Turner Coming Under Fire Again

<p>When a team struggles to win like Illinois has recently, the "boo" birds start to chirp. Some would say the heat is on, but I have a different outlook on the matter. Here are ten solid reasons that Turner should be and will be here next year:

1. Turner has proven he can win. He led Illinois to an outright Big Ten Championship and took the Illini to a BCS bowl game. Three years ago people wondered if he would leave for another job, but he didn't. I guess it's a case of "what have you done for me lately."

2. Before Turner took over at Illinois, they were a team that took the field and you knew they had no chance to win. Sure they're struggling, but you know as well as I do with his offense, the Illini have a chance to win just about every game. Take a closer look at this year - all three losses could have been wins.

3. Recruiting I don't know about you, but when I look at this current group of players on the roster, I see quality Big Ten football players. I've been a media member for 5 years at the University and I remember the times when I saw players that were too small, had no speed, and no athletic ability. Now they look like a Division I team is supposed to look.

4. He's one of most honest men in the college ranks today. Turner is what he is. Most coaches give you the "business". Not Turner - he tells it like it is. I love that about him. After Saturday's loss it appeared there was a breakdown in communication on the sidelines. During his post game interview, Turner commented on why the offense went dead for the entire second quarter. To summarize for those who didn't hear, "the players were missing their assignments all day long; it wasn't anything Cal was doing." Also Turner was quick to blame himself and his coaching staff, stating they need to coach better.

5. Loyalty After that magical year of winning the Big Ten in 2001, Turner could have left for other jobs but didn't. (See former men's basketball coach Bill Self).

6. When you can produce players to the NFL the way Turner has, the guy must know what he's doing. When he walks into the home of a recruit it's a lot easier to say, "I know what it takes to play at the next level; I've been there."

7. The quick fix might be to find someone else. However, when you look for "someone else" often times you might not like what you get in return.

8. In all fairness to Turner, two of his better players are sitting on the sidelines: FB Carey Davis and DE Mike O'Brien. We're talking about guys that are truly "difference" makers.

9. If the average fan thinks Turner can't coach, remember just three short years ago he was the Big Ten's coach of the year and finished 4th nationally.

10. Last, but certainly not least, Turner is a good man and has the University's best interests at heart. Since the day he started at Illinois, his reputation has been squeaky clean.

I'm not about to sit here and tell you the man is perfect because he's not. But I think that sometimes change does more harm than good. I agree that losing is not acceptable with this group. But don't think for a second that Turner is just laying low; he's aware of what is going on around him. The best antibiotic for Turner would be to "just win, baby".


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