Big Ten

Big Ten lands five in top 15 in final College Football Playoff rankings

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Big Ten lands five in top 15 in final College Football Playoff rankings

The Big Ten was well represented in the final College Football Playoff rankings of the season, placing five teams in the top 15.

Michigan State, as was announced earlier Sunday, is the new No. 3 team in the country and will face off against No. 2 Alabama in the Cotton Bowl, a College Football Playoff semifinal on New Year's Eve.

But Iowa, which lost to Michigan State in Saturday night's Big Ten title game, didn't fall far, at No. 5 in Sunday's rankings. Ohio State, the No. 6 team in last week's rankings, didn't make the Playoff and was ranked at No. 7 on Sunday.

Northwestern and Michigan also remained in the top 15. The Cats were ranked No. 13 after finishing the regular season at 10-2, while the 9-3 Wolverines owned the No. 14 spot in the rankings.

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Here are the complete College Football Playoff rankings:

1. Clemson
2. Alabama
3. Michigan State
4. Oklahoma
5. Iowa
6. Stanford
7. Ohio State
8. Notre Dame
9. Florida State
10. North Carolina
11. TCU
12. Ole Miss
13. Northwestern
14. Michigan
15. Oregon
16. Oklahoma State
17. Baylor
18. Houston
19. Florida
20. LSU
21. Navy
22. Utah
23. Tennessee
24. Temple
25. USC

Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

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USA TODAY

Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

Tough news out of Evanston this morning: Northwestern announced that running back Jeremy Larkin will retire immediately after being diagnosed with cervical stenosis.

Cervical stenois is the narrowing of the spinal canal in one's neck, according to Mayo Clinic. Larkin's condition is thankfully not life-threatening, though it does prevent him from continuing to participate in the game of football. 

"Football has been a lifelong passion and it has been a process to reconcile the fact I won't be on that field again, given I've played this game since I was five years old," Larkin said.

"I'm extremely appreciative of the Northwestern sports medicine and athletic training staffs for uncovering this condition, and for my coaches and the medical staff for always putting my health first.

"I came to this University to engage at the absolute highest level on the field and in the classroom, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue one of those while supporting my teammates from the sideline." 

Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald called the news "heartbreaking."

"This is heartbreaking because I see every day how much Jeremy loves the game, loves his teammates, and loves to compete," Fitzgerald said in a statement. "But this is the absolute best possible outcome for him.

"The discovery of this condition allowed Jeremy and his family to make an informed decision for his long-term health and well-being. For those of us who have known Jeremy Larkin since his high school days, his future is exceptionally bright. I can't wait to see the impact he makes in our world."

Larkin is a sophomore from Cincinnati. He finishes his Northwestern career with 156 carries for 849 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

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USA TODAY

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

Former University of Illinois tennis star Kevin Anderson completed a marathon upset against an all-time great on the highest stage of professional tennis.

Anderson came back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday morning. He will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in his career.

As a native of South Africa, Anderson played three seasons with the Fighting Illini and won the NCAA doubles championship during the 2005-06 season as a sophomore. The 32-year-old was a three-time All-American in singles at Illinois.

Now, as the eighth ranked singles player on the ATP World Tour, Anderson is a force to be reckoned with at the professional level. He made it all the way to the US Open final in 2017.

The former Illini star will look to keep his recent success going when he represents Illinois in the semifinals of Wimbledon this Friday.