It wouldn't be too much to ask for Tim Beckman to go from four to six wins in 2014, but the schedule isn't set up to make that easy. There's a game at Washington on the non-conference slate, and the Big Ten road trips are brutal. Illinois will probably need to win six of seven home games to get to 6-6. Can the Illini beat two out of these three home opponents: Minnesota, Iowa, and Penn State? That's what the administration is asking Beckman to do to get to a bowl game.
As for how long the turnaround should happen: It depends on the school. Turning around Illinois is going to take longer than turning around a struggling powerhouse like USC or Tennessee. It's just easier to recruit at places where you have more fans, resources, and tradition.
Jesse Collins: I am of the mindset that you should at least be back to where the school was before you came in, by Year 3 (so bowling). Sure, there were going to be bumps going from the Zooker to Becks, but you also have to assume that the quality of the program can get back to a sustained 'bowl eligible' point by now. In this era of CFB, you need to win 6 games, and it's not like you're basically playing two FCS teams or anything (I know, North Texas is now FBS, but whatever). With that said, at this point, Becks should have this year and next to get back to a bowl. Outside of complete ineptitude for a third year running, he should get a chance to defend himself without, "but, but, but ZOOK LEFT NOTHING." That seems reasonable enough.
Ray Ransom: At most institutions, 4-5 years is considered the norm for a coach that exhibits some metrics that indicate eventual success is on the horizon (key wins, offensive production, upwardly trending recruiting rankings, etc.). 2-3 is on the short side, 6-7 is on the long side. It's all about the first recruiting class going through the program to provide a long-term projection.
Here at Rutgers, we believe in the 100-year plan. That's right folks, we play the long game. We don't buy the temporal bias that you bumpkins and tiddlywinks do. We like to think along the space-time continuum. Greg Schiano and Frank Gordon are comprised of the same primordial matter that burst forth from the original Big Bang. Thus, they are functionally the same coach and the 1906-2006 turnaround was right on schedule. We firmly expect and are quantum excited to see coach Flood get things in order by around 3012.
Gooey-Butter Cake -- This desert was accidentally created when somebody from St. Louis used twice as much butter in a cake recipe. What arose from the oven was a very sweet, very tasty, very heavy version of a light-colored brownie. However, this is not technically a Food of Illinois. I decided to use this item because there are people in Illinois that are secluded from the majority of the population, namely anyone living further than three hours from Chicagoland. Growing up in Western Southern Illinois, I always related myself to the city of St. Louis. It's a historic city that has some hidden gems of awesomeness, but the media there was always too interested in the Mizzou and seemed to forget that some people cared about the Illini, just how JUCO's are partially forgotten by the college football world.
Ray Ransom: We're very excited to have Jamil Pollard join the Scarlet Knights from the team in pennsylvania. Jamil brings a great motor and is a wonderful comeback story. Not only did he recover from a potentially career-ending injury, but he also made the tricky jump up to Rutgers, a prestigious university, from the watch-the-grass-grow podunk "school" that he was formerly attending.