Can't Wait For Saturday | Near miss for Illinois against Toledo could have been so much worse

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Greetings from "Can't Wait For Saturday," your morning morsel of college football, courtesy of longtime Illini beat writer, AP Top 25 voter and Heisman state rep Bob Asmusssen. He'll give you his views each day on the game he loves.


Illinois football fans have two ways to look at the close call Saturday night against Toledo.

1. A win is a win is a win.

2. It could be worse. Just ask Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech. The Bears, Horned Frogs and Red Raiders lost to teams they were supposed to beat Saturday.

It happens. The transfer portal has turned the game upside down. Looking at you Colorado with your revolving door philosophy.

And a reminder, did Luke Altmyer open his career at Illlinois? That's a no. He came from Mississippi. Without him, it is doubtful Illinois rallies to beat Toledo.

Am I rethinking my Illinois season prediction, where I wrote the team will win the Big Ten West? Not at this point. The escape the team pulled off Saturday will benefit it in the long run. Just a hunch Bret Bielema will use the close call as motivation this week and beyond.

Does Illinois need work in certain areas? Absolutely. Just like most other teams in the country. It wouldn't be any fun if they all started perfect.

I'm going to take a week, see how Illinois plays at Kansas and then reevaluate.