Bulletin Board Material: October 2012 Entries - Wandtv.com, NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News-

Bulletin Board Material: October 2012 Entries

Posted:

10-30-12

 
Game dates and times are set for round two of the IHSA football playoffs.  Sixteen games include teams from the WAND viewing area.  Check below for the schedule for each of those games.
 
1A PAIRINGS

Bracket 2:

#1 LeRoy (10-0) @ #9 Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland (8-2) -- Sat., Nov. 3, 2pm
#5 Central A&M (9-1) @ #4 Concord-Tropia (9-1) -- Sat., Nov. 3,  1:30pm
#7 Villa Grove (9-1) @ #2 Maroa-Forsyth (9-1) -- Sat., Nov. 3, 1pm
#6 Salt Fork (9-1) @ #3 Carrollton (9-1) -- Sat., Oct. 27, 2pm

2A PAIRINGS

Bracket 1:

#3 Annawan-Wethersfield (9-1) @ #2 Tri-Valley (9-1) -- Sat., Nov. 3,  1pm

Bracket 2:

#8 DuQuoin (8-2) @ #1 Bismarck-Henning (10-0) -- Sat., Nov. 3, 2pm
#5 Cerro Gordo-Bement Coop (10-0) @ #4 Camp Point-Central (10-0) -- Sat., Nov. 3, 2pm
#15 Belleville-Althoff Catholic (7-3) @ #10 Athens (8-2) -- Sat., Nov. 3, 2pm
#11 Arthur-Lovington (8-2) @ #3 Casey-Westfield (10-0) -- Sat., Nov. 3, 2pm

3A PAIRINGS

Bracket 1:

#3 St. Joseph-Ogden (9-1) @ #11 Wilmington (8-2) -- Sat., Nov. 3, 6pm

Bracket 2:

#1 Williamsville (10-0) @ #5 Monticello (8-2) Sat., Nov. 3, 1:30pm
#3 Pleasant Plains (9-1) @ #2 Tolono-Unity (9-1) -- Sat., Nov. 3, 1pm

4A PAIRINGS

Bracket 2:

#3 Charleston (9-1) @ #2 Rochester (9-1) -- Sat., Nov. 3, 6pm

5A PAIRINGS

Bracket 2:

#3 Urbana (9-1) @ #2 Morris (9-1) -- Sat., Nov. 3, 4pm
#1 Jerseyville-Jersey (10-0) @ #4 Chatham-Glenwood (8-2) -- Sat., Nov. 3, 2pm
#3 Sacred Heart-Griffin (9-1) @ #7 Jacksonville (6-4) -- Sat., Nov. 3, 1pm

 

Updated
 
IHSA Week One Playoff Pairings Released
 
Below are the pairings for central Illinois teams -- in our coverage area -- for week 1 of the playoffs.  For the pairings for the rest of the teams in the state, including brackets that will show you potential matchups down the road, click here.  "Bracket 1" is the "top half" of each classification's bracket, and "Bracket 2" are the teams in the bottom half.
 
Good luck teams!
 
1A PAIRINGS

Bracket 2:
#16 Brown County (5-4) @ #1 LeRoy (9-0) -- Sat., Oct. 27, 2pm
#12 Milford (6-3) @ #5 Central A&M (8-1) -- Sat., Oct. 27,  2pm
#15 Dupo (6-3) @ #2 Maroa-Forsyth (8-1) -- Sat., Oct. 27, 2pm
#10 Winchester-West Central (6-3) @ #7 Villa Grove (8-1) -- Sat., Oct. 27, 2pm
#14 Cumberland (6-3) @ #3 Carrollton (8-1) -- Sat., Oct. 27, 1pm
#11 Oblong (6-3) @ #6 Salt Fork (8-1) -- Sat., Oct. 27, 1pm

2A PAIRINGS

Bracket 1:
#7 Havana (6-3) @ #2 Tri-Valley (8-1) -- Fri., Oct. 26,  7pm
#6 Watseka (6-3) @ #3 Annawan-Wethersfield (8-1) -- Sat., Oct. 27, 2pm

