The last installment of season ticket videos. Teams represented: South Florida, Virginia Tech, Humboldt State, Michigan State, Illinois, San Diego State, Colorado State, Florida, Ball State, Purdue and Texas El Paso
Tim Beckman's first season at Illinois was a disappointment. The Fighting Illini finished 2-10, with only one of the losses coming by less than 14 points. This fall is not looking much better because of the team's overwhelming youth. Nonetheless, Illinois won't have to stray far from home. Seven games are at Champaign and an eighth (against Washington) is at Chicago's Soldier Field.
New coach Tim Beckman, who is front and center in Illinois' poster schedule, stepped into a good situation. The Fighting Illini, who are 1-1 after a road loss at Arizona State, have a one in four chance of playing in the Big Ten title game. As a member of the Leaders Division, only four teams — Indiana, Purdue, Wisconsin and Illinois — are eligible for postseason competition in 2012. The other members — Ohio State and Penn State — are ineligible.
Illinois' fans won't be called upon to make a lot of those gas-gulzzling trips this fall. The Fighting Illini play eight home games and won't venture from Champaign until a Week 6 game at Indiana. With 13 returning starters, an improvement on last season's 7-6 record appears to be a lock.