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Ron Zook didn’t know score when going for two

Ron Zook

Even in Illinois’ 41-20 win over Indiana, coach Ron Zook was, well, Ron Zook. Which is why we love him.

(not to mention this featured image of Zook is amazing; seriously scary stuff right there.) 

After falling behind to the Hoosiers early, the Illini battled back to take a 20-13 lead midway through the second quarter, and Zook, decided he would go for two.

But why?

We were down five, right? Up five, I mean,” Zook said after the game. “It was 20-13? Up seven?

“Maybe I didn’t know what the score was. That’s happened to me before. It’s usually when we’re behind. [This will] give you something to pound us about.”

Au contraire, it’s Zook’s honesty that makes him such a fun and interesting coach to cover. Message to Zook: do not change a thing. And with the Illini sitting pretty at 6-0 — the best such record for the Illini since 1951 if my stats don’t lie — that extends to what his team is doing on the field.

For the record, though, the two-point conversion failed.

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30 Responses to “Ron Zook didn’t know score when going for two”
  1. bucsraysboltsfan says: Oct 9, 2011 9:54 PM

    Glad Zook is getting it done after a disastrous time at Florida. Nice guy, but it just didn’t work down here.

  2. cosanostra71 says: Oct 9, 2011 10:08 PM

    Zooknis a good recruiter, but only a mediocre coach. That flies better in the less talented Big 10, but not so much in the SEC.

  3. peggypost says: Oct 9, 2011 10:34 PM

    To be fair, I was at the game and the scoreboard was covered in cheese. You couldn’t read a thing on it.

  4. Deb says: Oct 9, 2011 11:30 PM

    People can give cosanostra71 thumbs down, but he called it: Mediocrity doesn’t fly at Florida. I’m a Bama fan, but live in Florida and hoped for Zook to succeed because he had a history with my Steelers. But he was hated in Gatorland because he was kind of a doofus. And that bit about not knowing the score … it’s funny, but I wouldn’t be even mildly amused if he were coaching my team. Maybe we just take our football more seriously in the SEC.

  5. cosanostra71 says: Oct 10, 2011 12:15 AM

    They’re thumbing me down because I’m not afraid to call out the Big 10 as overrated.

  6. Deb says: Oct 10, 2011 12:53 AM

    @cosanostra71 …

    That, too 😉

  7. frug says: Oct 10, 2011 1:28 AM

    Zooknis a good recruiter, but only a mediocre coach. That flies better in the less talented Big 10, but not so much in the SEC.

    As an Illini alumni and fan I can tell you that you are wrong on two issues:

    1) Zook isn’t a good recruiter and mediocre coach, he’s a great recruiter and an absolutely awful game coach. (Seriously at times I wonder if his decision making isn’t actually some sort of bizarre performance art piece)

    2) It’s not that the Big 10 is less talented, it’s that the expectations at Illinois (basketball school) are considerably lower than they are at Florida (a traditional powerhouse in a recruiting hotbed). That and the fact that U of I can’t afford his buyout in light of the fact the state currently owes the school almost half a billion dollars.

  8. Mr Buckworth says: Oct 10, 2011 5:42 AM

    @cosanostra71 While it’s true the talent is better in the SEC, having to be able to spell the name of the school they’re attending is a significant disadvantage in recruiting for the big 10.

  9. tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle says: Oct 10, 2011 10:08 AM


    I’m not going to argue quality of conferences.

    What I will argue is quality of schools. There is a huge difference between Florida, a top tier SEC program, and Illinois, a mid level, at best, BIG program.

    The Zooker would fly at UM, NU, OSU, PSU about as well as RichRod flew at UM.

    And I’m doing this on my phone, so I don’t have the option to give you a thumbs down, but I would for your over generalization, a common practice among sports fans to allow them to achieve the crap they want to spew.

  10. parrotdr says: Oct 10, 2011 10:59 AM

    @Mr. Buckworth, who said,”While it’s true the talent is better in the SEC, having to be able to spell the name of the school they’re attending is a significant disadvantage in recruiting for the big 10.”

    You may be correct, sir, but I believe that those recruits may at least be able to count to “10”, unlike the conference officials for the new Big 12?. 😉

  11. Deb says: Oct 10, 2011 12:03 PM

    Mr Buckworth says:

    @cosanostra71 While it’s true the talent is better in the SEC, having to be able to spell the name of the school they’re attending is a significant disadvantage in recruiting for the big 10.

    Florida’s academic ranking is higher than most Big 10 schools, certainly higher than Illinois. From posts like these, it’s easy to see that ignorance and stereotyping based on regional bigotry are popular among many Big 10 fans. You must be so proud. It’s sad that when discussing wins and losses on a football field, you feel the need to resort to this kind of nonsense. All it says is that you’re not man enough to own your football losses.

