The Fighting Illini got a big boost when they picked up veteran head coach Lovie Smith from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Smith is pretty well-known in the state of Illinois thanks to his long stint with the Chicago Bears and it shouldn’t be a surprise if fans show up in droves to see him walk the sidelines.
However, he will need a few years to turn this team into a powerhouse competitor in the Big Ten. Quarterback Wes Lunt and defensive end Dawuane Smoot are both ready to lead their teams, but it may be pretty difficult for them to get anything going after the way things have played out the last few years.
Prediction: 3-9 (1-8)