In terms of personality and style, there aren’t many similarities between Lovie Smith and Illinois’ most recent permanent head coach, Tim Beckman. As someone who watched the entirety of the Beckman era during undergrad, I’m largely pleased with the direction that Lovie has taken the program, but whether or not his trajectory can avoid that of his predecessor remains to be seen.
The performance of Tim Beckman’s first team in 2012 was painfully similar to that of Lovie’s first squad with his own recruits last season. Both teams featured somewhat manageable defenses paired with offenses that could not consistently move the ball. And not surprisingly, both offensive coordinators found themselves looking for work the following season. On paper the results were identical: 2-10 (0-8).

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