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Lovie Smith is starting on a pretty fascinating Illinois coaching staff. Let's see if it works!

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University of Illinois

Look at these coaches reportedly being targeted as assistants by Lovie Smith at Illinois (that happened):

  • Former NFL (and, yeah, Texas A&M) head coach Mike Sherman
  • San Francisco 49ers assistant Hardy Nickerson
  • Jacksonville Jaguars assistant Luke Butkus
  • Indianapolis Colts assistant Andrew Hayes-Stoker
  • Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant Mikal Smith (son of Lovie)
  • Perhaps another son of Lovie, one of whom interned for the Bucs

Extremely NFL! Young (mostly) and diverse and surely capable, with some minor college experience here and there. But HOOO that's a lot of NFL. Even if they don't all sign, the theme is pretty clear.

Hopefully this eventual big-money staff will include a couple proven recruiting aces, because we've seen in the past that showing off NFL rings and credentials isn't quite the recruiting shoo-in some would assume. Sherman has a top rep as an offensive line recruiter, at least.

Louisville OC Garrick McGee is also reportedly a target. He would add key college experience. And we'd worry a little less about something called "Garrick McGee offense" than we would about "Mike Sherman college offense on a Lovie Smith team."

But still, look at all that NFL. Compare that to the Detroit Lions staff, which includes:

  • Former Wake Forest head coach Jim Caldwell
  • Former Maryland head coach Randy Edsall
  • Former Miami head coach Al Golden
  • Former Kansas State head coach Ron Prince
  • Various assistants with some noteworthy college experience, such as former Boise State OC Robert Prince
  • And Brian Callahan, son of a certain kind of ultimate NFL/college crossover, Bill Callahan himself

I do believe we've got ourselves some sort of Midwestern NFL-college foreign exchange program going on here. We look forward to teaching them how to try triple reverse passes to the fullback on fourth down, and we anticipate their insights into the latest technologies that actually let the labor be paid.

Bill C team of the day: Arkansas State, which is both loaded and bringing on a lot of stud transfers. Heads up, Sun Belt!

The NCAA passed a new rule that'll allow booth officials to call and overturn targeting penalties. This is a good thing.

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Big 12 expansion chatter back? Friend, Big 12 expansion chatter stays back.

Florida's potential starting QB and top returning receiver aren't with the team right now, and nobody can publicly explain what's happening. Cool cool cool.

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Calvin Johnson, greatest Yellow Jacket ever (fight me), officially retires from the NFL. Georgia Tech fans weigh in.

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Lovie, Illinois coach (ICYMI), also joined Twitter. His announcement demanded way more airhorn, so we complied.

Here is Leonardo DiCaprio wearing an Iowa hat. That's the entire post, just that photo.