2014 UI football schedule set

2014 UI football schedule set

The Big Ten today announced football schedules for 2014. The Illini's nonconference schedule was finalized Wednesday. The lineup:


Aug. 30 — Youngstown State

Sept. 6 — Western Kentucky

Sept. 13 – at Washington

Sept. 20 – Texas State

Sept. 27 — at Nebraska

Oct. 4 — Purdue

Oct. 11 — at Wisconsin

Oct. 25 — Minnesota

Nov. 1 — at Ohio State

Nov. 15 — Iowa

Nov. 22 — Penn State

Nov. 29 — at Northwestern

We asked beat writer Matt Daniels for his take:

The Illinois football team went 71 years without playing twice at Nebraska.
Now the Illini will get to do so in consecutive seasons. Gulp.

Illinois opens Big Ten play in Lincoln, Neb., on Oct. 5 this season. For the 2014 season, Illinois will venture west for a Sept. 27 game at Nebraska's Memorial Stadium to start league action.

The Big Ten didn't do Illinois any favors when the conference released its 2014 schedule on Thursday.

Illinois will make road trips to Nebraska, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Northwestern. Illinois hasn't won in Lincoln since 1924, Madison and Evanston since 2002 and Columbus since its epic upset of the Buckeyes in 2007.

It's good to get Iowa back on the schedule after a five-year absence (Illinois won its last meeting with the Hawkeyes 27-24 on last-second field goal by Matt Eller at Memorial Stadium in 2008), but not facing Michigan and Michigan State in a season doesn't seem right. Mainly because Illinois has either played both or one of the two schools every season since Michigan State started playing Big Ten football in 1953. Not anymore.

We'll see if the Wolverines or Spartans will land on future schedules after 2014 since 2014 marks the start of the new East-West format the Big Ten will use to split its two, seven-team divisions before nine conference games are factored into the 2016 season.


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pberg wrote on May 16, 2013 at 5:05 pm

I dont think it is going to make much difference because I think there will be a different coach in 2014. There is no way they can sell tickets to Memorial Stadium when we have another 2-10 or 3-9 season. The Beckman era should and needs to end soon.  As I have said all along they need to get a top notch ainssistant from a top program or overpay for an established head coach to come here.  Why couldnt they find somebody like Jim Tressel as he was successful in a different division of college football.  Something needs to change at Illinois soon or it will be the same malaise as usual!

JimOATSfan wrote on May 16, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Hey let's surprise ourselves and go beat them twice!! 

Coach Cubit's an excellent offensive coach | coordinator so expect some big numbers on offense.  It will be up to the defensive and special teams coaches to be as good if not better for the Illini to raise their game in the next few years.

Go Illini!

jjohnson wrote on May 17, 2013 at 10:05 am

The season hasn't started; reserve the negativism and understand that it takes some time -- the cupboard was not bare, but not adequately full. As I have often stated, when I was a sophomore (1961), for the first time in its history, Illinois did not win a game (0-9); the next year, a 15 game losing streak ended at Purdue, but only a Saturday-after-Thanksgiving game attended by a mere 16,000 gave the second win of the season, a 7-6 upset of Michigan State. In 1963, the Illini went to the Rose Bowl and on 1-1-64 won the Rose Bowl (they have not repeated that).

Ron Turner's initial years were awful, but the 1999 and 2000 years were highly memorable.

Zook's first year featured an opening game win, but the team was really bad, and his second season, we even lost at home to Ohio U. His third season, we went back to the Rose Bowl (though as great as that was, maybe the team was not quite ready).

I certainly hope for more than 3-9, but given this year's schedule, if we are as competitve the second half of the season as was Zook's second year team, 2014 will take care of itself.

Mike Thomas knows you do not build this in two years. Get off of Beckman's back and pull for success -- or gripe; some people find that makes them feel good, but I sure do not understand it.

pberg wrote on May 17, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Sorry but I have seen this for the last 50 years. Up for a short while and back down to virtually nothing.  How do you sell tickets to this? Come here to Memorial Stadium where we can beat a 1-A school and them lose to most all of the Big Ten.  Show me something and then we can talk.  I have watched this same pattern for the last five decades. Please forgive me for not jumping up and down for the football season to start.

geriatricillini wrote on May 18, 2013 at 8:05 am

I have been following Illini football for close to 55 years and I agree with everything pberg has posted.

walker wrote on September 16, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Why on earth would we play Nebraska two straight years on the road?  Surely, the BT has the ability to split that up?