Illinois better start winning before coach Tim Beckman wastes away.
Beckman said following Illinois' 31-17 loss to Indiana that Illini's five-game losing streak has caused the coach to lose a significant amount of weight.
"How do I look? I've lost 22 pounds," Beckman said. "You think I like losing? I haven't been around it. I hate it. You just continue to go. Plug forward. I've learned a lot. No, I don't like losing. I hate it."
Since Beckman arrived at Illinois, losing has become a trend. The Illini are 2-6 with their only wins coming against Western Michigan in the season opener and Charleston Southern. Illinois hasn't had this rough of a start since 2009 when they finished 3-9. That year, the Illini started 1-6.
Beckman isn't used to losing. He only had one losing season during his three years at Toledo. And Ohio State and Oklahoma State didn't lose much when he was an assistant coach at those respective schools.
Beckman said his team hasn't given up. With games against Ohio State, Minnesota, Purdue and Northwestern remaining, the chance of becoming bowl eligible is slim, but there's still a chance the Illini can salvage a 5-7 record — that's what Beckman did in his first year at Toledo before turning the Rockets into an MAC power.
"It's not acceptable and those young men understand that," Beckman said. "They're in there hurting as much as anybody's hurting. They want to win, we want to win, everybody wants to win in this family and it's not getting done at the level it needs to get done. We've got to continue to fight, as I've talked to them about doing. We've got four opportunities, we've got to fight and we've got to continue to push this program forward."
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