CBS Sports gives Illinois high grade for making Bret Bielema hire
Illinois made one of the best coaching moves of the year, according to CBS Sports.
Recently, the site released its grades for every team that made a change at head coach. Illinois received a high mark after parting ways with Lovie Smith following five seasons, then landing former Wisconsin and Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema in mid-December.
CBS Sports gave Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman an “A-” grade for pulling off the move. And already, with the Fighting Illini returning 21 super-seniors and landing a handful of talented prospects from the transfer portal, the team could see significant improvement.
From CBS Sports:
AD Josh Whitman did the right thing in transitioning to an experienced, willing, winning former Big Ten college head coach to clean up the Illini mess. Illinois should never be this bad. It will immediately be more physical under Bielema who took Wisconsin to three straight Rose Bowls.
Bielema last coached in the B1G nearly a decade ago when he had significant success at Wisconsin. He tried to turn Arkansas into a consistent winner and produced some good seasons, but was never able to elevate the program to the top of the SEC West.
Illinois will be playing in one of the first college football games of 2021, hosting Nebraska in a Week 0 B1G showdown on Saturday, Aug. 28.