|Illinois Fighting Illini football|
|Head coach||Lovie Smith|
|4th year, 10–27 (.270)|
|Home stadium||Memorial Stadium (Champaign)|
|Stadium capacity|| 60,670|
|All-time record||607–593–50 (.506)|
|Postseason bowl record||8–10 (.444)|
|Claimed national titles||5 (1914, 1919, 1923, 1927, 1951)|
|Conference titles||15 (1910, 1914, 1915, 1918, 1919, 1923, 1927, 1928, 1946, 1951, 1953, 1963, 1983, 1990, 2001)|
|Rivalries|| Northwestern Wildcats (rivalry)|
Missouri Tigers (rivalry)
Purdue Boilermakers (rivalry)
Ohio State Buckeyes (rivalry)
|Colors||Orange and Blue
|Fight song||Illinois Loyalty and Oskee Wow Wow|
|Marching band||Marching Illini|
Illinois has four series against teams that generally are considered their rival in some form, with three of their rivals being in the Big Ten Conference, Northwestern, Purdue, and Ohio State, with the first two being in the same division as the Fighting Illini. Illinois briefly had a protected rivalry with Indiana in the pre-expansion Big Ten, but the rivalry is much more prevalent in basketball.
- Main article: Illinois–Northwestern football rivalry
Of the four rivalries, the one between them and Northwestern has had the most matchups, with 111. The original trophy was the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk, until it was replaced with the Land of Lincoln Trophy. The Fighting Illini have had periods of dominance in the series, notably winning eleven of twelve matchups from 1908 to 1928. Illinois leads the series 55–51–5 as of 2017, although Northwestern has won the last three games between the two.
- Main article: Illinois–Missouri football rivalry
The rivalry between Illinois and Missouri is modeled after the two schools' longstanding basketball rivalry, and it garners the most interest around St. Louis, with both schools having alumni and fans in the area. It has not been played annually, with 24 matchups occurring from 1896 to 2010, with Missouri leading the series 17–7.
Between 2000 and 2010, the schools met in St. Louis six times, with Missouri winning each time. In 2026, the series will be renewed for a four-year period, to be played on campus sites.
- Main article: Illinois–Purdue football rivalry
The rivalry with Purdue is the oldest of the four, with their first meeting being in 1890. Illinois has had varied success, such as winning eleven out of twelve games played between 1900 and 1911 and winning six straight from 1988 to 1993. Illinois leads the series 44–43–6, although Purdue has won the last two games.
- Main article: Illibuck Trophy
The rivalry with Ohio State has occurred since 1902, with the Illibuck trophy (a carved wooden trophy) being a reflection of its longevity, being the 2nd oldest trophy awarded for a Big Ten rivalry game. Ohio State leads the series 68–30–4 (not including the 2010 vacated win), with Ohio State having won the last eight games played. They were members of the same Division (Leaders) upon expansion in 2011, but they were separated in 2014, meaning that they do not meet up each year, although they are guaranteed to meet at least once in a four-year period. Illinois has had varied success in this rivalry, notably winning five straight from 1988 to 1992, although they have not beaten Ohio State since 2007, when Illinois beat #1 Ohio State in Columbus.
|2015||Tim Beckman; Bill Cubit||5-7|
|2011||Ron Zook; Vic Koennig||7-6|
|1991||John Mackovic; Lou Tepper||6-6|
- Dick Butkus, NFL Hall of Famer
- Jeff George, Former NFL QB
- Red Grange, College & NFL Hall of Famer
- Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh Steelers RB