As a means of previewing the upcoming 2010 Illini football season, Fire Ron Zook: Illinois Edition asked Jesus, Little Nick, and Captain Keith to answer twenty questions. From legitimate to off the wall, the answers to these twenty questions will have you ready to go on Saturday, September 4 when the Illini take on border rival Missouri Tigers. So we’ll get things started with the first five questions. Be sure to check back in the rest of the week for all twenty questions.
1. How many games will the Illini win this season?
Little Nick: 7 wins this season…and you know my sense of optimism. Unfortunately I think 3 of those will be non-conference wins (not Mizzou), but NIU might just surpass us as the better in-state team. How bad will that suck for recruiting? I pray we’ll beat them, if only to prevent my father from saying how his alma mater beat mine for the rest of my life.
Jesus: I see five “winnable” (I use that term loosely, VERY loosely) games on the schedule. That leaves me with 3 wins on the season for this team. Pick three from these opponents: Southern Illinois, Northern Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Michigan, and Minnesota.
2. Will Ron Zook survive all 12 games this season? If not, after which week will he be fired?
Little Nick: Does Guenther fire coaches mid-season? And with an extension through 2014, I doubt Zook will be let go. If he does, I say it’s early, perhaps after a loss to IU or Purdue because of the embarrassment at such a result and to let the assistants prove themselves.
Jesus: In-season firings are rare at the college level and I just don’t see it happening here. Zook finishes the season but he’s certainly not riding off into the sunset.
3. If the Illini have another fluke season and go bowling, does Ron Zook keep his job?
Little Nick: IF the Illini go bowling, Zook keeps his job. The school extended his contract after a 9-3 season, why not let him play it out after another “good” season.
Jesus: If he can keep his job through this clusterfuck then a trip to a bowl certainly ensures him another year, and probably a pay raise and an extension.
4. If Ron Zook is fired doesn’t that mean Ron Guenther should be fired?
Little Nick: Not necessarily. If Zook is fired, Guenther should not be allowed near Memorial Stadium, but our basketball program has regained momentum and I’m not sure what Guenther has done for other sports. (Though Illinois needs a men’s varsity soccer team, as good as the club team has been. Find a way around Title IX.)
Jesus: The University is cash strapped and recovering from a academic scandal, looking for a AD is the last thing on the administration’s mind. But if Zook fails this season, Guenther has to go.
5. How much does it suck to admit that Florida fans were right and Ron Zook does indeed suck?
Little Nick: I’m fine with admitting Florida fans were right. It’s not like it will boost their GPAs.
Jesus: First time they’ve been right, so I’ll give them this one. But look how things turned around after Zook was gone.
(Editor’s Note: Captain Keith’s answers will be added once I receive his answers)
Check back this weekend as the remainder of the questions will be answered.