2. Yeah, this was a successful season for Illinois
Other than, well, me, who thought Illinois was actually going to go bowling this year?
After so many years of being a total dud, and so many down moments under Lovie Smith, Illinois got a win over Wisconsin. It pulled off a fantastic comeback win over Michigan State, gave Michigan a bit of a push, and it actually got a bowl bid.
It was a losing season, and the 29-10 loss at home to Northwestern was totally unacceptable, but it was the first bowl appearance since 2014 and just the second since 2014.
Illinois became a national story – at least for a moment in the middle of the season – and there’s hope now.
Okay, so it took a massive miracle – and meltdown – to beat the Badgers, and the Michigan State was was a gag by the other side, but 6-7 at a place that hadn’t won more than four games since 2015?
It was a successful season, even if it ended with a thud.