Ron Zook, aka "The Zookster," head football coach at the prestigious "University of Ill-uh-noise" (as he pronounced it at his first press conference) apparently has no confidence in his team.
Specifically, in response to a question about Illinois being a three point favorite over Wisconsin according to Vegas, he told the media that "I think that is ludicrous" and that "I don't think there is any way possible a team like us could be favored over a team like Wisconsin." Then he voiced a conspiracy theory that Wisconsin alumni controlled betting lines, saying "I think that's probably somebody from Wisconsin trying to get them upset or get them fired up." (See here.)
Right... That's not just about the silliest thing I've ever heard. Hell, if Wisconsin alums controlled Vegas, then the lights would have stayed on at the UW-UNLV game three years ago!
You'd think Zook would be proud of the line, and how it demonstrates that people have noticed their success and think they're a good team. But apparently not. Is he uncomfortable playing any card but the underdog one? Is he too unoriginal to think of any motivation speech but the "no one respects us" standard? (I guess he's been giving that one for two years now, so maybe he's forgotten all of the others.)
Anyhow, how would you respond to these types of comments if you were an Illinois player? To your coach telling the world that the team you're playing is better than you? I'd be pissed and upset. At him. It's one thing for a coach to be realistic. But it's another to crap on his own team's abilities. Nice coaching, Zookster.