Ethos 2.0

When we were 6-0 in 2011 and ranked 15th in the nation, we played Ohio State at home and lost. My post after the game focused on one thing: the fans booing the third play of the game. 6-0, Ohio State at home, first thing that goes wrong 45 seconds in, BOOOO.

Over time, I came to regret that post. [Read more...]

Rebrand Photo Gallery

I brought Jonathan with me tonight, and he took a gazillion pictures, so I figure I have two options here: I could go on and on about the football helmets – how much I like them, how we’re going to win 14 additional games over the next eight seasons simply because of them – or I could just post a bunch of pictures for you to look at.

Pictures, right?  Who chooses words there?  Gotta be pics.  Let’s get to the pics.  44 in all.

 

We Love No Other 1.11 – Craig G.

My first repeat guest! I guess I could also say that like this: “We just had a Spring Game, and it needs to be analyzed, so who better to call than my friend Craig G. so we can break down everything that happened?”

Craig is like me – he keeps his own depth chart and roster spreadsheet because sometimes at 1:30 in the morning on a Tuesday in June you just have to look it up to see who’s fighting for the third string Will Linebacker spot – so who better to break down Saturday’s Spring Game? I’ll warn you, we go a little long. This podcast is close to an hour. But come on – we just watched the Spring Game. It’s to our credit that we kept it under an hour.

Didn’t get to watch the Spring Game on Saturday? Never fear. Here’s two obsessive Illini fans analyzing every ounce of the game:

Postgame Interviews

I think I’m going to let my postgame thoughts simmer for a bit on low heat (stirring occasionally) and then post them tonight or in the morning.  I’ve been in Champaign for 48 hours now, and I haven’t seen my wife in a while, so I think I’ll post these postgame interviews and then go home. [Read more...]

Tell Me About Your Mom

I’m nervous.  I want to do this story justice.  I’ve started and stopped this post three times, deleting everything and starting over.  It’s a story about wide receiver Justin Hardee and the phone call he received that we all fear: “Get home as fast as you can – your mom is not doing well”.  But it’s also my story. [Read more...]

We Love No Other 1.10 – Carey Davis

With the Spring Game approaching on Saturday, I figured I’d talk to another former Illini player for this week’s We Love No Other podcast.  Today’s guest: Carey Davis, Illini fullback during the Ron Turner fullback glory days in the early 2000′s.

Carey is now on ESPN Radio in his hometown of St. Louis doing pregame and postgame work for the Rams as well as coaching high school football as an assistant at Hazelwood West.  We talk about the Sugar Bowl season, his fight to land on an NFL roster, and then his climb to the top of the mountain when he won a Super Bowl ring as the starting fullback for the Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII.

More Stuff From Friday’s Practice, Including BEARDTALK

Now that I’m down from the high of a fantastic practice, here are a few more takeaways from the scrimmage at SHG on Friday Night. And at the end of this post, BeardTalk 7.  Jack Cornell attended the scrimmage, so we just had to talk beards again for the first time since the last BeardTalk on the field at the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. [Read more...]

We Love No Other 1.9 – Juice Williams

No offense to any of my other guests from this first set of ten podcasts, but this was my favorite. Juice Williams revitalized the program when he picked Illinois in May of 2005, and then he delivered a win at #1 Ohio State and a Rose Bowl in 2007.

So that’s what I wanted to talk to him about. The first third of this podcast is Juice talking about his new role as Director of High School & Alumni Relations. The rest of the time we go back to the 2007 season and talk about everything. The back-to-back wins over Penn State and Wisconsin, the first downs against Ohio State, and even the play where he lined up a Northwestern linebacker on the goal line and, um, won the battle.

By the end, I’m what you would describe as “geeked”. And Juice was juiced. With more time (he had to pick up his kids), I think we could have talked for another 45 minutes on just the Ohio State game alone.

Go B1G?

New Years Day 1998. I’m at my friend JohnB’s apartment in Nashville. Most of that group of UIUC friends is there – Derek, Goah, Benny, Baynes – and we’re discussing the Rose Bowl that afternoon. How Michigan has a shot at the national title if they win. And how all my friends will be pulling for Michigan, because that’s good for the Big Ten. I just couldn’t do it. [Read more...]

We Love No Other 1.8 Josh Reed From Big Ten Geeks

As you may know, I’m #TeamEyeTest. You keep your effective defensive rebounding percentages and just give me a narrative. We didn’t win because we shot 57% on our twos, we won with FIGHT and HEART and DETERMINATION.

My guest tonight is #TeamNERDstat. That’s my term for all things eFG and ORtg and free throw percentage on balls in play (the under-used FTP-BIP stat). He’s so much Team NERDstat that he has a blog called Big Ten Geeks on BTN.com where he writes about all things NERDstat with another stat-head, Mike Portscheller. I wanted to have Josh on to talk a little about the Illini season that just ended and a lot about next season.

What will this team look like with Aaron Cosby, Darius Paul, and Ahmad Starks? What kind of leap can we expect from Malcolm Hill and Kendrick Nunn? Most importantly, what will the Big Ten look like next season, and does that give John Groce’s third Illini team the opportunity to make a big push in the Big Ten standings?

TeamEyeTest and TeamNERDstat, together in audio form: