Apr 12, 2014; Champaign, IL, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Tim Beckman looks on during the first quarter of the spring game at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Beckman's Coaching Seat Ranked Fourth Hottest By NFL.com

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As a part of their “14 for ’14” series, NFL.com released a list of the 14 hottest coaching seats in college football entering the 2014 season.

With no surprise, Illinois’ Tim Beckman made the list at the #4 spot and was one of five Big Ten coaches featured in the article. Beckman is entering his third season with the Illinois Fighting Illini and is 6-18 after two seasons.

Here’s what NFL.com had to say about Beckman’s seat in 2014:

The Illini doubled their win total, from two to four, last season, but still went 1-7 in Big Ten play, beating only hapless Purdue. Illinois should go 3-1 in non-conference play this season, so going 3-5 in league play would mean a bowl. But can Illinois win three conference games? A bowl bid may be necessary for Beckman to keep his job.

The big meter for success that many are going to use when it comes to Tim Beckman’s future with the Fighting Illini will be whether or not the team earns a bowl bid this season.

On the other hand, some might say that Beckman should be granted a fourth year just as long as the team improves this season.

However, the history books lean a little bit towards the bowl side.

That’s because the last three Illini head coaches before Tim Beckman earned a bowl bid in their third season with the team.

Lou Tepper went made the Liberty Bowl with a 7-4 record in 1994, Ron Turner made MicronPC Bowl with an 8-4 record in 1999, and the Zooker went to the Rose Bowl with a 9-4 record in 2007.

So, what does that mean for Tim Beckman in 2014?

It means that the Illinois Fighting Illini need to make some more improvements whether they earn a bowl bid or not.

More specifically, the defense needs to be A LOT better this season.

Tim Beckman is a defensive minded head coach. So, there’s no reason why that should be the weakest part of the team…plain and simple.

Also, with this being Beckman’s third year, Illini fans should be able to see a few of Beckman’s recruiting classes, and how those classes are shaping the team.

A bowl bid will be the final determination in many people’s minds about Beckman’s future at Illinois, but he should get a fourth season as long as the team improves in 2014.

What do you think Illini Nation? How hot is Beckman’s seat entering the 2014 season?

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Tags: Football Illinois Fighting Illini Tim Beckman

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