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Coming into the year, it was extremely hard to predict how Illinois would be. After last season's surprising success, it was going to be interesting to see if they could follow that up again this year.
Even though the media acted like it was a huge shock, Illinois' 6-0 start this year was not surprising at all.
Before the season started, it was clear that Arizona State was the only team that may give Illinois trouble early on.
However, the team's 0-6 finish down the stretch was a surprise. There is absolutely no excuse for getting blown out by Minnesota to close the regular season.
Ron Zook probably deserved to lose his job. His teams, lately, have shown a lot of potential, but then have fallen flat.
Some even question if they'll be invited to a bowl game this year. If Nate Scheelhaase plays well and A.J. Jenkins plays like he's capable, this is one of the most exciting offenses in the Big Ten.
The defense, on the other hand, was great this year. The fact that guys like Whitney Mercilus, Jonathan Brown, Michael Buchanan and Akeem Spence all may return to the front seven next year is a scary thought.
With that being said, there is no reason Illinois should have lost six straight.
Even though 6-6 was a realistic scenario before the year, it still has to be considered disappointing because of the way they finished.