College Football Rankings: Illinois Fighting Illini Feeding Off Weak Schedule
Although the Illinois Fighting Illini are 5-0, three of their wins have come against Arkansas State, South Dakota State, and Western Michigan all at home.
Defeating the Arizona State Sun Devils was a solid win, but barely managing to overcome another inferior opponent in Northwestern 38-35 isn’t too impressive.
The next three weeks are also winnable games with Indiana (away), Ohio State (home), and Purdue (away).
It’s highly possible that the Illini could very well be 8-0 and ranked in the Top 15 when they travel to Happy Valley and take on the Penn State Nittany Lions.
That game starts off a rough three game stretch where they play Michigan and Nebraska at home in consecutive weeks thereafter.
Head coach Ron Zook is going to have his best season since 2007, where his Fighting Illini finished ranked No. 18 and No. 20 in the coaches’ and AP poll respectively.
Also, that year was Illinois’ best under Zook because they finished 9-4 and lost the Rose Bowl 49-17 versus USC, but finished No. 2 in the Big Ten.
2011 has just as much potential for the Fighting Illini, but they’re feeding off a weak schedule that’s going to hurt them late in the year when they play schools like Penn State, Michigan, and Nebraska.
However, if they wins one or two of those games, well, the Illini could finish ranked for only the second time under Ron Zook, and best their 2007 campaign.
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