The Illinois Fighting Illini had a season in 2022 that exceeded expectations.

Illinois finished the year 8-4, contended for the B1G West regular season title and reached as high as No. 16 in the polls. That’s something that has not happened for Illinois in a long time.

And yet, there is still plenty to be frustrated about. Illinois was a touchdown away from competing against Michigan for the B1G title. They closed the season having lost 3 of their last 4 and a lot of “what ifs” came from that reality.

Including from head coach Bret Bielema. He spoke to media following Illinois’ announced bowl destination, Reliaquest against Mississippi State.

The Illini have a chance to control what they can control and right the ship soon. Mississippi State is a good team that would provide a solid win to end the year.

Let’s see if they can get it done.