Bret Bielema comments on the possibility of a bowl bid for Illinois
If the opportunity presents itself, Bret Bielema and his 4-7 Illinois squad would certainly accept a bowl bid.
The Fighting Illini have to beat Northwestern first. But if there’s a shortage of 6-6 teams around college football when it comes time to fill bowl slots, the deficit gets made up with 5-7 squads. The schools with the best APR—or Academic Progress Rate—are next up in that scenario. A school’s APR is essentially the chances a school has of graduating its student-athletes.
Not counting the national championship, there are 84 bowl spots up for grabs. With one week left to play in the regular season, there are 73 FBS teams that have already reached 6 wins and 19 others who sit at 5-6. When the Illini coach met with the media on Wednesday, he was asked if the team would accept a bowl invite if the situation presented itself. Absolutely, he said, per 247Sports’ Jeremy Werner.
#illini Bret Bielema said team would accept bowl bid at 5-7, emphasizing the extra 15 practices.
“To be able to that again would be a no-brainer.”
— Jeremy Werner (@JWerner247) November 24, 2021
Bielema is in his first year at the school. He made appearances in every season with Wisconsin from 2006 to 2012 and made 3 more bowl games at Arkansas during his time there from 2013 to 2017.
Illinois (4-7) and Northwestern (3-8) battle for the Land of Lincoln Trophy Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network.