer doesn’t think about getting benched for Manziel

Cardinals kicker blew $1,500 signing bonus on headphones

Ainge: Draft lottery reform would be 'better for the game'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Royals take Game 2 to even series with Giants

Report: Roger Goodell will have to testify in Ray Rice case

Blake Griffin accused of slapping man in Las Vegas club

Ronda Rousey to face Cat Zingano at UFC 182

Report: Zach Mettenberger to start for Titans over Locker

LaMarr Woodley likely done for season with biceps injury

Falcons make huge mistake with London infographic

DeMarco Murry surprises Cowboys linemen with iMacs

Jimbo Fisher's son reps for Winston on 'Superhero Day'

WATCH: Steve Ballmer freaks out while shown on Jumbotron

AUDIO: Rex Ryan pranks Sammy Watkins on conference call

Top storyline for each Week 8 NFL game

WATCH: Giants pitcher yells at Salvador Perez after HR

Will Muschamp's head coaching job posted on Craigslist

Miss California USA would like to date Eric Hosmer

WATCH: Eric Bledsoe sends Clipper flying with sick move

Kiffin's mom fears for son's safety in return to Tennessee

WATCH: Penguins perform 'O Canada' following tragedy

Fighting Illini 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!

Brian Urlacher rips Jay Cutler

Top NFL storylines: Week 8

Kiffin's mom worried for son's safety

Report: Goodell will have to testify

Penguins do 'O Canada' following tragedy

UEFA Champions League midway report: Groups A – D

Porn star: No one parties like Janikowski

Report: Expect Florida to make a run at Bob Stoops

The San Francisco Giants are zombies

10 bold predictions for NFL Week 8

Pitcher's wife leaves generous tip

Nicklaus defends Jameis Winston

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.