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A Closer Look at Illinois

Now over to the Nittany Lions opponent on Saturday in Illinois tht will be looking a bit different. The school decided to fire head coach Lovie Smith after the team’s loss to rival Northwestern this past weekend.

Smith had success as a head coach in the NFL with the Chicago Bears. But could not translate that over to Champaign. The Illini were just 17-39 with a 10-33 mark in the Big Ten in his 5 seasons at the helm that included just one bowl game.

Athletic director Josh Whitman says he made the decision earlier in 2020. And simply came down to the scoreboard.

“At the end of the day we were not able to win enough games. We were not able to get over the hump despite the best efforts of those who spend all day everyday toiling at it in that building. I think a lot of people don’t realize the effort each and every fall Saturday and win those games.”

Illinois last won a Big Ten title back in 2001.

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