We continue with the remainder of Twenty Questions, which in no way will make any sense of the upcoming Illini season. It’s all for shits and giggles, much like Zook’s coaching.
6. Which former Illini standout would make the best coach?
Little Nick: Dino Pollock (’86-’90). He was a receiver, though not sure how much he stood out, and I’m not sure about his actual coaching ability. The point is, I went to law school with this guy, and he is a motivator (though he was anti-Chief).
Jesus: Butkus. Period.
7. If you could offer Ron Zook one piece of advice, what would it be?
Little Nick: Win. Seriously, just win.
Jesus: Sunscreen would be it.
8. Who will be the Illini’s MVP?
Little Nick: The Marching Illini.
Jesus: Mikel LeShoure. As long as Zook makes him the feature back, and that’s certainly not a guarantee.
8a. If a team wins 3 or fewer games, is any player really valuable?
Little Nick: Only if it’s the Marching Illini.
Jesus: The punter is usually my default answer, but we’ve seen how things have gone since Steve Weatherford left.
9. Jason Ford or Mikel LeShoure?
Little Nick: Both. While statistically almost even, Zook could keep defenses guessing with a clever combination of utilizing both players. This could also be an answer to #7, but I’m not quite sure if I want to assume Zook is clever.
Jesus: I’d like to see LeShoure as the featured back, but this could be the best backfield in the conference. Could be. Won’t be.
10. What’s worse- watching the Illini play Northwestern at Wrigley Field in November or any home Cubs game?
Little Nick: Watching on tv: Cubs, by a lot, though both teams tend to blow leads at the end of games. Watching at Wrigley Field/Wrigleyville: doesn’t matter. There’s still going to be jackasses in Cubs jerseys.
Jesus: Any home Cubs game. I’ve been three times this year, twice against the Pirates, and the nostalgia of Wrigley Field wears off in about 1/2 an inning and I’m stuck watching a baseball team I don’t like.
11. If the Illini win and nobody is there to see it, did it actually happen?
Little Nick: Irrelevant. Thanks to the Big Ten Network someone will always be able to see it.
Jesus: If the Illini win…Ahaha!
12. Give me one reason the Illini should even bother traveling to Fresno State at the end of the season?
Little Nick: Non-conference games should be wins for big schools like Illinois. And Fresno State’s magic from last year should have run out. Also, our school could benefit from seeing another stadium post-expansion. Check out our website for “Illinois Renaissance.” Another catering to rich alumni? Bad news is that since Pat Hill took over as head coach of Fresno State, he is 38-7 at home. On a different note, it would be a great place for the team to hideout if the have another embarrassing season.
Jesus: It’s not Champaign in December?!
13. What will be the BigTen order of finish?
Little Nick: tOSU, PSU, Iowa, doesn’t matter. (But for the sake of bragging rights: UW, NU, UofI, MSU, UM, Minn, Purdue, IU.)
Jesus: Iowa, Ohio State, (Nebraska), Wisconsin, Penn State, Northwestern, Michigan State, Purdue, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota
14. Was Nebraska the right team to add to the BigTen?
Little Nick: Nebraska was the right team to add, too bad we couldn’t add more. With the ‘Huskers comes great tradition in football, a decent basketball program, and competitive non-major sports.
Jesus: From a football perspective, absolutely. But much like Penn State, they bring very little to the table when it comes to basketball. Three BCS schools have never won a NCAA tournament game. Two now reside in the Big Ten with the addition of the Cornhuskers. But if there was ever a team that plays BigTen football it is Nebraska.
15. How should the BigTen be divided into divisions?
Little Nick: Logically, divide the conference into East and West. The real question is how to schedule games to keep the conference race interesting.
West: UofI, NU, UW, Minn, Iowa, Neb.
Division A: Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Wisconsin
Division B: Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Penn St, Purdue.
Things I don’t like. I don’t buy the argument the Illinois and NW have to be in the same division. Indiana is a bigger rival for Illinois. However, Indiana and Purdue MUST stay together and its impossible to get a balance considering those factors.
16. How tragic would it be if the Illibuck wasn’t contested on a regular basis?
Little Nick: College Football is tradition, and the Illibuck is part of that. The game needs it. Modern sportscasting and the business of college sports, yes I said business, is ruining the pure aspects of the sport…of which ridiculous trophies are a part of.
Jesus: I’d make a 9/11 reference but those never go over well.
17. What’s the best Illini away game road trip this season? (i.e. you’d still go even though the Illini suck monster balls)
Little Nick: Northwestern. I’m guessing the fans at the other locations would be huge d-bags. And I can stumble my way to the train station from Ryan Field.
Jesus: We have some good ones this year. But for me it comes down to The Big House or Beaver Stadium. And I’m leaning towards Michigan since that could possibly be a win. No chance at Penn State. Not to mention that’s actually doable from the Chicagoland area, and there’s always the “Ann Arbor is a Whore” shirt.
18. If Ron Zook could coach as well as Bruce Weber and Bruce Weber could recruit as consistently as Ron Zook, how awesome would Illini athletics be?
Little Nick: By asking that question, you already know the answer.
Jesus: We’d be Texas of the Midwest.
19. Gus Johnson or Wayne Larrivee?
Little Nick: Ginger or Mary Anne? Win, freakin’ win. (Editor’s Note: We’re aiming for a younger demographic.)
Jesus: Can I get them together.
20. How many days until basketball season starts?
Little Nick: Zero, if you count recruiting 8th graders as part of basketball season.
Jesus: Too many.
(Editor’s Note: Captain Keith’s answers will be added once I receive his answers)