2018 Football Preview

Aug 28, 2018

If I were to ever run a marathon (LOLOL), I imagine that the finish line would feel like this. I have nothing left. If there was one more hill ahead, I'd quit. The attached preview contains every single thing I know about the 2018 Illini Football team. I left it all on the field.

I don't even have many words for the intro this year. My wife is a big Jason Mraz fan and there's some song that says "looks like I'm finally out of words" (or something). That's how I feel. So many words came out of these fingers the last two weeks that I'm not sure where I'll find more once the season starts. (Ah, who am I kidding, I'll have thousands more once the season starts.)

Word total this year: 23,882. I think the biggest was around 27k, the smallest around 21k, so this is somewhere right in the middle.

And I'm doing the "tip jar" again this year. As I've said before, I usually take the money from this and take my wife on a trip for her putting up with me the month of August. So call it the Mrs. Robert Vacation Fund or something. No, don't call it that. That's stupid. I need to stop talking.

It's just the same deal as the last few years. If it's worth $5 to you, toss in $5. If you think it's worth $20, thanks so much. If you're a poor college student and don't have a dime to spare, please just click the X to bypass the tip jar and enjoy.

That's all I've got. Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the 2018 Illini football team:

2018 IlliniBoard Football Preview


Sweetchuck13 on August 28 @ 04:11 PM CDT

Awesome - thanks as always Robert. I couldn't figure out how to leave a tip since it had me as paying last year when I logged in, but when my subscription renews I'll tack on a little extra for you.

Incredible, comprehensive look at the program. Still don't feel like a bowl is a possibility, but 4-5 wins might be realistic. Your comments about A.J. Bush and then these mysterious defensive changes definitely have me intrigued though.

Groundhogday on August 28 @ 04:13 PM CDT

I like the Mike Leach @ WSU and Alvarez @ Wisconsin comparisons. In year 3 at WSU, Leach went 3-9 and there was talk he might be a bust. Fans REALLY got nervous when WSU lost to an FCS team to start Year 4. But then they took off and have three straight bowl games.

grantskoch on August 28 @ 07:23 PM CDT

Robert, the preview was great! Also heard your podcast with JW from this week, hope to hear/read more of your content this fall. ILL!

Illinimac68 on August 28 @ 09:51 PM CDT

Thanks Robert. One concern for 2019 seems as if offensive line depth may still be a problem. Otherwise I'm pumped for that season.

jdapisa on August 29 @ 12:24 PM CDT

Robert- Wonderful preview as always.

One though in regards to this paragraph: "The good news is that only two players left from last year (when most of these guys were playing as true freshmen). James Crawford (who was a very important piece to that defense and was voted defensive MVP) and Tito Odenigbo (whose flag-tossing incident where he tossed a flag back at an official who threw it was his last moment in an Illini uniform before transferring to Miami) have departed, and honestly, both were big losses. There's a reason Odenigbo landed at the best transfer spot of any of the 15 players who transferred out, and there's a reason Crawford is currently in camp with the Packers."

Yes Tito and Crawford leaving isn't ideal, but isn't the loss of 2 decent players (even 4 if you include Watson and Nelson) more than made up for by the return and extra offseason of growth in the same system for 15 out of your 20 most important defensive players from last season? Add in Jake Hansen and even 1-2 promising True Freshman and it seems to me our defense should take a step up from last season. Plus a more competent offense should really improve our defensive rankings.

Joe Edge on August 29 @ 02:58 PM CDT

Good read as always Robert... NOTE: You still need an editor/proofreader - just doing spellcheck doesn't get it done....

IMHO - I think the overall situation falls to one you've hit on before, and still seem to dance around, and that is 'consistency' ... You sort of hint at it again, with the Alvarez, Ferentz, Leach examples of their breakout seasons coming in year 4, and not in year 3.... And I completely agree. These coaches built programs for long-term success by having 'consistency' within the program itself. And THAT in my opinion is what is needed more than satisfying the knee-jerk reactions of monied jerks who want instant gratification... It's also important to NOT hire a OC who runs an offense that nobody on the roster is suited for.... You can't recruit players to one system, only to have a new OC that plays an entirely different system.... Consistency across the entire program is what is needed.... And that consistency takes time and leadership. While I probably don't have the 'time' left, I still have the desire, so that my grandchildren can enjoy watching Illinois football and basketball teams in the future... So keep up the good work, Robert (But get a proofreader)...

patscahill on August 29 @ 03:08 PM CDT

Hey I had the same problem with the tip jar disappearing after I logged on, FYI. Loving the preview as always Robert.

danny on August 30 @ 07:59 AM CDT

Robert, i had a similar issue with the tip jar. Tried a couple times to drop money in the tip jar but don’t believe it ever took my “tip”.

Your preview was outstanding. I was feeling better about the team n season until I read the full preview. I am hopeful of 6 wins.

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