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.

Lindy's

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.

Phil Steele

Prediction: 7th

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

Prediction: 8th

Comment: Winning recruiting battles is great, but it's time for Illinois to win on the field.

Athlon

Prediction: 9th

Comment: The number two has to go: two years with Zook, two wins each season.

CBSsportsline.com

Prediction: 9th

Comment: It can't get any simpler than this -- Illinois will improve as rapidly as QB Juice Williams does.

Street and Smith's

Prediction: 11th

Comment: Zook has long been a charmer who could get good players and leave them roughly that way -- nothing more.