"I've never been to the Rose Bowl before. I've watch the Rose Bowl and not the National Championship game, it's a big game growing up watching it. I'm sure most of the guys have."
"We went to OSU, and played in front of the 5th largest crowd in OSU history, this time it will be a different color red but we'll have some fans there too, and it just prepared us to play a team like USC."
Like most of the Illini nation, members of this Rose Bowl squad were watching the other games and all the pieces fall into place. "Saturday night everyone on the team was probably watching the games, because it did affect us and where we could play."
"I really don't get in the politics, but we won our last four games. Breaking a lot of records showed people we could play."
"I knew we were improving, but wins are what you get judged on in this game. We could see it at the end last year, we were getting better by beating Michigan State and playing Iowa and Penn State the way we did."
If the Illini did not make it to the Rose Bowl, it seems likely they were headed to Orlando for a Capital One match-up with the Florida Gators. "Coach Zook doesn't get caught up in all the Florida talk; he just wanted us to have a chance to keep playing and for us to enjoy it all."
Keep checking InsideIllini.com for more reaction to the Illini's selection to the Rose Bowl.