Lovie Smith's hire at Illinois brought with it a whole lot of excitement, intrigue, and positive energy. Unfortunately, just a few months later, the Fighting Illini are sitting at 2-6 with wins over FCS Murray State and a struggling Rutgers program and losses to UNC, Western Michigan, Nebraska, Purdue, Michigan, and Minnesota - with all but Purdue (a tough overtime loss) coming by 15 points or more.
The rest of the Illini's schedule doesn't get any easier, with games against Michigan State at home, followed by a trip to Wisconsin, then home for a game against Iowa before ending the season on the road at Northwestern.
ESPN.com (behind a paywall) cited "several industry sources" recently in saying that Lovie is "miserable in Champaign" and could be considering a one-and-done year with the Illini before opting to return back to the NFL.
Lovie was asked about that report towards the end of his weekly press conference yesterday, and he responded by noting:
"Am I happy right now with where we are? No. No one on our football team is happy with where we are right now. My time in Champaign, it’s a little bit bigger than where we are right now. Our football team, we’re gonna win a lot of games eventually, and there’s not much more than that. As I said after the game Saturday, not many of us should be happy with where we’re at right now, but we’re going to do something to fix it together here."
When asked specifically about being "one-and-done" Smith explained:
“I would not get into speculation at all. You’re hearing it from me. I would go on what you’re getting from me right now."
Smith followed that interview up with a few tweets last night.
Hear more from Lovie in the clip.