Sunday, October 07, 2007


Well now. Lookee who's 3-0 in the Big Ten (no, I don't mean Ohio State). Lookee who's one win over a MAC team (or a bad Iowa team, or a bad Northwestern team, or a really bad Minnesota team) from being bowl eligible. Lookee who's riding a 5-game winning streak. Lookee who's riding a 2-game winning streak over ranked teams. Lookee who finally beat the arrogant Cheeseheads for the first time since 2002.

And Lookee who just got ranked (#18) for the first time since the end of 2001.

Aw hell, I'll just say it.

The F-ing Illini. And that's "F" as in "Fight, Fight, Fight."

The naysayers are still out there -- both inside and outside fan base. The "they must be cheating in recruiting" meme lives and thrives. A persistent (if shrinking) undercurrent of Zookophobia remains -- when will he pull a bonehead coaching move to lose a big game? Not yet this year, anyway.

In the end it was too much of The Chosen Person (160 yards rushing and 3 TDs for Rashard Mendenhall) and too much of the rapidly developing folk tale of Eddie McGee, who continues to do a Rollie Fingers -- creating the new position of football closer -- by running for the winning touchdown, and later adding a 3rd down run and a 4th down sneak for the game-closing first down.

The excellent new tradition of the team rushing the stands (i.e., the student section) after a big win was seen again (I wouldn't mind seeing it again and again and again). And the scene was filled out by a tremendous beauty. That's right, the wife was in the stands. Oh, yeah. I guess Erin Andrews was there as well.



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