Decatur Tribune Online

PAUL OSBORNE, EDITOR 
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Mac on Sports
Illini Nation: Football Team Will

Go Bowling This Winter

  Illini Nation...
       Start saving your green for a football trip in December.
       You read it here first--Illinois will go bowling somewhere this winter in one of those post-season football shows.
       I have Illinois going 7-5 under third year head coach Lovie Smith, who isn't the only Big Ten team to have question marks at the all-important quarterback position.  
       That's what I see in my admittedly cloudy and foggy crystal ball as Illinois practices are underway and with media day at noon Friday.   I'm a positive person which is why I'm climbing out on the proverbial limb with my above prediction, knowing well there are many reading this with saws ready to cut off those limbs so I fall to the ground in embarrassment.  Even if they only win six and play .500 ball, they're going bowling as six teams qualify for post-season play.  
       My reasons follow.  
       I'll start with the all-powerful, all-knowing and perennial national champion contender, Ohio State, where the Buckeyes have to replace quarterback J.T. Barrett and Michigan and its head coach Jim Harbaugh are looking to Mississippi transfer quarterback Shea Patterson to lead them back to the promised land, including finally beating the Buckeyes. 
       Franklin brings his loaded Penn State Nittany Lions, including Heisman Trophy and All-American candidate, senior quarterback Trace McSorley, to Memorial Stadium for the Illini Big Ten opener which will be a Friday night affair.  That's one of the five losses I penned for the Illini.
       I shared this with some friends, who think I've lost my marbles which few say I had anyway, (smile!).  One saved my game-by-game predictions to bring back at the end of the season for everyone to enjoy a good laugh.  However, he who laughs last, laughs best and your chef will be right with his fearless forecast.  After all one doesn't get as vertically challenged as I am without readers beating up on you.  I see you readers laughing which is good.   
       It certainly helps that Illinois doesn't play three of the East's better teams this fall--Michigan, Michigan State or Ohio State. 


Check out this week's Irish Stew by J. Thomas McNamara in the Aug. 8 print edition of the Decatur Tribune for more on Tom's predictions.

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J. Thomas McNamara
Sports Editor


Decatur Tribune
Email Tom at JThomasMc@aol.com

Check out McNamara's "Irish Stew" every week in the print edition of the Decatur Tribune.
Columns Are Printed With The Most Recent Displayed First

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MAC ON SPORTS