When was the last time Lovie Smith was truly successful?

This isn’t a shot at what he has done at Illinois, but seriously, when is the last time somebody can say that he did a great job coaching? Back in 2012, Smith led his Chicago Bears to a 10-6 season. That, in the NFL, is considered a good year.

Since then, Smith hasn’t had a team win at least 50 percent of its games in a single season. Why?

Part of it is due to not playing “Lovie Ball.” What is “Lovie Ball?”

It refers to his defenses creating turnovers. Back in 2016, an article at the Chicago Tribune from David Haugh wrote, “Takeaways are to Lovie Ball what music is to church; it’s just not the same without any.”

If the Fighting Illini want to have a successful season in 2019, many things have to happen.

Once of those is playing “Lovie Ball”:

Illinois will be on “Lovie Ball” watch starting Aug. 31 at home against Akron.