    Ignorant, bigoted, and limp … oh my.

  12. frug says: Oct 10, 2011 12:20 PM

    Florida’s academic ranking is higher than most Big 10 schools, certainly higher than Illinois.

    I agree that UF is unquestionably one of the country’s top public schools, I have to stick for my alma mater. Illinois has the edge in both undergraduate rankings (45 vs. 58 according to USNWR rankings of National Universities) and total rankings (25 vs. 72 according to the Academic Rankings of World Universities which includes graduate programs).

  13. sandifur says: Oct 10, 2011 1:03 PM

    Deb is simply wrong on the academic ranking of the University of Illinois. As a national public university, the U of I is tied for #13th. In fact, there are six Big 10 schools in the Top 25 ranking for national public universities, and I don’t think I see any from the great state of Florida. Methinks Deb needs to do her homework before posting.

    Another interesting statistic… the U of I has the largest international student (undergrad and grad) population of any public university in the USA. Only Southern Cal, a private university, has more. That along underscores the quality of the institution.

    Now as to Zook… for the money the U of I is paying him, at the very least he should know the score at all times. The verdict is still out on “The Zooker,” as I would agree, he’s a great recruiter, but a mediocre to poor field coach.

  14. Walk says: Oct 10, 2011 1:06 PM

    Wow. I have long talked about football math with my friends it may now be time to implement that course with professor zook. For instance when you have x score opponet has y score when is it ok to take a hit or nip of what the head coach has in his locker? Serioulsy though the math i am talking about is multiples of 3 and 7 with variable of 2 thrown in. Mix in statistics of chance of getting 2 and odds of getting the ball back and time being another variable. Presto football math. Of course that is all predicated on knowing the actual score for that we would need some time of board to keep said score. This math would be meaningless until you get out of those pewee and termite league games where they do not keep score, so in that context i guess a coach in that league not knowing the score is a forgivable sin.

  15. Deb says: Oct 10, 2011 2:01 PM

    @sandifur …

    You’re right. Illinois outranks Florida. I did do my homework. Unfortunately, I didn’t refer to it when making that post. Apparently you didn’t either because Florida was right behind Illinois on that page. Methinks you should try reading the material at your own link or buying a pair of glasses :)

    The rest of my comment was still valid. Every time the discussion is football, the whiny little children of the Big 10 start making ignorant (because Florida does rank in the top 20), bigoted (because your comments about SEC grads not being able to spell reflect regionalist stereotypes that are as offensive as racist stereotypes, and limp (because you lack the backbone to stay on the topic of your football mediocrity on the football blog) comments.

    What a proud legacy!

  16. critter69 says: Oct 10, 2011 5:38 PM


    Much as I hate to disagree with you, but when I click the link, I see U of Florida is tied with Texas A&M University–College Station, U of Connecticut, and U of Pittsburgh, all of whom are right behind University of Maryland–College Park, which is right behind Ohio State University–Columbus, which is right behind University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign, with Pennsylvania State University–University Park, University of California–Irvine, University of Texas–Austin tied with U of I.

    To me, it looks like there a quite a few schools between U of I and U of Florida. Maybe you are the one who should be checking with the optometrist or ophthalmologist about needing glasses?

  17. Deb says: Oct 10, 2011 5:59 PM

    @critter69 …

    What I see is Florida six places down from Illinois. Apparently they don’t teach math to ignorant, bigoted, limp people who get off on continually consoling themselves on football blogs over their mediocre football performances by lulling themselves into thinking they are more intellectual than others simply by virtue of the region where sperm happened to collide with egg. Apparently they don’t teach genetics to you ignorant, bigoted, limp critters, either. Guess you all just majored in smart ass.

    How impressive! :roll:

  18. Deb says: Oct 10, 2011 8:49 PM

    ROFL at the predictability of the Big 10 regulars on CFT. You didn’t let me down! 😀

  19. critter69 says: Oct 11, 2011 12:03 AM


    If the Big 10 is such a waste and a joke, why would Mizzou be trying to join the Big 10? After all, what (and how many) NCAA championships in any sports has Mizzou won (or even shared) in the past 10, 20, 50 or 100 years?

    And aside from journalism and being the first public college established West of the Mississippi, what is Mizzou’s claim to fame?

  20. centexhorn says: Oct 11, 2011 5:50 AM

    Being the flagship university of the 5th most popular state, they’re finally playing the way they should at Illinois. There’s no good reason why it shouldn’t be this way every year. They should be a powerhouse pretty much all the time.

