It’s a sign of the times in college football when head coaches come up on the chopping block after only two seasons on the job.
But, unfortunately that’s the super-competitive, “win now or else” culture of the world we live in and therefore guys like Tim Beckman are on this list.
Before coming to Illinois in 2011 Beckman posted a very solid 21-16 record in three seasons at Toledo, and he looked like just the sort of guy to revive the Illini football program.
Unfortunately this wishful thinking ended with a thud in 2012 with a 2-10 record devoid of even a single conference win.
The Illini’s sole victories this past season where a 24-7 triumph over Western Michigan in the opener and then a 44-0 victory over FCS Charleston Southern in Week 3.
Other than that it was nothing short of cataclysmic, including a 45-14 loss to Arizona State, a 52-24 loss to Louisiana Tech, a 45-0 loss to Michigan and a 52-22 loss at Ohio State.
To make matters worse, the back-breaking string of nine consecutive losses that ended the season included a final three-game stretch vs. Minnesota, vs. Purdue and then at Northwestern (50-14).
This would normally be seen as quite a gift in terms of Big Ten scheduling.
Regardless of how good Beckman might become, he absolutely has to gain some traction in 2013 and win enough games to get folks even marginally on board that he’s still the guy to make the Illinois football program viable.