Warm Illini Football Thoughts In February

Weber FiredMy Feb. 14 column from CBS Chicago

(CBS) It’s Valentine’s Day, and I’m feeling the love.

Yes, for my wife, of course. But also for the University of Illinois’ football scheduling, which I think is pretty sweet.

And while Illini athletic director Mike Thomas hasn’t yet earned his recent raise and contract extension based on the overall production of his hand-picked football and basketball coaches, he does deserve a pat on the pack for what he’s done with future scheduling for the pigskin program.

On Tuesday, Illinois announced that it has agreed to a home-and-home series with Connecticut in 2019 and 2020. This comes on the heels of announcements last year that the Illini will face North Carolina in 2015-16, South Florida in 2017-18, Virginia in 2021-22 and Kansas in 2023-24.

Last fall, before Thomas had even finalized the UConn and Kansas contracts, I wrote that if someday the Illini football program – arguably the most underachieving in the nation – ever does enjoy achievement on a consistent basis, we very well might look back on this time as when the groundwork for that was laid.

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