  21. Deb says: Oct 11, 2011 12:26 PM

    @critter69 …

    Honey, I never said the Big 10 was a waste and a joke. That’s not how I operate. I’m tired of having Big 10 fans make nasty comments about the stupidity of Southerners every time an SEC team wins a National Championship or every time we discuss FOOTBALL expectations in the SEC. It’s the bigoted behavior of some Big 10 fans posting on CFT I’m slamming. That’s not the same as saying I think the Big 10 is a waste and a joke.

    I have tremendous respect for the Big 10 as a traditional football powerhouse. Right now the conference has 5 to 6 teams in the top 25. The Big 10 produced some of the best players in football history, including my all-time favorite NFL player Rod Woodson. And the schools of the Big 10 are fine academic institutions, although that has nothing to do with football.

    I can’t imagine thinking of the Big 10 as a waste and a joke.

    My dad is from Alabama, and we’re a diehard Crimson Tide family. But I went to Missouri because it has the oldest, most respected school of journalism in the world. Since that was my major, that’s all I cared about. When you ask “aside from journalism and being the first public college established West of the Mississippi, what is Mizzou’s claim to fame?” I think … geez, isn’t that enough?

    I haven’t heard any official from Missouri express ongoing interest in joining the Big 10 since last year. The more likely scenario has Missouri going to the SEC. Because I’d prefer not to have my alma mater competing head-to-head with Alabama, I’m hoping the Big 12 will get its act together and Mizzou will stay where it is. But if Mizzou went to the Big 10, I’d be fine with that.

  22. critter69 says: Oct 11, 2011 6:48 PM

    Deb says:
    “@critter69 …

    “Honey, I never said the Big 10 was a waste and a joke.”

    Not in so many words, true.

    However, you in effect stated that when you wrote, “ROFL at the predictability of the Big 10 regulars on CFT. You didn’t let me down!”

    BTW – since the early 1970s, there has been many rumors that Mizzou would like to join the Big 10. You might not have heard them, but I did, and many others have.

    Or maybe you heard them, but because of your SEC-colored glasses, you ignored them to the point of not letting them register in your brain.

    “But if Mizzou went to the Big 10, I’d be fine with that.” ??

    Even though the Big 10, for 40 years, has said to Mizzou thanks, but no thanks, we will NOT invite you?

    And, as has been pointed out many times, the Big 10 does not invite schools just for one sport. The FIRST criteria the Big 10 considers is academics; the SECOND criteria is research; the THIRD (at best) criteria is overall sports, not just one sport. And that is why I asked how many NCAA championships (not specifying which sport) that Mizzou has won or shared in the last (up to) 100 years.

    If a university fails the FIRST criteria, all discussions cease. If they pass the FIRST criteria, but fail the SECOND criteria, all discussions cease.

    And for your information, sports, or more specifically football, does not make or break a university when it comes to getting a job. Look at the Ivy League schools. None are powerhouses in sports, but a graduate of an Ivy League school is almost always looked at more favorably when interviewing for a non-sports job than a graduate of an SEC school.

  23. Deb says: Oct 11, 2011 9:51 PM

    @critter69 …

    Talking about fools–like yourself–posting foolish things on a football blog has nothing whatsoever to do with my opinion of the Big 10 conference. That comment referred to my opinion of some, not all, of the Big 10 fans posting here. When it comes to diverting the subject from your football losses to making bigoted comments about people of other regions, no, you and your cronies don’t disappoint.

    Yes, honey, Ivy League graduates are more desireable than SEC graduates in the job market–just as they are more desireable than Big 10 graduates. Congratulations on your ability to state the obvious. As I’ve already said, I chose the best academic institution for my career field, so I’m clear on how to get a job. But this isn’t a job-hunting blog. It’s a football blog. And you’d have no trouble staying on point if your teams were more successful.

    Until I started reading CFT a couple of years ago, I knew nothing about Mizzou’s ambitions regarding the Big 10. That’s because as a Missouri student, my only interest was pursuing a journalism degree. I didn’t care about the football program because I’m a lifelong Alabama fan. (My goodness, you require a lot of repetition, don’t you? Bless your heart.) And regardless of the pretentious rantings of silly people like you, conferences are about sports competition. I’m proud of my Missouri degree. It’s the best recommendation I could have in my field and has opened many doors for me. However, once those doors are open, it’s up to me to prove my worth. No school can do the job for you.

