Well, Pat Forde published a "slam" article against Ron Zook this week. I can't understand why so many people treat Zook like a punching bag. I think it all goes back to that infamous website that a "Debby Downer" Florida fan started as soon as the Gators hired Zook. I don't know. In my opinion, though, here's the case FOR Zook:
1. The guy can recruit, right up there with the best of them. There's no doubt about this one.
2. He has loaded the Illinois program with coaches much like himself-- they can all recruit just like he can. Mike Locksley deserves a lot of credit for snagging Aurrelious Benn and some of the other offensive stars that are wearing the Orange and Blue.
3. He's attempting to run the program with integrity. That's right-- he wasted no time in kicking Derrick McPhearson and Jody Ellis off the team when they were caught stealing laptops by Champaign Police.
4. He's demanding a high level of performance from his team, in only his third season-- despite still being in the midst of a HUGE re-building process. Yep-- Zook has put his foot down this season, and he's calling out players by name when they don't perform.
Some minor complaints about Zook:
Okay, we didn't really want to go here, but here are two minor complaints about Ron--
1. He runs up and down the sideline like a frenetic maniac throughout the entire football game. Wasn't it Vince Lombardi who talked about "Grace Under Pressure?"
2. He has the team do some sort of crazy "swinging gate" thing every time they kick an extra point. We just don't get this maneuver! I mean, why not just kick the extra point! Let's get the fundamentals down pat, and then, maybe, every once in a while, we can do something resembling a trick play.
All in all, those are minor complaints. I guess Zook is the Rodney Dangerfield of college football coaches. But, that is only to Illini outsiders. To IlliniNation, he's getting closer and closer to a blue-chip coach.