Bracket 2:
#16 Ridge Farm (6-3) @ #1 Bismarck-Henning (9-0) -- Sat., Oct. 27, 1pm
#13 Argenta-Oreana (6-3) @ #4 Camp Point-Central (9-0) -- Sat., Oct 27, 2pm
#12 Lawrenceville (7-2) @ #5 Cerro Gordo-Bement Coop (9-0) -- Sat., Oct. 27, 2pm
#10 Athens (7-2) @ #7 Beardstown (8-1) -- Fri., Oct. 26, 7pm
#14 Carmi-White County) (6-3) @ #3 Casey-Westfield (9-0) -- Sat., Oct 27, 2pm
#11 Arthur-Lovington (7-2) @ #6 Carlinville (8-1) -- Sat., Oct. 27, 1pm

3A PAIRINGS

Bracket 1:
#16 Champaign-St. Thomas More (5-4) @ #1 Elmwood-Brimfield (9-0) -- Sat., Oct. 27, 3pm
#14 Aurora-Central Catholic (6-3) @ #3 St. Joseph-Ogden (8-1) -- Sat., Oct. 27, 5pm

Bracket 2:
#8 North Mac (5-4) @ #1 Williamsville (9-0) -- Sat., Oct. 27, 1pm
#5 Monticello (7-2) @ #4 Nokomis (8-1) -- Sat., Oct. 27, 2pm
#7 Pana (5-4) @ #2 Tolono-Unity (8-1) -- Sat., Oct. 27, 1pm
#6 Auburn (6-3) @ #3 Pleasant Plains (8-1) -- Fri., Oct. 26, 7pm

4A PAIRINGS

Bracket 2:
#7 Mahomet-Seymour (6-3) @ #2 Rochester (8-1) -- Sat., Oct. 27, 6pm
#6 Bloomington-Central Catholic (6-3) at #3 Charleston (8-1) -- Sat., Oct. 27 2pm

5A PAIRINGS

Bracket 2:
#6 East Peoria (7-2) at #3 Urbana (8-1) -- Sat., Oct. 27, 7pm
#8 Mattoon (5-4) at #1 Jerseyville-Jersey (9-0) -- Sat., Oct. 27, 2pm
#5 Marion (7-2) at #4 Chatham-Glenwood (7-2) -- Sat., Oct. 27, 2pm
#7 Jacksonville (5-4) at #2 Centralia (9-0) --Sat., Oct. 27, 2pm
#6 Highland (5-4) at #3 Sacred Heart-Griffin (8-1) -- Fri., Oct. 26, 7pm

6A PAIRINGS

Bracket 2:
#8 Springfield HS (5-4) at #1 Crete-Monee (9-0) -- Sat., Oct. 26, 6pm


10-17-12
 
By the Numbers: What's Wrong With Illinois Football?
 
A bye week gives us a lot of time for reflection, but as I said immediately following Illinois' 45-0 loss at Michigan, it lets the sting of a bad loss hang around a week longer.  We spent a lot of time on our newscasts, and on Inside the Illini talking about the issues of the week.  From what we've seen, there are a lot of them.
 
I'm an admitted stat geek, and I love looking at numbers to try and diagnose a team based on them.  Seven games into a season is a more than sufficient sample size, and today I'm going to look at how the Illini compare to last year's 6-6 team, based on full-season projections. I also buy into the "eyeball test", and will elaborate on some of these comparisons with observations from the first seven games of the year.
 
It probably won't surprise people, but the numbers this year are much worse than last year, in just about every category. In the only stat that really matters -- wins and losses -- the Illini are far behind the 2011 team that, we haven't forgotten, lost its last 6 regular season games.  Another thing to keep in mind with these projections: The seven game sample size includes three home games against teams from the MAC, the WAC, and an FCS team that came in on a 14-game losing streak, so strength-of-schedule would suggest that these projections will actually go down based on the quality of their opponents.
 
