Right. After a friend prodded me, tickets have been purchased for the Illinois game down in Champaign, which airs tomorrow at 11 am Central on ESPN. Getting there will require waking at the break of dawn, but I'm excited to see the Badgers in person, even if they do down. Verily, I am willing to brave the flat landscape, unattractive strip malls, and strong odor of manure.
I'm trying to convince myself that Vegas is right, and that Illinois should win, and thus be more able to enjoy the game if it's close. (Usually, I'm so freaked out in a close game that I can't really enjoy it until it's all over.) But then someone noted the following-- the Badgers' three really lousy defensive performances-- the Citadel and Sparty games -- all came when Jack Ikegwuonu was out. With him in, the Badgers have given up 21, 13, and 13 points, and Jack admitted he played poorly when UW gave up 21 to Wazzu. (Jack is apparently good to go tomorrow, knock on wood.) Is there a pattern? I hope so, or otherwise I fear we're going to see Illinois running spread options with the Juice, Benn and Mendenhall all day tomorrow.
I shall report back on Sunday with photographs-- reconnaissance from behind enemy lines.