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Illinois decides to keep Tim Beckman around for next year

Tim Beckman AP

Tim Beckman may only have one Big 10 win in two years on the job at Illinois, but he’ll get another year to try to turn things around in Champaign.

Matt Wettersten of WCIA (Champaign) talked with Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas on Monday, who told him Beckman will not be fired following a 4-8 (1-7) season. Illinois is 6-18 under Beckman and its only conference win came this year against Purdue, which went 1-11 and didn’t have a Big 10 victory.

Keeping Beckman around, though, does make some sense for Illinois. He secured the transfer of Wes Lunt earlier this year, with the coveted ex-Oklahoma State quarterback eligible to play for the Illini next fall. Former four-star recruit Aaron Bailey should battle Lunt to be the team’s starting quarterback, so there’s certainly some talent there.

But the problem for Beckman is that Illinois can’t stop anyone. The Illini were 105th in scoring defense this season (35 points per game) and 94th last year (32 points per game). For Beckman to keep his job past 2014, those numbers will have to improve — and unfortunately for him, those numbers don’t have much to do with a promising quarterback situation.

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