Beckman's firing may signal Schiano's return to college ranks

Given a 4-20 conference record and allegations of player abuse in the past few months, it’s not a surprise that Tim Beckman is out at Illinois. The move being made a week before the opener against Kent State was jarring, but an external review of the Beckman’s conduct forced the school’s hand.

Bill Cubit is the man tasked with holding everything together as the interim head coach. A bonus for the Illini is that he does have head-coaching experience. His Western Michigan teams were 51-47 from 2005-12. Cubit, 61, had been Beckman’s offensive coordinator since 2013.

If the Illini somehow play well despite the circumstances, Cubit could get a look for the head job. That’s unlikely, though; this season was expected to be an uphill grind for the Illini.

If not for a win in the regular-season finale against Northwestern, which earned Illinois a bowl bid, Beckman likely would have been fired by early December. Instead, the program’s hole has only gotten deeper.

As usual, we’ll assess the job and offer candidates that Illinois should eventually target.