Has Optimism For Illini Football Ever Been Lower?

Saturday’s column from CBS Chicago

(CBS) From 1994-98, I was a student at the University of Illinois, and during those four years I saw a grand total of 14 football victories.

Seven of them came during my freshman year. Five more happened in my sophomore year. I saw two when I was a junior. And during my last year on campus – which also happened to be Illini coach Ron Turner’s first – I was witness to zero W’s.

But, hey, don’t feel too bad for me.

The Class of ’99 only saw 10 wins total in four seasons.

Over the years, Illini Nation has suffered through far too many bleak ones on the gridiron. But as Illinois football prepares for the summer – the team’s annual Spring Game was held in Champaign last night – before the start of Tim Beckman’s second season, I don’t think I can ever recall a bleaker outlook for the program. Or remember the fandom’s level of hope being at a lower ebb.

Writing for the Decatur Herald-Review last weekend, columnist Mark Tupper described Illini football as “living in the shadows.”

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