For now, we're just going by the numbers, and we'll try to figure out where the 2012 team has gone wrong.
 
Total Offense (yards per game)
 
2011: 355.7 (9th in Big Ten)
2012 Projection: 309.6 (12th in Big Ten)
 
Points Per Game
 
2011: 22.6 (5th in Big Ten)
2012 Projection: 18.1 (11th in Big Ten)
 
Injuries, including the 2-and-a-half game benching of Nathan Scheelhaase (ankle), haven't helped these numbers.  The Illini have had trouble moving the ball, particularly in the ground game, and losing their starting QB for 10 quarters hasn't helped the passing attack.  The drop in both numbers is pretty significant, but more so when it comes to points.  These numbers suggest that, while the Illini are having trouble gaining yardage, they're having even more trouble turning their yards into points.  A big reason for that is their inefficiency in the red zone.
 
Red Zone Scoring
 
2011: 83.7% (7th in Big Ten)
2012 Projection: 68.4% (12th in Big Ten)
 
That percentage is awful.  Even the 2011 Indiana team, which was 0-8 in the Big Ten last season, had their red zone efficiency up over 75%.  What makes the percentage even worse, the Illini have reached the red zone just 19 times in 7 games, which is the fewest in the conference.  They're giving themselves fewer chances to scores, and failing to score at a higher rate than any other team in the league.  That's a bad formula.  I suspect that has something to do with the inability to "punch one in", a staple in the Big Ten.
 
Rushing Offense (ypg)
 
2011: 171.7 (6th in Big Ten)
2012 Projection: 123.4 (12th in Big Ten)
 
For the second year in a row, the Illini lack a go-to threat in the backfield.  Donovonn Young (276) and Josh Ferguson (210) are both over 200 yards, and Scheelhaase follows with 129.  Again, Scheelhaase has been hurting, and the game again Wisconsin in week 6 was really the first time he was unleashed with his legs for a full 60 minutes.  He gained 84 yards that day, and if that keeps up, these numbers will improve.  Even so, as a whole, the lack of production on the ground has been the biggest problem.  As a group, the Illini ran for 2,232 yards last year.  Right now, they're on pace for 1,481.  The lack of production on the ground is a likely culprit for a 3rd down conversion rate of 34.0% (11th).  Last year, they were at 42.3% (T-4th)
 
Passing Offense (ypg)
 
2011: 184.0 (7th in the B1G)
2012 Projection: 186.2 (10th in the B1G)
 
This is one of the few numbers that have improved for the Illini since last year.  The lack of a ground game has forced the hand of Illinois' air attack more often, and so far, it's proved to be a bit more efficient in 2012.  The numbers are down a bit for Scheelhaase, but with more time given to backup Reilly O'Toole, the group is more efficient than last year.  The problem is, so is everyone else.  The Big Ten had 4 teams that passed for more than 200 yards a game last year -- this year there are 6, the best of which is Indiana at 313 ypg.  So, despite an improvement in Champaign, the Illini are still falling behind the rest of the league passing the ball.
 
Total Defense (ypg)
 
2011: 286.2 (2nd in Big Ten)
2012 Projection: 376.4 (8th in the Big Ten)
 
Scoring Defense (Points allowed per game)
 
2011: 19.6 (5th in Big Ten)
2012 Projection: 30.7 (11th in Big Ten)
 
The splits here are far worse than the ones on offense.  The Illini have given up an average of 90 more yards per game -- roughly enough for an extra touchdown and field goal -- and notice they've given up about 11 more points per game.  Again, keep in mind that these projections include a 24-7 win over Western Michigan, and a 44-0 win over Charleston Southern.  Four of their last five games come against teams with scoring offenses in the top half of the conference rankings, so if the Illini don't turn things around on defense, these numbers will look much worse in December.  Now let's break it down between passing and rushing.
 
