College Football Reporter/Columnist

Bob Asmussen is a college football reporter and columnist for The News-Gazette. His email is asmussen@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@BobAsmussen).

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In his 30th year on the Illinois football beat, AP Top 25 voter Bob Asmussen is on call 24/7. Submit your questions BY CLICKING HERE and he’ll chase down answers.

Illini QB Club golf5905

Lori Carmichael, left, talks with Illinois football coach Lovie Smith during the annual Illini Quarterback Club golf outing at the U of I Orange Course in Savoy on Monday June, 3, 2019.

Today:

“I pretty much agree with everyone that the Illini will be better, but how far that takes them is questionable. I always remember a caller to one of the Chicago spots stations back when the Cubs were bad. He would say the Cubs don’t have to get better, everyone else just has to get worse. I don’t see any Western division team that is highly likely to get worse.”

Bob says ...

“Illinois should match last season’s win total by taking the first three games (Akron, UConn, Eastern Michigan) and beating Rutgers at home. Beyond four wins gets trickier for Illinois. The West is better. There is no obvious win for the Illini inside the division. And the team got no breaks in the East, playing Michigan and Michigan State.”

Asmussen's way-too-early projected West finish: 1. Iowa 2. Nebraska 3. Wisconsin 4. Northwestern 5. Purdue 6. Illinois 7. Minnesota

Bob Asmussen is a college football reporter and columnist for The News-Gazette. His email is rasmussen@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@BobAsmussen).