Here we go again: Eleni fans, gear up for impact

Bret Bielema’s Illini has achieved something he hasn’t done since 2011, finishing a record (3-0) in non-conference play.

The fan-favorite nickname “trap game” against Chattanooga turned out to be nothing more than Illini’s display on either side of the ball. The final score of 31-0 provided a sneak peek into the overall defeat, as Eleni played another football game on a day other than Saturday.

Illinois fans know this game, and they know it all too well.

No, I am not talking about the football competition that was held in Champaign last night. This game refers to the emotional capital of the University of Illinois Department of Athletics.

It’s been a zero-sum game especially in the last decade. I’d like to list those atrocities, but I’d rather not waste that space for this column.

After starting (6-0) in 2011, Illini lost the last six matches. Ron Zuk was fired less than three months after the program was in the top 15 in an AP poll. Illinois likely won’t even get close to the top 15 in 2022.

Then again, they probably do.

The roller coaster battling Eleni Vendome usually begins in late November, across the street at the State Farm Center.

It looks like it will start a few months ago in 2022.

Interestingly, and without hesitation, Eleni’s fans across the country would rise in unison.

Put a quarter in the music box if you have over 35, or a $5 TouchTunes bill and skip songs the other losers picked.

Here we are again, for the first time with Britt Bilima.

Here Brett Belima goes to Wisconsin, for the first time with Illinois.

“I am very proud of the things I accomplished there but none of those accomplishments will help us next Saturday. Nothing we did there on the pitch is going to go forward,” Bilima said on Thursday. “The rest of our matches are opponents of the Big Ten, where we started with three Consecutive matches in our department. It will be a big month for football ahead of us in this programme.”

October will be the most important month in a decade.

Next month will be a glorious football month. One way or another, the rollercoaster will be a fun ride. October begins in Wisconsin and ends in Nebraska. In between those wild rides are home contests against Iowa and Minnesota.

All four matches are winnable. All four games are lost. This is life as an Illinois fan.

Kanna. Should. friendliness

Indiana’s loss looks like it happened months ago, but this open wound could cost Illinois a chance at the Big Ten West.

Respect is a good starting point. How much respect this program will have at the start of November will be the first real measure of how much things have really changed since Belima arrived in town.

Illinois fans are so battered, battered and scarred so badly that after a good start to the season and a few blowouts, their insecurity becomes a fatal blow.

Illini quarterback Tommy DeVito looked relaxed and cool as he managed a complex attack in Illinois to near perfection. DeVito’s 329 yards, three touchdowns, and a 74.2% completion rate easily represents his best game in Illinois.

Chase Brown broke the 100-yard mark for the fifth game in a row, a new record for the program. Brown also surpassed Red Grange on the all-time rush list in the league.

Illinois can be a road favorite at Camp Randall. A lot of that depends on how many points Ohio State scores on the Badgers.

Fasten your seat belt. We are on a road trip.