Pass Defense (ypg)
 
2011: 162.3 (1st in Big Ten)
2012 Projection: 219.3 (9th in Big Ten)
 
Again, the Big Ten has proven itself to be a much better passing league this year, and these numbers are really hurt by the "big play."  Against Michigan, they gave up a 71 yard touchdown pass.  Against Wisconsin, they gave up passing TDs of 62 and 59 yards.  The problems have been attributed to lack of depth, youth, injuries, and even miscommunication from the sidelines.
 
Rush Defense (ypg)
 
2011: 123.8 (2nd in Big Ten)
2012 Projection: 157.1 (9th in Big Ten)
 
These numbers have grown the last couple of weeks, in large part because they've faced Wisconsin's Montee Ball, and Michigan's Denard Robinson.  The Illini aren't getting as much pressure on opposing teams, dropping from 2nd to 9th in the league in QB sacks.
 
So, where do the Illini need to improve?  Well, when coach Tim Beckman says "everywhere," he's not kidding.  I mentioned 12 statistical categories, and in each one of them, the Illini have fallen behind the rest of the league.  Just seven games into his tenure, many fans have naturally directed their frustration toward coaching, already questioning the effectiveness of Beckman and his staff. For me, there are enough issues on the field that I'm going to reserve judgement about what's coming from the sidelines for awhile longer.
 
The thought of a bowl appearance seems to have already slipped away, as Illinois would have to finish 4-1 in the Big Ten to qualify -- the remaining schedule includes three home games against Indiana, Minnesota, and Purdue, and away games at Ohio State and Northwestern.  If the aforementioned numbers hold true, they'll be lucky to go 2-3 in that stretch.  That's a 4-8 overall record.
 
If the Illini can figure things out, and perhaps steal away one of those road games, who knows.  The optimism in Champaign-Urbana is already gone, and expectations have undoubtedly dropped.
 
As it is, this season looks like it will be over in November.
 

10-10-12
 
Argenta-Oreana Kicked Out of Conference The Helped Create
 
Once again, it was a day full of conference realignment.  Since it was too much to fit in a limited sportscast - at least too short make it understandable - I'd thought I'd clear a few things up on the blog.
 
A brief background:  On Oct. 2, after months of closed door meetings, expansion proposals, and behind-the-scenes schemes to realign the Okaw Valley Conference, nine schools agreed to move away from the Okaw, and form their own league.  Pending IHSA approval (which is still pending), they planned to call it the Central Illinois Conference, set to include: Argenta-Oreana, Meridian, Central A&M, Clinton, St. Teresa, Shelbyville, Sullivan-Okaw Valley, Warrensburg-Latham, and Tuscola.
 
The change left Maroa-Forsyth, Unity, and Monticello to fend for themselves.  I'll have more on that in a bit.
 
Just when it seemed like the dust had settled on a convoluted situation, the CIC managed to kick up some more.  Wednesday (Oct. 10), long before the conference will even exist, they've already booted one of their charter members.  Argenta-Oreana is now on its own, after a meeting where the eight other members, in a majority, voted to oust the Bombers from the new conference.
 
It's interesting because Sean German, A-O's principal, has actually been a key contact point for this realignment news since it began.  He was the spokesman for these teams as they made the transition into the new league, and now he won't even be in it.  Before I try to explain why, I should make clear that A-O isn't left without an option.  I'll also get to that in a bit.
 
I spoke with German Wednesday night.  Here was his explanation for the CIC's decision:
 
When the Okaw Valley was first rumored to split, it was no secret that the Little Okaw Valley Conference sent out an invitation to each team to come to an informational meeting, listening to the concept of LOVC expansion.  The only school to attend was Argenta-Oreana, and clearly the LOVC's idea peaked their interests.
 
For some time, A-O administrators weighed their options, and saw two choices that could work for them:  Form their own conference with the 8 other Okaw schools, or join the LOVC.  German said, as time went on, the LOVC seemed to make more sense.  He said he expressed that opinion to both conferences.
 
Now we get to Wednesday, and a scheduled meeting for the CIC,
 
"We were trying to be open and up front with them," said German.  "We told them, if it's the consensus of the group that they continue scheduling without us, feel free."
 
