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Is Bret Bielema’s Fighting Illini Football More Iowa or Wisconsin? // B1G 2022

Solid defense and no receivers: a Big Ten West tradition!

NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Illinois Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to the show, where we’ve brought on Thumpasaurus, an Illinois Fighting Illini contributor!

We kind of glossed over the question in the title, which we got around to by examining what Illinois is going to look like:

  • Physical defense focused on stopping the run
  • Conservative-to-a-fault decision making from the head man
  • Blocking tight ends
  • Tall, white quarterbacks that hand the ball off a lot
  • Deep stable of backs
  • Systemic inability to convince talented receivers to come play for the team
  • Games under three hours in regulation

So, which Big Ten West winner are the Fighting Illini most like: Iowa or Wisconsin?

And furthermore, why is the answer Northwestern?

Let’s also talk about basketball, because there’s a brand new team. Illinois worked the transfer portal and ended up with a highly-rated class, returning few contributors from last year. Can they survive the downslope of the initial wave of glory?

Is my take on RJ Melendez completely unreasonable?

Discuss!