Brumby's Daily Column: November 2, 2005

Brumby looks at some of the news articles that are revolving around college athletics for the day and provides some thoughts on them and the world of Illini sports.

There is a shake up on the Illini Radio Network as Jerry Hester is going to be replacing Stephen Bardo as the color analyst alongside Brian Barnhart for about twenty games while other professional engagements are taking up Stephen's time. Bardo's contract with WBBM-TV and ESPN Regional will keep him from the Illini Sports Network radio broadcasts, and this is not really a surprising thing. I have figured since he started doing the Illini games in 2000, Stephen would not stay on for long as the voice of the Illini as bigger things were in his sights.

I cannot say that having Bardo go on to greener pastures is upsetting to me, because I rarely listen to the radio broadcasts of the basketball games. I have listened to a few broadcasts here and there, but for the most part I am watching a game in the Assembly Hall crowd or on television. In the few times I have been able to hear Bardo, I thought he was an okay color commentator, but nothing spectacular. It is good to have an Illini voice on ESPN, and hopefully Stephen's career will be able to expand further from ESPN-Regional coverage to get an opportunity nationally through either CBS or ESPN. Good luck to him.

I am excited to get a new voice in the Illini radio booth. I don't know how good (or bad) Jerry Hester is going to be, but as one that likes to hear about the minor nuances in the game of basketball, I hope Jerry brings those more to his radio broadcasts than Bardo did.

I can say Bardo will be remembered by me for one simple conversation he had with Jim Turpin after the Arizona game that ended Illinois' season in 2001, which ended with Jim simply stating: "Well, I guess we should not talk about the stats then Steve."

If any one ever wondered why they decided to shoot a pornographic film on the campus of Indiana University and you needed another reason besides their gorgeous co-eds, Marco Killingsworth, Lewis Monroe, and Marshall Strickland provided some more reasons with their attempts at picking up a reporter from the Badger Herald. Killingsworth also told the reporter one of the reasons he left Alabama:
According to Killingsworth, the KKK was waiting for him following an Auburn vs. Alabama basketball game and he didn't want to see that happen in Madison.
Interesting decision from Marco considering Bloomington is just a mere 23 miles from Martinsville, IN. I think Madison, WI (hippie central in the Midwest) is probably the least of his worries.

Now, on to the Illinois football game against the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus. The Illini come into this contest with a two-game winning streak in the Horseshoe. Yep, you read that right, the Illini have actually won six of the last eight in Columbus, and the last two (1999 and 2001). Illinois and Ohio State have not fought for the Illinibuck trophy since Ohio State's National Championship season in 2002, a game in which many Illinois fans still believe Walter Young had possession of that pass. This season, it is different story for the Illini as they travel to Ohio Stadium, though.

The much-maligned Illini defense will be tasked with attempting to slow down Troy Smith and the Ohio State offense that is averaging just over thirty points a game, but has scored 35, 41, and 45 in their recent three game winning streak. Smith is leading the Buckeyes with eight rushing touchdowns, and has ten touchdown passes to just three interceptions, though he does often times do a very good Michael Vick impersonation by missing wide open receivers.

I was thinking of betting this game in Vegas, but with a spread of 34 points I can't in good conscience choose Ohio State to either cover that, nor can I assume Illinois will be able to keep the game within the thirty-four points. Though the over might be intriguing!

Since Scoop Jackson is too busy predicting the NBA's Eastern and Western conference records to come out against Notre Dame for their agreement to a contract extension with Charlie Weis, he left it up to Jason Whitlock to put down his Gates and come up with a feigned outrage column for's Page 2. Porkchop, I know you can put racism into almost anything you write or say on the radio (when you have a show), well, that or homophobia, but this contract extension for Weis was about one thing, keeping the recruiting class for this season together. Weis knew he had all the leverage in the world with so many NFL jobs coming up, and Notre Dame desperately wanting to stay important in the college football scene, Weis worked Notre Dame for a huge raise and a long term contract. Notre Dame gladly did it, not wanting to lose Weis, but we all know their efforts will be for naught as Weis will be coaching in the NFL in three seasons, at a minimum. My early prediction: Weis replaces his idol Bill Parcells in Dallas when his contract expires after the 2006 season.

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