Illinois Fighting Illini

Illinois Fighting Illini

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College Football 2015 Conference, Playoff and National Championship Predictions

By Steven Lassan, 2 days 13 hours ago
The start of college football’s 2015 season is less than 10 days away. The 2015 season officially begins on Thursday, Sept. 3 and ends on Jan. 11 with the national championship in Glendale, Ariz. The first season of the College Football Playoff was a huge success and the second year should have just as much intrigue. Athlon’s editors met before the preseason magazine was...

College Football's Top 30 Defensive Backfields for 2015

By Steven Lassan, 2 days 14 hours ago
Finding and evaluating cornerbacks and safeties is one of the most difficult jobs for any college football coaching staff. Competition level and a variety of offenses in high school create a several obstacles in player evaluation. But for some programs, finding the next stars at defensive back is an easy task. LSU and Florida consistently bring in and develop defensive back talent. And it...

College Football's Top 35 Wide Receiver Groups for 2015

By Steven Lassan, 2 days 15 hours ago
While offensive and defensive lines are arguably more important to the success of any college football team, it’s the skill talent – running backs or receivers – and quarterbacks that generate most of the preseason attention. And with the balance of power in football shifting to the offense, big-play threats and speedy receivers are more valuable than ever. Compiling the...

10 Players Who Will Decide College Football's 2015 National Title

By Steven Lassan, 3 days 14 hours ago
Every college football team has personnel issues or question marks entering the 2015 season. But some concerns are bigger than others for teams in the national title or playoff mix. Whether it’s a quarterback battle, an open spot at defensive tackle or cornerback, every personnel concern is magnified in the race to win a national championship. Which players could shape the national...

College Football's Top 30 Linebacker Units for 2015

By Steven Lassan, 3 days 15 hours ago
Picking the top linebacker units in college football is no easy task. After all, schemes dictate how linebackers are used and the rise of spread offenses generally means more defensive backs on the field. Regardless of whether a scheme utilizes a 4-3, 3-4, 4-2-5 or nickel package, linebackers are a critical component to any defense. How should a team with four starters at linebacker compare to...

The Big Ten's Top 15 Must-See Games of 2015

By J.P. Scott, 3 days 16 hours ago
Having two national championship contenders in your conference is one way to make sure you stay in the spotlight all season. As good as Ohio State and Michigan State are and are projected to be in 2015, the Big Ten Conference has a slate of games — both in and out of conference — that should be considered "must-see" matchups for any die-hard college football fan....

College Football's Top 35 Defensive Lines for 2015

By Steven Lassan, 4 days 14 hours ago
The rise of spread offenses and the different schemes teams face on a week-to-week basis in a college football season has altered how some defensive coordinators think. While some are placing more emphasis on building a secondary, the success of any defense starts up front. Generating a pass rush and stopping the run are two staples of any defensive scheme.  Related: College...

Big Ten Football Breakout Players for 2015

By Steven Lassan, 4 days 16 hours ago
Projecting college football’s breakout players for any given season is no easy assignment. After all, each person has a different take on what a “breakout player” is, and college football is always home to several new faces throughout the season. While it’s difficult to label breakout players, the new stars of any season can have a huge impact on conference...

College Football's Top 30 Offensive Lines for 2015

By Steven Lassan, 5 days 15 hours ago
The offensive line is often the most overlooked position for any college football team. While the linemen in the trenches don’t get enough credit, they are often the most important piece to a successful offense. Flashy skill talent and quarterbacks take home all of the accolades and headlines, but neither position can thrive without a solid offensive line. Which teams are strongest in...

Outrageous College Football Predictions for the Big Ten in 2015

By J.P. Scott, 5 days 16 hours ago
Every season of college football starts out the same way. We have all of these things that we think are knowns — lead-pipe locks as one popular radio host calls them. Then, by midseason, we're all wrong, sitting around wondering what happened to all that we thought was written in stone. It shouldn't surprise us, considering that we are dealing with young men in their late...