Can't Wait For Saturday | What do do with all my free time? Start with the draft

Apr. 21—***

Technically, my Illinois football obligations are done for a bit. Of course I will be filling this space every day. But after this week's draft, my next Illinois football assignment will be attending the Big Ten kickoff on July 25. That is more than three moths away. A season if you will.

But I will no problem finding things to keep me busy.

One of my top priorities is putting together a preseason Top 25 for The Associated Press. I will again be part of the panel. It is a joy, even when mean people write me nasty notes. I always respond and often, but not always, that calms them down.

There is also the Big 18 to countdown.That will be in the next few weeks. Not sure what team I'm putting last. I have a few options. Last year, I would have put Northwestern in the final spot and been oh so wrong,

Illinois coach Bret Bielema has a full agenda in the upcoming weeks and months, He will meet with every player on his team during the next week.

Bielema also has a position to fill on his coaching staff, with the decision expected sometime in May.

He will have endless portal work. Potentially, Illinois can both lose and gain players before the start of training camp.

The season will be here before you know it. As this column so properly states: I Can't Wait For Saturday, even though the Illinois opener is on a Thursday.