Illinois Fighting Illini
2007 record: 2-1 (0-0)
2007 Sagarin: 63 (IU is #51)
2006 record: 2-10 (1-7)
2006 Sagarin: 108
Series: Illinois leads, 41-20-2.
Last IU win: 2006 (34-32 in Champaign)
Last Illinois win: 2004 (26-22 in Champaign)
Last Illinois win in Bloomington: 2001 (35-14)
Isaiah Williams: 103/261 (39.5%); 1489 yards; 9TD/9INT; 154/576 rushing (3.7); 2 rushing TDs; 25 sacks.
- If IU starts 4-0, it will be the Hoosiers' longest winning streak to start the season since IU began 4-0 in 1990. IU also started 4-0 in 1986 and 1985, and went undefeated in the first six games (5-0-1) in 1988. Before 1985, the Hoosiers' most recent start of better than 3-0 was the 8-0 start in 1967, IU's only Rose Bowl season.
- Illinois and IU are "protected rivals," meaning they play every season. I can't remember exactly what year the Big Ten normalized the protected rivalries (each school now has exactly two), but IU and Illinois have played every year since 1995 and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. In contrast, during the scheduling wackiness associated with Penn State joining the conference, IU and Illinois did not play at all for four years (1991-1994). After losing in Champaign in 1989, IU did not play there again until 1996.
- The two most "forced" protected rivalries are Illinois-Indiana and Purdue-Northwestern. Frankly, I'm surprised that the two aren't switched. Champaign and West Lafayette are less than 100 miles apart, and Purdue and Illinois have played 84 times (as opposed to 63 meeting between IU and Illinois). Before the Big Ten normalized scheduling in the early 1960s, IU and Illinois played only sporadically. From 1915-1927, IU and Illinois played only twice. They didn't play at all from 1940-43, 1952-58, or 1961-64. I have absolutely no inside info. For all I know, all four schools wanted the protected rivalries arranged this way. It still strikes me as odd.