The frustration of Illini sports seems like it will never end. 

I have been critical of Illini sports in the past because I was tired of losing. After the Illini football team lost to a really bad Northwestern team on Saturday, my first reaction was to be frustrated and want to be critical again. After taking time to think, the loss is not that big of a deal. 

When you look at the injury report there should be no surprise the Illini lost. If you take the starting quarterback, best wide receiver, best defensive lineman, best defensive back and best linebacker off of any team they are going to struggle. 

The loss doesn’t feel any better because of that, and I don’t like to make excuses, but that is a legitimate excuse. But another thing that should make you feel better is that if you told almost any Illini fan at the beginning of the season that they would end up 6-6 in a bowl game, they would take it. 

You can also say the Illini should’ve ended the season 6-6, just not in the way it happened. The Illini lost two games to Eastern Michigan and Northwestern that they should’ve won. But they also won two games they probably shouldn’t have won. 

The Wisconsin game, as beautiful as it was, probably wouldn’t come out with the same outcome if it was played again. The Michigan State game was one the Illini were dominated in for three quarters in and somehow won. 

So the Illini have had a rollercoaster of a season, but I don’t think the loss to Northwestern should make anyone feel worse about where this team is going in the future. I think the bowl game is a big step for this program and a game that I hope the Illini will finally be healthy in. At this point it looks like the Illini are heading to either Detroit or Santa Clara. Both of those games should be against teams of the Illini’s caliber. 

 I can only be positive for so long

 I was able to stay positive for the first half of this column. I think that may be because what happened on Thanksgiving afternoon made me shift all my anger to one team. 

I’m going to be straight up with everyone, the Dallas Cowboys killed me on Thanksgiving. I feel bad for my family members who had to be around me because I was distraught for the rest of my favorite holiday. 

The Dallas Cowboys have been torturing me from the second I started watching football. But Thursday against the Buffalo Bills was one of the worst games I have ever watched. 

After the game against the New England Patriots, Jerry Jones said he was frustrated and pretty much called out the entire team and coaching staff. The Cowboys came out against the Bills, and it looked like they were fired up and were proving Jones wrong. 

Then Dak Prescott threw a pick and the game literally fell to pieces. 

The most frustrating thing is that even with the loss, I can’t just pack up the bag on the season because somehow the Cowboys are still in first place. 

Now some team would love to be in the Cowboys’ position, but I already know how this is going to end. The Cowboys will either break my heart in week 16 against the Eagles or make the playoffs as a really bad team and then get embarrassed. 

Hopefully my being down on the Cowboys will work the way it did when I was down on the Illini. But it may not take too long for the Cowboys to kill me again because I will be in attendance on Thursday when the Cowboys take on the Bears at Soldier Field. 

But no matter how I feel about the Cowboys right now, I will absolutely talk smack to all the Bears fans I know if the Cowboys can win. 

You can contact Ryan Birch at or on twitter @RyanBirchRP.