Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Rose Bowl summary

My eight thoughts to start '08 after watching the game (with thoughts especially in mind for any national media thinking of piling on how Illinois didn't deserve to be here):

1. Last year we only won two games. Last I checked we only won two games the year before that as well. No one in America thought we'd be playing USC to end the season this year. There. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

2. USC is stacked with talent that could be playing in the NFL right now. We are getting stacked with talent that will be playing in the NFL in two or three years (not counting Rashard who pretty much ensured with his performance today that he will be playing on Sundays next year).

3. If Zook's recruiting continues as it has been, we are about two years away from being able to compete against the "goliaths of college football" as Herbsreit referred to USC.

4. That said, we were still in this game until we gave the ball away with some costly turnovers.

5. The defense played very well but obviously was extremely tired by the 4th quarter, hence the tackling difficulties.

6. I'm sure this will be beat to death over the next week or two but forcing our offense to run the ball over and over to start the game and for practically the entire first half didn't do our boys much good as every single USC defender pretty much played the run. Once we started to air it out at the end of the first half we got some breathing room. Not sure what Locksley and Zook were thinking there but it's sort of ironic that we kept hearing how great Locksley was this week and how he is being looked at for head coaching jobs and, in my opinion, did a pretty subpar job of calling plays at the beginning of the game.

7. No one likes a sore or arrogant winner (at least I don't). I know Illinois had its share of personal fouls (which didn't make me happy) but USC's players were beyond ridiculous when it came to taunting etc. Please. Act like you've been there before (because you have). You may have won the game big but you looked classless doing so. Congratulations.

8. Speaking of taunting I had a good friend who is a Nebraska fan text me after USC went up 14-0 talking smack (you know who you are). Must I say it again? Please. Where was Nebraska playing this New Year's Day? Did they even have a winning record? Do people who live within the state lines even believe their program is heading in the same direction as the Illinois football program? Yeesh. People.

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