Fight Hunger Bowl Preview: Illinois vs. UCLA

Illinois raced out to 6-0 start and a national this season only to lose the next six games before Ron Zook was dismissed as head coach.  The Fighting Illini (6-6) take on UCLA (6-7) in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl at 3:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 31. Like Illinois, UCLA fired their head coach this season. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart breaks down the game, gives his keys and offers his prediction. See it all in this post and find the entire 2011-12 bowl schedule.

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Dienhart: Odd protest for Illini assistant coaches

News that three Illinois assistant coaches may boycott Saturday’s Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl is disappointing, as reported late Friday by the Chicago Tribune. Joe Gilbert, Chip Long and Jeff Brohm may not coach in the bowl against UCLA on Saturday because they claim they were unaware that they had signed one-year deals. Instead, the trio says it had been told it had inked two-year contracts.

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What Were BTN.com's Top Videos for 2011?

We post plenty of videos here at BTN.com ranging from TV show excerpts and bonus Web-only clips to game highlights and interviews. We even started some very popular sections called “Did You See This?” and the “Best of Gus Johnson.” As 2011 winds down and 2012 warms up in the bullpen, we dove into the last 12 months of videos to find the most-watched pieces from the past calendar year.

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12 for 12: A dozen 2012 Predictions

Predictions. Everyone has them, and rarely do people prognosticate correctly. As the saying goes, that’s why they play the game. I’ve been burned with predictions several times, the most recent one coming when I said Illinois was for real and a Rose Bowl contender. We all know how that turned out! With the calendar flipping to 2012 Sunday, it’s time to offer up some more educated guesses, posted in a multiple choice test format to give it a different wrinkle. Feel free to post your answers or fill in your “other” selection in the comment box. The predictions are listed in chronological order and, just for clarity, many of the football ones take into account likely early NFL departures.

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Did You See This? Illini tour Alcatraz

Everyone’s heard of Alcatraz, but have you ever toured the San Francisco landmark? Illinois football players did just that while in California preparing for Saturday afternoon’s Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl versus UCLA. Go behind the scenes with the Illini as they tour the famous military prison in an IlliniProductionsHD YouTube video in this post.

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