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Illinois: 2009 Projections

Old helmets are always cooler.

So you've read the links, you've read about the offense, you've read about the defense...time to tell us what you think about how Illinois will fare in 2009. In comments, leave your game-to-game and overall record predictions.

As for me, taking off of some of the projections made by my Football Outsiders counterpart, Brian Fremeau, I have taken my first stab at a projections system for 2009. Below are the predicted results, and margin of victory/defeat, for each Illinois game of 2009:

Date Opponent Proj. W/L Margin Record Conf. Rec.
9/5 vs Missouri L -1.2 0-1
9/12 Illinois State W +38.8 1-1
9/26 at Ohio State L -19.4 1-2 0-1
10/3 Penn State L -2.3 1-3 0-2
10/10 Michigan State W +1.3 2-3 1-2
10/17 at Indiana W +2.0 3-3 2-2
10/24 at Purdue W +1.3 4-3 3-2
10/31 Michigan W +3.0 5-3 4-2
11/7 at Minnesota L -4.0 5-4 4-3
11/14 Northwestern W +8.0 6-4 5-3
11/27 at Cincinnati L -4.0 6-5
12/5 Fresno State W +5.0 7-5

As you see, this season could shake down a lot of different ways, depending on whether Illinois is a little better or a little worse than projected. Nine games are projected within a touchdown, and three (Michigan State, Michigan, Minnesota) are swung by the application of a 4-point home field advantage to all games. If I bump home-field up to seven points or so, they beat Penn State and lose to Purdue and Indiana. Bump it down to two points, and they lose to Michigan State. I'm still tinkering, but these projections look pretty good for now.

Now it's your turn. Take to the comments and tell me why these projections are a load of crap.