Illinois (6-6) vs. Baylor (7-5) (-1.5)
Have things actually changed for Illinois? They went a mediocre 6-6 and, though they made a bowl, are underdogs to a team that hasn’t made a bowl game since Bill Clinton’s first term. It’s an improvement on the last few years for Illinois, but it’s hard to say this is what the administration was hoping for when they gave Ron Zook another year.
And yet, win or lose, it’s probably enough for Zook to stay around for yet one more season. From now on, every time they have this record, it’s more and more likely he’ll be fired.
I would normally say this game has all the makings for a shoot out, but neither team is actually that good. Baylor’s defense is awful, as is Illinois’. And it seems more likely that Illinois will have success since they have an easier offense to run, and they can just hand the ball to Mikel LeShoure. Baylor only has Robert Griffin to make plays.
Illinois scored with Michigan in their epic shoot out until the bitter end, but at the same time, they also gave up a ton of points to a team built similarly to Baylor. Not good.
That said, there’s just no way Baylor has anymore good season karma left. 2010 is already a wild success for them, and as an Indiana alum, I know all about making a bowl game after a long drought. You’re just happy to be there. Can’t believe I’m about to pick a Ron Zook team…