Saturday morning, former interim Bill Cubit was the head coach of the Illini, with Signing Day one month in the rear view and spring practice starting in less than a week. Cubit had just signed a full-time head coach contract while leading a 5-7 season, albeit a weirdly short two-year deal.
Saturday afternoon, former NFL head coach Lovie Smith was the favorite to replace Cubit, who was fired within hours of new AD Josh Whitman officially taking the wheel. The firing alone is weird for like eight different reasons, and it completes (?) a diaper fire of a year for Illinois athletics*.
Monday, this happened (our Illinois blog is happy):
* (Although it does mean some of Cubit's coaching staff is suddenly out of work at a time when nobody's looking for coaches, which sounds par for the Illinois course. The freshmen who'd just signed to play for Cubit likely wouldn't be disappointed to play for Smith, but the new AD messed up at least part of this coup, as players found out about the firing via Twitter.)
It's a six-year, $21 million deal.
Smith hasn't coached in college in 20 years and was never even a college coordinator, but surely he can catch the eye of Midwest recruits whose first sports memories include him coaching Chicago in the Super Bowl. And before we worry too much about Smith's college experience, let's remember the current goal for the Illini is, like, making a couple bowls in a row. Outrecruiting Ohio State is not exactly on the list of requirements at the moment.
You can also add him to this list of coaches who've gone straight to college from the NFL.
Bill Connelly team of the day: Georgia State, which pulled off one of the most shocking months in recent memory. Can the Panthers build on that?
Hello, spring football is here. Here are some quick things to know about it, from NCAA rules to the things people talk about to the only thing anyone really seems to care about.
Hell yeah, you'd like to watch a 6'7, 400-pound BYU player sprint through a gas station parking lot while wearing full missionary gear.
Congrats to Boston College for becoming the first Power 5 team in decades to go winless in conference in the two biggest sports.
Mizzou might never score a point again, but there's every reason to believe #DLineZOU remains in good shape.
Remember how Louisiana-Lafayette won four New Orleans Bowls in a row? The record books won't have it that way now, thanks to a bunch of vacated wins.
LSU's Ed Orgeron became more powerful this weekend, and therefore it was a good weekend.
A Kentucky player pulled off an innovative arrest that made many people reference Cool Hand Luke. I've never seen that movie.
Not only did Michigan practice in Florida, an Ohio State fan showed up.
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