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Lovie Smith was instantly fed up with this question about him 'taking it too easy' at Illinois

“Are you freaking kidding me?”

Things haven’t been going well for Illinois lately, and that’s part of the reason Lovie Smith now has the job as the Illini’s head coach. After a 1-4 start to his tenure, the tough questions are coming from the media. Smith doesn’t have much time for questions he interprets as disrespectful.

It is indeed doubtful that the problems with Illinois have anything to do with Smith being too easy on his new charges. As a stern NFL man, being too relaxed isn’t something I think Smith will struggle with. But a question trying to get at the root of why Illinois is 116th in the country in penalty yards per game isn’t out of bounds.

The biggest issue Illinois and most struggling middling college football programs have is talent. The Illini’s five-year recruiting ranking is 13th in the Big Ten, and it doesn’t matter how hard you are on your team if the talent isn’t there.