The Illinois Fighting Illini football team isn’t doing so hot. Currently, the team is 2-5 and coming off a 31-17 loss to Indiana at home. In 2011, former head coach Ron Zook’s final season, the Illini were 7-6 and made a bowl game.
The current situation would put any coach on the defensive, but first-year coach Tim Beckman is under pretty intense pressure. He’s even lost 22 pounds. He says it’s because he can’t take all the losing, but it seems there are plenty of Illini fans who are hoping it’s because he ran over an old gypsy woman and got cursed.
My theory is that this is all sublimated hatred for basketball coach Bruce Weber. The “storied” Illinois program has been pretty mediocre for most of Weber’s tenure post-NCAA tournament final appearance, and that’s the program Illini fans actually care about. There’s no way anyone gives enough of a crap about Illinois football to fire the head coach and athletic director after one bad season.
Besides, while Zook’s 7-6 season is about as