Illini’s Beckman Needs A Win To Create Any Believers

illiniTuesday’s column from CBS Chicago

(CBS) As an Illini football season ticket holder, I received an email survey from the University of Illinois Athletics Department on Monday afternoon.

My alma mater wanted to know about my expectations and overall experience at Illini games, and asked me to provide numerical ratings for a series of related questions. The final one, however, required an actual typed response when I was asked, “What is the one thing that the Illinois football organization can do to ensure you will remain a happy season ticket holder?”

My answer: “Win.”

It’s that simple. Yet, of course, for the Fighting Illini, it isn’t at all.

And the problem – one of them, at least – that second-year Illinois coach Tim Beckman is facing is that he simply hasn’t won. Not much, and not at all in the Big Ten. So, really, how can he convince his players that they can?

This past Saturday, Illinois’ Big Ten losing streak hit 17 games as the team was embarrassed in a Homecoming debacle against Michigan State that prompted Chicago Sun-Times reporter Herb Gould to tweet afterward, “Illini blow lead, lose 42-3. How many teams can say that?”

Not many. But, hey, that’s Illinois football for you.

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