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Illinois Fighting Illini

Illinois Fighting Illini

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Ranking the Big Ten’s Toughest Non-Conference College Football Schedules in 2017

By Kevin McGuire, 2 months 3 weeks ago
The importance of the non-conference schedule supposedly has been increased in the College Football Playoff era, and the Big Ten has instituted a new scheduling policy to give the conference-wide strength of schedule a boost. This season sees a few notable matchups against programs like Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, Oregon, Notre Dame and more to put the Big Ten in a national spotlight.  ...

College Football's Top 25 Quarterbacks on the Rise for 2017

By Steven Lassan, 3 months 1 week ago
The countdown to the 2017 college football season is already underway, as spring practices and position battles for spots on the depth chart for all 130 teams across the nation are already in progress in offseason workouts. And one of the biggest storylines of any offseason rests with the quarterback position. Last season, Louisville's Lamar Jackson emerged as a breakout...

Big Ten 2017 Spring Football Preview and Power Rankings

By Steven Lassan, 3 months 3 weeks ago
The Big Ten closed the gap with the SEC last year in the race to be college football’s No. 1 conference, and the league is in great shape as spring ball opens for 2017. Ohio State and Penn State should be among the nation’s frontrunners to win it all next year, while Michigan and Wisconsin will also rank in many preseason top 10 lists. There’s depth in the league with the...

Ranking the Nation's Top 40 Football-Basketball Coaching Duos

By Athlon Sports, 3 months 3 weeks ago
Ranking the college football and basketball head coaching tandems for the Power 5 conferences is no easy assignment. But that’s what Athlon Sports has set out to do this offseason, as spring practice is just starting around the nation for all 130 teams and tournament time is approaching for teams on the hardwood. Michigan State tops the rankings with Mark Dantonio and Tom Izzo as its...

Ranking the Big Ten's Football-Basketball Coaching Duos for 2017

By Athlon Sports, 4 months 15 hours ago
The Big Ten isn’t hurting for talent in its coaching ranks. The duo of Tom Izzo and Mark Dantonio ranks as the best in the conference, but Ohio State (Urban Meyer and Thad Matta) and Michigan (Jim Harbaugh and John Beilein) round out a strong top three. And the conference also features some up-and-coming duos, including Minnesota, Northwestern and Penn State.   Each year, Athlon...

Grading College Football's Head Coach Hires for 2017

By Steven Lassan, 4 months 1 day ago
College football’s 2016-17 coaching carousel featured 21 changes and several big-time hires. Texas (Tom Herman), Minnesota (P.J. Fleck), Oregon (Willie Taggart) and Purdue (Jeff Brohm) were just a few of the biggest winners from this year’s cycle. While no hire can be judged accurately prior to the first game or even after the completion of a full season, this year’s cycle didn...

Illinois Fighting Illini 2017 Spring Football Preview

By J.P. Scott, 4 months 1 week ago
Year two of the Lovie Smith era at Illinois kicked off on Tuesday, as the Fighting Illini are the first FBS program in the country to begin spring practice.   Smith's first Champaign campaign did not go well, as his team finished 2016 with a 3-9 record. Illinois’ 2-7 Big Ten mark placed them second to last in the West Division, ahead of only Purdue.   Related: ...

Ranking College Football's Rosters for 2017

By Steven Lassan, 4 months 1 week ago
Recruiting is the foundation for winning national championships, competing for CFB Playoff berths or winning at a high level in college football. While recruiting rankings aren’t 100 percent accurate, there is plenty of truth in the rankings and evaluations by the experts. It’s no secret what a program needs in order to win big at this level. Great coaching, support staffs, state-of-...

College Football's Top 20 Impact JUCO Transfer Quarterbacks for 2017

By Steven Lassan, 4 months 1 week ago
Finding or developing a quarterback is no easy task for any college football coach. This position is one of the hardest to evaluate in high school, and quarterbacks often transfer early in their career in search of more playing time if they are entrenched behind a proven starter. Needless to say, quarterbacks are the position likely providing the most headaches for coaches throughout the year....

Ranking the Big Ten's Football Rosters for 2017

By Kevin McGuire, 4 months 1 week ago
Recruiting may be the lifeblood of a college football program, but developing the incoming talent and maxing out the potential of a roster is a big reason why some coaches thrive and others will fail. At Ohio State, Urban Meyer and his staff continue to excel in both categories, which is why Ohio State routinely has the most talented roster in the conference. That has shown to pay off in the...