It’s Early, But Louisiana Tech Could Make Or Break Illini

Saturday’s column from CBS Chicago

(CBS) When it comes to University of Illinois football, I’ve had a mantra ever since I walked off campus with my diploma in hand way back in May of 1998.

And that’s been my vow that I wouldn’t be fully back on board with the Illini program until it went to back-to-back bowl games. Now, that might not seem like it’s asking too much of a Big Ten school, but this is Illinois we’re talking about – a pigskin program that Yahoo! Sports last week billed as the second most underachieving in the nation over the past decade. I think that’s probably being kind.

It wasn’t until this past winter – a full 14 seasons after I became a college grad and almost 20 years since Illinois went bowling in 1991-92 – that the Illini finally qualified for consecutive bowl games again. UCLA, which Yahoo! ranked as the biggest underachievers, actually reached six bowls during the past decade.

To Illinois’ credit, however, they even won both their bowls the past two years – but, even so, I’m still not sure that I’m back on board with Illini football.

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