CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – How the magazines rank Illinois football.
After posting a 2-10 record and a 1-7 mark in the Big Ten Conference last season, the Illini seek their first winning season and bowl berth since capturing the outright 2001 Big Ten title and earning a trip to the Sugar Bowl. Here's what the preseason magazines think.
Predicted Illinois finish in the Big Ten: 6th
Comment: For a team that's won eight games over the last four years, it's time to turn potential into a bigger victory total. The Illini are ready to do just that.
Comment: Illinois made the most improved list, which means the Illini have an excellent shot of going from 2-10 to bowl eligibility.
The Sporting News
Comment: Winning recruiting battles is great, but it's time for Illinois to win on the field.
Comment: The number two has to go: two years with Zook, two wins each season.
Comment: It can't get any simpler than this -- Illinois will improve as rapidly as QB Juice Williams does.
Street and Smith's
Comment: Zook has long been a charmer who could get good players and leave them roughly that way -- nothing more.