College Football News Preview 2020: Illinois Fighting Illini

Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

College Football News Preview 2020: Illinois Fighting Illini

Illinois

College Football News Preview 2020: Illinois Fighting Illini

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1. College Football News Preview 2020: Illinois Fighting Illini Win Total Prediction, What Will Happen

There are enough pieces in place for the Illini to go bowling in back-to-back years for the first time since 2010-2011, but there finally has to be some positive consistency in the Lovie Smith era.

A win is a win is a win – and give the Illini credit for coming through – but it took a bizarre meltdown by Michigan State and an epic fail by Wisconsin to pull off those two victories. If either one doesn’t happen, it’s another losing season with no bowl game.

The team that was able to beat the Badgers also lost to Eastern Michigan. The team that stunned the Spartans also got pushed by a miserable UConn team and didn’t show up in a blowout loss to a horrendous Northwestern squad.

It was great that Illinois got to the Redbox Bowl – losing to Cal 35-20 – but it can’t be a one-off. 2020 has to be the start of something a whole lot bigger, but it’s going to be tougher now with Nebraska improving, Minnesota a thing now, Wisconsin and Iowa being Wisconsin and Iowa, and with Northwestern likely to be a whole lot stronger.

So even with a not-that-bad schedule …

Set The Illinois Fighting Illini Regular Season Win Total At … 5.5

Bet at BetMGM Win Total Line: 5

Illinois State, UConn, Bowling Green, at Rutgers. If Illinois is 4-0 to kick things off, forget it – thanks for playing.

There will be a win over a good team along the way, but can it get two?

There’s no Michigan, Penn State or Michigan State on the Big Ten slate, and the first six games are against teams that didn’t go bowling last year, but one of those dates is at Nebraska, and then it’s nasty the rest of the way.

This is a good enough team, though, to push for at least seven wins and comfortably get bowl eligible.

There hasn’t been anything comfortable, though, about Illinois football for a long, long time.

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