    I don’t think Missouri should seek membership in the Big 10 because they have no reason to come knocking, hat in hand, considering what they have to offer conference partners. If the Big 10 extends an invitation, as I said (you really must work on your reading comprehension), I’m fine with that. If Mizzou comes to the SEC, the head-to-head with Bama will be awkward, but I’m fine with that, too. And if Missouri stays put, I’m fine with that. I’m fine because a conference move isn’t going to affect Missouri’s journalism or academic reputation, and that’s my connection to the school.

  24. critter69 says: Oct 12, 2011 12:33 AM

    “bigoted” ??

    Where did you discern that I am bigoted? Please point out exactly where I made a statement that could be construed as me being bigoted?

    “honey’ ??

    I ain’t your honey. There may be some who allow themselves to be called ‘honey’ by a stranger, but don’t include me in that group.

    “But this . . . . is a football blog.”

    Sure is.

    But remember – there are many more things to life than a game, whether it’s called football, basketball, baseball, soccer, whatever. The purpose of a school of higher education is to E-D-U-C-A-T-E. If you place football above education, and that is the same attitude that Mizzou has, then please tell anyone you know at that school that it is a waste of time for them to continue to try to get into the Big 10.

    As you stated “conferences are about sports competition.” They sure are.

    But actual conferences know that ‘sports competition’ is MORE than just football, but also includes multiple other sports (basketball, soccer, swimming and diving, fencing, baseball, wrestling, badminton, volleyball, track and field, etc.), and that many times, a university will be weak in one sport but be VERY strong in one or more other sports. And some actual conferences know that education takes precedence over a game. And they know that research also takes precedence over a game.

    And then there are some collegiate conferences that think that the end-all, be-all of existence is for a single sport.

    By the way, some people are capable of having multiple interests, and following many things in life. If a person has an interest in college football, as played in only one conference, and has no other interest in anything else, they probably are not leading a very fulfilling life.

  25. Deb says: Oct 12, 2011 11:59 AM

    Are you kidding? :roll:

    Yeah, I have no other interests in life because my favorite sport is football. Life is deadly dull. Poor pitiful me. :roll:

    Yeah, it’s obvious from my comments that I value football above academics. Your reading comprehension scores must be through the roof. :roll:

    Sugar, I don’t give a damn whether you like being called honey.

    Bigots are people who stereotype people according to age, race, gender, nationality, or region based on arbitrary assumptions: Blacks can dance, Asians are computer geeks, Southerners are stupid. You and your friends who immediately start talking about the intellectual inferiority of Southerners every time you lose a football game are bigots … as well as sore losers.

    Oh … are some people capable of having multiple interests? My my, I didn’t know that! I lead an unfulfilling life that doesn’t exist outside the confines of the football blog. ROFL

    What a twit! 😆

  26. Deb says: Oct 12, 2011 12:05 PM

    Poor little critter! I’m sure you would keep up this nonsense, distorting my comments and dragging them further and further from the original discussion in a sad attempt to keep assuring yourself of your superiority … if I kept playing. I tried to have an intelligent discussion, but that’s clearly not your purpose. Since I do have a life and value my time, there’s no point continuing to waste it on this silliness.

    Like I said, I respect the history of the Big 10, but this is a football blog, not a forum to discuss academic ranking. And I don’t expect the Big 10 to get any closer to a National Championship this year than it has the past five. Deal with it.

    Bye … honey.

  27. critter69 says: Oct 12, 2011 1:57 PM


    I’m not sure if any school of journalism would condone the use of the phrase “What a twit”, or the use of the word ‘honey’ (especially when the intended recipient of ‘honey’ has specifically requested not to be called that term).

    Is that the standards of Mizzou’s School of Journalism, or did you ignore what you supposedly learned there?

    Remember, the University of Missouri’s purpose, as is the stated purpose of EVERY college and university, is to EDUCATE people. Sports is secondary (at best) to that purpose of educating people.

  28. paulbrownsrevenge says: Oct 12, 2011 6:03 PM

    AAU members. B1G everyone except Nebraksa

    SEC UF, vandy, and they have to expand to A&M to get 3. SEC academics are a joke, thats why they dominate in football. It’s easy to recruit talent when they aren’t held accountable as a STUDENT athlete.

    A majority of “SEC talent” would not qualify to play in the B1G.

  29. paulbrownsrevenge says: Oct 12, 2011 6:16 PM

    Anyone who graduated with a journalism degree probably shouldn’t spend all their time on CFT talking down down anyone who objects them.

    Anyone who is born and raised in Florida , went to Missouri, and is a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, and an Alabama Crimson Tide fan defines BANDWAGON.

  30. waynefontes says: Oct 14, 2011 12:39 PM

    I hope the Zooker always has a head coaching job.

    He makes college football more fun to follow, for better or worse.

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