Billy Dicken himself was almost as big a surprise as the Boilermakers in 1997.
The quarterback was named starter only in training camp, with few — maybe no one — thinking he'd rise to All-Big Ten by the end of the year. But that's what happen, with the senior helping to lead first-year coach Joe Tiller's Boilermakers to a nine-win season, including a victory over Oklahoma State in the Alamo Bowl.
The former Boilermaker is now in his third season on Brock Spack's staff at Illinois State, his first as a co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Recently, we caught up with Dicken to talk primarily about the '97 season for a feature in the July/August edition of Gold and Black Illustrated.