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Illinois Fighting Illini

Illinois Fighting Illini

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College Football's Top 50 Wide Receiver Groups for 2017

By Steven Lassan, 1 month 1 week ago
The 2017 season features a significant amount of turnover at wide receiver, opening the door for new stars and breakout players to emerge this fall. However, despite some big names moving onto the NFL, there is a clear No. 1 receiver group returning this season. Oklahoma State is loaded with talent, including first-team All-American James Washington, LSU transfer Tyron Johnson and senior Marcell...

College Football's Top 50 Running Back Units for 2017

By Steven Lassan, 1 month 1 week ago
While every college football team would prefer to have an established, superstar No. 1 running back, using a committee of options is the preferred approach to save wear and tear on the starter. Some teams prefer to split the carry workload close to a 50-50 split or use certain players in situational roles. Regardless of the usage, more teams are looking to a committee of players to...

Ranking the Big Ten's Quarterbacks for 2017

By Steven Lassan, 1 month 2 weeks ago
Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett and Penn State’s Trace McSorley lead the way in the Big Ten quarterback rankings for 2017. Barrett should benefit from the arrival of play-caller Kevin Wilson, while McSorley will continue to develop under the watchful eye of second-year coordinator Joe Moorhead. While the top two in the conference is clear, the rest of the Big Ten quarterback rankings are a...

Big Ten Coaches Talk Anonymously About Conference Foes for 2017

By Athlon Sports, 1 month 2 weeks ago
It's not easy getting college football coaches to honestly comment on another coach, player or team. Most coaches don't want to give opposing teams billboard material, which is why there is a lot of coach speak or overused cliches used during the year.   In order to get an accurate assessment of teams heading into 2017, Athlon asked coaches in the Big Ten to...

College Football's Top 30 Coordinator Hires for 2017

By Steven Lassan, 1 month 3 weeks ago
College football’s coordinator carousel featured a handful of big names on the move for the 2017 season. Ohio State hired former Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson to coordinate the offense, while Todd Orlando followed Tom Herman from Houston to Texas to take over the defensive signals in Austin. LSU hopes Matt Canada can jumpstart its offense, and Oregon hired Jim Leavitt from Colorado to...

Why Does "The Fade" Have a Prominent Place in College Football?

By Athlon Sports, 1 month 3 weeks ago
Every fan has experienced it. Your team has the ball in scoring position. It’s a big moment. And before you can say, “Run the dang ball!” your quarterback is cocking back to lob the football toward the back corner of the end zone. It lands two yards out of bounds, safely out of reach of the nearest offensive and defensive players. You fill with rage. You scream obscenities at...

Ranking the Big Ten Running Back Tandems for 2017

By Steven Lassan, 2 months 11 hours ago
The Big Ten returns six 1,000-yard rushers from 2016, including a Heisman Trophy candidate in Penn State’s Saquon Barkley, along with Northwestern’s Justin Jackson and Ohio State’s Mike Weber. Jackson has recorded three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, while Weber posted 1,096 in his first year of action with the Buckeyes. Minnesota’s Rodney Smith quietly rushed for 1,158...

How the WakeyLeaks Incident Increased Rampant Paranoia Among College Football Coaches

By Athlon Sports, 2 months 11 hours ago
Congratulations, WakeyLeaks. Wake Forest’s game-plan breach from a highly unlikely source — radio analyst and former assistant coach Tommy Elrod — managed to make already-paranoid college football coaches even more paranoid.   That is no small achievement.   “You don’t have nearly enough time [to talk] about why college football coaches are so paranoid...

College Football's Top 25 Breakout Quarterbacks for 2017

By Steven Lassan, 2 months 1 day ago
It’s no secret quarterback play is an integral part of every college football team and its hopes of winning a national title, contending for a conference championship or simply making a bowl. And if you need any evidence, take a look at last year's CFB Playoff contenders. Alabama (Jalen Hurts), Washington (Jake Browning) and Penn State (Trace McSorley) each had a breakout player under...

Proposed Big Ten vs. SEC College Football Challenge

By John La Fleur, 2 months 2 days ago
Unfortunately for college football fans, teams from the Big Ten and SEC rarely face each other more than once in the regular season. Why should we have to wait until late December and early January to see these two conferences clash in bowl games?   In an effort to spice up the non-conference slates of both leagues, I propose the following matchups. As a bonus, I have suggested a slogan...