Any college teams worse than Illinois?

I’m talking about big colleges and their big money sports - football and basketball. Illinois spends A LOT of money on their teams, and has repeatedly been caught cheating. When I was in college, I encountered several examples of athletes being given money and having their school work done for them. Yet, despite those efforts, Illinois has NEVER won the big one. Sure, there have been occasional Big 10 championships, but they have never won the NCAA or a major bowl game (since the 60s at least). I don’t understand what they are doing wrong, compared to schools that are perennial powerhouses, or other schools who will have a miraculous season or 2.

I and several of my family members attended Illinois. I no longer follow college or pro sports, but a couple of my BILs and nephews do. This year, 3 or so weeks ago my BIL was so happy that IL was highly ranked. I said, “Don’t worry, they’ll find a way to dash your hopes!” And sure enough, they’ve lost 3 in a row!

So, do you have any other candidates for schools that TRY to compete at the top levels, but never seem to end up on top?

Virginia Tech and Kansas State are the only two Power 5 schools to have never won a national championship in ANY team sport.

Rutgers is right up there when it comes to lack of championships.

The women’s basketball team did win the AIAW national championship in '82, but that’s it for major sports.* Rutgers did absolutely dominate outboard boating back in the day, winning championships in 1933-35.

The university seems ideally situated to recruit from a large pool of talent in the NYC region, but still doesn’t have a terrific amount of success. They haven’t exactly walloped the competition in Big Ten football since joining the conference (12 wins, 58 losses).

*The 1869 Rutgers football team, which went 1-1 on the season, was retroactively declared co-national champions by a certain Parke H. Davis.

Similarly, Illinois has not consistently recruited Chicago’s best.

IIRC, Illinois has had success in some sports other than the big 2.

Really? That is perplexing. I never got the impression that Illinois put a lot of money into their sports programs, because of their lack of performance.

I mean, my alma mater pours money into sports like you wouldn’t believe, but it also has stellar sports programs in general, having several national championships in several sports over the past couple of decades, and generally having periodic attempts in big sports like mens football and basketball, and being one of the “big” programs in women’s basketball for the past decade.

I kind of figured that Illinois was kind of like the Vanderbilt or Iowa State of the Big 10- someone who competes on that level, but who doesn’t really put the resources in to be at the top.

Well - I guess I’d have to research total expenditures and such (if I were that interested). I have no reason to suspect Illinois spends less than Michigan or Ohio - which seemed to enjoy far more regular success. Or even schools like Northwestern, Indiana or Wisconsin which have had their runs.

To a large extent I suspect my perspective is colored by my dislike for the emphasis placed on sports at public colleges and high schools. And I suspect the financing of some sports expenditures is more complicated than simply tax and tuition dollars.

For a long time, it seemed Northwestern was at the bottom. But recently they’ve been ore successful. And Minnesota and Iowa always seemed to have a tougher row to hoe - with less access to big high school "minor leagues.) Now that the Big 10 is - what? - 16 or something? I have no idea or opinions as to what is going on.

In part, this is related to something I’ve periodically thought curious - why some teams (like the Yankees or the Patriots) - have enjoyed repeated championships, and other similar teams so few.

On edit: This article from 5 years ago has Illinois ranked 59th in football spending - well behind several Big 10 teams. I believe Rutgers and Sandy were both higher.

Iowa is the Iowa State of the Big 10.

I mean, if you’re only talking about basketball and football, Illinois is probably an a bit lower than average in football and a better than average basketball school. It also spends less and cheats significantly less than other schools. Are any college teams worse than Illinois? Yeah, probably ~ half of them.

They do spend less. The head coaches at OSU and Michigan make roughly $10 million, the Illinois head coach makes less than $5 million. Not chump change, but clearly they are not top tier in terms of money spent.

I admit I don’t keep track of such things closely, but I recall UofI being given the “death penalty” a couple of times, for football AND hoops.

Nope, not U of I.

Okay. I shouldn’t have started a thread on something I know (and care) so little about. I remember some big deal in the Mike White days - after they flew in a couple of JuCo prospects who decided to stick up a convenience store while in town. And then there was the Deon Thomas/Bruce Pearl (sp?) mess.

And from my point of view as a TA, seeing athletes get grades for classes they never attended. And my buddies selling tons of coke to the players - who strangely enough only had cash during the season… It kinda impressed me that a lot of cash was flowing around the programs. :wink:

OK - UofI sucks - and a lot of other schools’ teams do as well.

I was going to mention Rutgers. They looked to be heading in the right direction until Schiano decided to try going pro. He hasn’t gotten them back on track since his return despite having some very good players. They haven’t been able to get a team with much depth and have not had a good quarterback. Basketball also seems to be heading in the right direction. They were a bubble team last year and I feel they should have been in the tournament. In other less publicized they are doing well in the Big 10. The soccer team just won the conference championship.

Part of the issue that Illinois faces (as do most of the other Big Ten teams) is that they are in a conference with two schools which have traditionally really cared about athletics, particularly football and men’s basketball: Michigan and Ohio State.

In addition to them, there are a number of other schools in the conference (Wisconsin, Iowa, Penn State, Michigan State) which regularly do pretty well in one or both of those sports, too. But, even so, those schools have few or no national championships, though they do win the Rose Bowl sometimes.

I’m a Wisconsin alum, and the football team has had an astonishing (by Wisconsin standards) run of success, spanning 30 years or so – no national championships, but a lot of bowl wins, and a number of Big Ten championships. However, the Badgers haven’t been quite as good the past few years, which led to the firing of the head coach in mid-season this year. I’m on Wisconsin alum Facebook groups, where there is a huge amount of bitching about the team, and how “we gotta lower academic standards if we ever want to be able to compete against the SEC,” and “we can’t win as a run-first team, we have to change to the spread like everyone else.” People have the long-term memory of a gnat. :stuck_out_tongue:

The first game I went to at Ill was against Wisc. 0-0 tie. Good god was that boring! By OT, I was hoping Wisc would score/win just so SOMETHING would happen!

What year was that? OT in college football didn’t start until 1996.

I may have been confused. My recollection is that back in ancient times (I was a freshman in 78) there was 1 OT period. If no one scored, the game ended in a tie. Was that not the rule? Was that extra period not called OT?

I have not kept up with college football since, but my understanding is that OT rules changed sometime after I left school.

In 1978, Illinois tied Northwestern 0-0 and Wisconsin 10-10.

Back in 1980-whatever, Illinois made it to the Rose Bowl (or whatever bowl was to determine the national championship). Around Springfield, where I lived at the time, this was the biggest thing to ever happen. It was all anybody talked about. Even my grandmother, who hated football with the same degree of passion with which she hated my grandfather, got excited.

The game was, of course, an unqualified disaster for Illinois. They lost horribly, and though it’s been 40 years ago, I wonder if this loss didn’t so indelibly stain Illinois recruiting that they’re still trying to rebuild. Probably not.

Overtime in NCAA football was introduced in 1996.

The sport only introduced its first overtime rule in 1996 and since then there have been a few changes.