Must Win? Illinois' Bowl Hopes Rely on Most "Winnable" Game
CHAMPAIGN -- If you believe in the FPI, or the Football Power Index, there's only one game on Illinois' remaining schedule in which they'll be favored to win.
That game is this Saturday.
Illinois hosts Purdue as a ten-point favorite, despite a 1-16 record in the Big Ten under Tim Beckman.
However, under Darrell Hazell, the Boilermakers are 0-9 in conference play.
Since Illinois will surely be underdogs in their final six games of the season, they understand the importance of this one to their postseason hopes.
The homecoming game will be followed by a matchup with Wisconsin -- currently ranked 17th in the country -- in Madison.
Senior safety Zane Petty was hesitant to even discuss the possibility of being 3-3 heading into the game against the Badgers.
"If by some chance we lose to Purdue, it would just take our confidence out of us. Big time," Petty said. "Going into another ranked team, playing away. I think it's really big for us to go into this one, get a solid win and carry that momentum into Wisconsin."
Illinois and Purdue kick off at 11am Saturday at Memorial Stadium.