Illinois vs. Indiana, '05 vs. '76
Perhaps the biggest challenge the Fighting Illini will face today against the Indiana Hoosiers will be fighting off complacency. The Hoosiers are 5-3 in the conference, which puts them in a tie for fourth place. However, Indiana will be most likely be without their star Bracey Wright, who severely sprained his ankle and was on crutches at Friday's practice. Terry Hutchens of the Indianapolis Star has more here
. According to Mark Tupper, the Illini are preparing for the Hoosiers as if he's playing
That could be why the Las Vegas Line
on the game favors Illinois by 20.5. Tupper blogs
that the Fighting Illini would benefit from better competition.
However, the real contest here is between the history of these two programs. As Hutchens writes, Indiana has shot to protect '76 team's distinction
. Indiana was the last team to go undefeated and win the national championship and their meeting with Illinois today obviously draws comparisons. Quinn Buckner, who starred on the '76 Hoosiers team, sees parallels
between his college team and the current Illini.
In the Indianapolis Star
, Phil Richards has a nice write-up here
for Indiana fans who might not have been paying attention to the Illini so far this season. According to Lindsey Willhite of the Daily Herald, this game presents a great opportunity for the program. In his write-up here
, Willhite says the game before the Super Bowl should turn into a free nationally televised two-hour infomercial
. Illinois official game notes here