End zone: Toledo 10-11


In a week in which Tim Beckman received a vote of confidence from his boss at Illinois, his successor at Toledo doesn't need one. Halfway through his first season, all indications are Matt Campbell was the right choice.

His players adore Campbell, rallying around his charge to focus on the day at hand, a departure from Beckman's repeated discussion of big picture goals. The team is more unified, the players insist, with the offense and defense forming a tighter bond than before. That's not to suggest the work Beckman produced here should not be appreciated.

Short of a letdown Saturday, Campbell's team will be 6-1, perched atop the division, bowl eligible, and inching closer to a spot in the top 25.

The only candidate truly considered, Campbell has helped orchestrate improvement on defense and special teams. The team has shown maturity, showing no variance in performance between home and away. Beckman's team has been a wreck, even by Illinois' middling standards.

Granted, half of a season is too small a sample size for a final evaluation. Campbell should not be deified any quicker than Beckman should be demonized. Beckman might regret his decision to abandon a floating ship, but Toledo should have no second thoughts about its choice for the next steward.

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