Happy Birthday, Coach Kruger

Happy Birthday, Coach Kruger

Illini Legends, Lists & Lore

Nonconference football games

With Illinois’ 2012 season opener against Western Michigan now less than two weeks away, it’s important to get off to a strong start against nonconference opponents ... or is it? During the last 25 years, in terms of eventually reaching postseason play — 11 times — three past Illini football teams that have won at least three nonconference games all played in bowl games. In 2000, when Ron Turner’s club went 3-0 before entering Big Ten play, the bottom dropped out, and the Illini eventually finished in a tie for ninth in the league standings. Of the nine UI squads that won two of their non-league contests, only five wound up in a warm-weather postseason destination. Over the past 25 seasons, Illinois’ cumulative nonconference record is 42 wins and 41 losses. A season-by-season rundown of the last 25 Illini football seasons:

Season     Rec.    Big Ten          Bowl
2011    4-0     5th Leaders (2-6)     Yes
2010     2-2     T-4th (4-4)    Yes
2009    1-3     9th (2-6)      No
2008     2-2    T-6th (3-5)    No
2007    3-1    T-2nd (6-2)    Yes
2006     1-3    T-10th (1-7)    No
2005    2-1    11th (0-8)    No
2004     2-1      T-10th (1-7)    No
2003    1-3     11th (0-8)      No
2002     1-3     T-5th (4-4)    No
2001    3-0    1st (7-1)        Yes
2000     3-0    T-9th (2-6)    No
1999     3-0    T-6th, 4-4      Yes
1998     1-2    7th (2-6)        No
1997    0-3    11th (0-8)     No
1996    1-2    T-9th (1-7)    No
1995    2-1    T-7th(3-4-1)    No
1994    2-1    5th (4-4)         Yes
1993    0-3    T-4th (5-11)     No
1992     0-3    4th (4-3-1)     Yes
1991    2-1    5th (4-4)         Yes
1990     2-1     T-1st (6-2)    Yes
1989    2-1    2nd (7-1)        Yes
1988    1-2     T-3rd (5-2-1)      Yes
1987    1-2    8th (2-5-1)      No
 

Illini Birthdays

Today: Lon Kruger (below), basketball coach (60)

Monday: Don Hansen, football (68)

Tuesday: Jocelynn Birks, volleyball (19)

Wednesday: Brian Johnson, basketball (37)

Thursday: Bruce Sullivan, football (67)

Friday: Hope Sanders, track & field (39)

Saturday: Levi Cobb, basketball (55)

By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore and assistant athletic director at Miami (Ohio)

Get Illini birthdays, trivia and historical tidbits daily on Twitter @IlliniLegends

Categories (3):Illini Sports, Football, Sports

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