It didn't take long.  Later in the meeting, the remaining CIC members voted them out.  The sense I got from German that he didn't expect that, or at least not that quickly.
 
Luckily for Argenta-Oreana, their backup plan - joining the LOVC - is still a viable option.  German said the conversations remain positive, but they won't count on it until an official invitation is in hand.
 
Unity, Monticello Still Looking for a Place to Play
 
The Bombers weren't the only ones to receive some bad conference realignment news today.  The Okaw split obviously left a few schools without conferences.  Maroa-Forsyth, Unity, and Monticello have been pursuing their options since the summer.  Last week, Monticello and Unity applied to join the Sangamon Valley Conference.  Wednesday, the SVC met to consider the applications of those two, along with Dwight HS.  Each were denied.
 
Following the meeting, SVC spokesman John Overstreet said, "The main reasons were travel distances (especially in sports other than football) and possible IHSA proposals that might deal with football scheduling.
 
"At this time the SVC will stay at it current 8 schools, 7 playing football, and work with the (Heart of Illinois Conference) and (Vermilion Valley Conference) to fill non conference games."
 
When I sought reaction, Monticello Principal Tip Reedy replied: "At this time we have not received formal confirmation from the SVC.  We will continue to seek options that are in the best interest of our students."
 
He finished the email with, "Thanks for letting me know."
 
We've had no response from Maroa-Forsyth, whose only geographic fit is the new CIC, but they've made clear, the Trojans aren't welcome.
 
More to come, I'm sure...
 
10-23-12

9-15-12
 
All in all, it was a good afternoon for the Illini. There were plenty points in the game where the lack of offensive progress raised eyebrows, but in the end, it was a 44-point shutout win.  Charleston Southern came into this one on a 14-games losing streak -- 12 of those against FCS opponents -- so anything less than a 5-touchdown win could have been considered disappointing.  At one point in the first half, Illinois had scored in just 2 of their 6 possessions.  The others: three punts, and a red zone interception.
 
They followed that with five straight scoring drives -- four of them touchdowns -- and put the games far out of reach soon after coming out of the locker room.  The big story of the day was the emergence of a few first-year players in place of injured starters.  Dami Ayoola led Illini rushers with 55 yards on 8 carries.  In the most impressive of those carries, Ayoola was in a pile of CSU defenders, and somehow escaped for a 28-yard touchdown run.
 
Making his first start, in his first defensive series, freshman Mason Monheim interception a Charleston Southern pass and returned it to the CSU 7.  Through at least the half, he led the defense in tackles, including half a TFL.  Also having a big day, freshman Justin Hardee, who led all receivers with 99 yards.  Speaking of freshman, kicker Tyler Zalewski knocked in a 47-yard field goal.
 
Next week, the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs come to town, and when asked to evaluate his team after three weeks, coach Tim Beckman said, "Not healthy."  The Bulldogs are a good team, and the Illini can't afford to be injury-depleted next Saturday, which is also their last before Big Ten play begins.
 
Box score notes:
 
-The Illini outgained the Buccaneers 479-125.  Through the air, the difference was 365-29.  Considering 50 yards worth (40%) of C-S-U's total offensive output was on a single run, the Illini defense should feel a whole lot better this week.
 
-Reilly O'Toole set an Illinois football record for completion percentage.  O'Toole was 26-of-31 for an 83.9% clip.  He completed each of his first 11 throws before an interception in the 2nd quarter of the game.  O'Toole has 333 yards and 5 touchdowns.
 
-Two Illinois receivers finished just short of 100 yards on the day. Ryan Lankford had 7 catches for 97 yards and 2 TDs - all of that production coming in the first half.  Freshman Justin Hardee came on strong in the second half, and finished with 5 catches and 99 yards.
 
-Ten different Illinois players caught passes, six of them had at least 25 receiving yards, and four different receivers scored touchdowns.
 
-The Charleston Southern offense had 14 drives.  Five of them went for negative yardage, and their best drive ended at the Illinois 43 with a punt.  Other than that, they never passed midfield.
 

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