Cloaked in mystery: Bret Bielema loves that Illinois is 'an unknown to the world of college football'
Now that Camp Bret Bielema has opened up in Champaign, fans of Illini Football are hoping for a turnaround from the Lovie Smith days, and will be eagerly looking for clues as days come as to what is actually down the road.
That may be tougher than expected.
The “unknown” factor is apparently something that Bielema and his players are looking to play to their advantage, and not much was revealed from the first day of camp.
"The great thing is we are an unknown to the world of college football, especially our opponent." — #illini Bret Bielema.
Players were in mid-season form today in not leaking a single schematic thing from the first day of camp.
If you had doubts why it was closed…
— Joey Wagner (@mrwagner25) August 2, 2021
That should serve as a major advantage for Illinois as it hosts Nebraska in Week 0. The unknown, as well returning over 20 super-seniors, are of significance for that first game.
No stranger to the Big Ten, Bielema was with the Wisconsin for a stint, guiding the Badgers to three Big Ten Conference titles along the way. His brief stop in the NFL was also preceded by time as the head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks.
So, at least for now, any assumptions or expectations will have to be drawn from history.
As a native of Illinois, Bielema is no stranger to the state and their passion for Illini Football. But as far as letting on what they will see come gameday, that doesn’t seem to matter. Camp was indeed closed, and players were already primed to be tight-lipped about what’s going on.