Illinois moves Fresno State game to Dec. 5
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Head coach Ron Zook sort of let this slip out during Tuesday's news conference, but Illinois' home contest against Fresno State has officially been moved from Nov. 21 to Dec. 5.
The Illini will wrap up Big Ten play Nov. 14 against Northwestern and then have an open date Nov. 21 before visiting defending Big East champ Cincinnati. The Cincinnati game is currently scheduled for Nov. 28, but don't be surprised if it moves to Friday, Nov. 27, to accommodate a national TV audience. Then Illinois will wrap up against Fresno State at Memorial Stadium.
That means December football in Champaign. Feel the brrrr! It marks the first December home game in team history (there have been several on Nov. 30).
Illinois now will have two open dates in its schedule, as it won't play Sept. 19 before opening the Big Ten slate against defending co-champs Ohio State and Penn State. The schedule setup is far from ideal, but the extra open date should be helpful in the long run.
There is one problem with adjusted schedule, as the (Decatur) Herald & Review's Mark Tupper points out in his blog. Illinois' men's basketball team is tentatively scheduled to play Gonzaga in Chicago on Dec. 5, which would hurt football attendance even if the games start at different times.
Illinois does not want two major events on the same day. So, it's possible the basketball game might be shifted to Sunday. Gonzaga just ended its season so the subject supposedly hasn't been addressed with them, but they'll have to be if the football switch happens.
Here's Illinois' updated 2009 schedule
- Sept. 5 -- vs. Missouri (St. Louis)
- Sept. 12 -- Illinois State
- Sept. 19 -- OPEN
- Sept. 26 -- at Ohio State
- Oct. 3 -- Penn State
- Oct. 10 -- Michigan State
- Oct. 17 -- at Indiana
- Oct. 24 -- at Purdue
- Oct. 31 -- Michigan
- Nov. 7 -- at Minnesota
- Nov. 14 -- Northwestern
- Nov. 21 -- OPEN
- Nov. 27/28 -- at Cincinnati
- Dec. 5 -- Fresno State
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Iowa 24 Pittsburgh 20 Final Eastern Michigan 14 11 Michigan State 73 Final Western Illinois 7 Northwestern 24 Final Southern Illinois 13 Purdue 35 Final Bowling Green 17 19 Wisconsin 68 Final Maryland 34 Syracuse 20 Final Utah 26 Michigan 10 Final Rutgers 31 Navy 24 Final Massachusetts 7 Penn State 48 Final San Jose State 7 Minnesota 24 Final Texas State 35 Illinois 42 Final Indiana 31 18 Missouri 27 Final Miami (FL) 31 24 Nebraska 41