Tim Beckman tries to start a real rivalry between Illinois and NorthwesternTim Beckman, for those who don't know, it the new Illinois football coach. And he isn't starting anything. He is adding fuel to a fire that has been burning brightly for GENERATIONS. We play our hated in-state rival every year. Up until recently it was for the coveted "Sweet Sioux" trophy.
But Northwestern, and I say this with as much respect as possible, is not a football school. It's an academic institution that plays football. And while there have been some good seasons in Northwestern history - it was 10-2 in 1995 , the lack of consistency makes it difficult for anyone to really consider the Wildcats a real rival or even a contrived one.This is just plain ol' dumb. Over the past decade and a half, NU has resurrected itself with two fantastic coaches, smart players who are drilled incessantly and know their systems inside and out, and are very well conditioned. At the end of the quarters they all run to the other end in unison instead of sauntering like all of the other teams. They are consistently going to bowl games and winning the majority of their contests every year. NOBODY thinks of NU as an automatic win anymore. I would wager that Graham Watson hasn't seen NU play in 20 years - AT LEAST. Graham Watson is one of these guys that thinks that if your program doesn't get to a BCS game every year there is no success. Worse yet, he remembers the Northwestern program of old that lost almost every game it played. THAT WAS TWO DECADES AGO. So Graham, enjoy your paychecks for doing nothing of value whatsoever. I will continue to enjoy our biggest rivalry with our most hated rival. This is a good job by Beckman fanning the flames of rivalry - he is showing all the signs of being a great coach for the Illini in the future.