Big Ten

Big Ten poll update: Northwestern drops out, Wisconsin rises in top 10

Big Ten poll update: Northwestern drops out, Wisconsin rises in top 10

Northwestern's stay in the top 25 didn't last long — but what did you expect after the No. 25 team in the country went into West Lafayette and got pummeled by Purdue?

One lopsided loss last week knocked the Wildcats out of the AP top-25 rankings, meaning their first appearance in the poll since 2009 lasted just one week.

Of course, that was just one game. Northwestern gets Big Ten basement-dweller Illinois on Tuesday in a game that figures to allow the Cats to get back to their winning ways after that six-game win streak was snapped by the Boilermakers.

But this is the trickiest part of Northwestern's schedule to date. After Tuesday's home game against Illinois comes back-to-back games against Wisconsin and Maryland, the top two teams in the conference standings. Even with a win over the rival Illini, Sunday's visit to the always-hostile Kohl Center in Madison could keep the Cats from returning to the rankings.

Northwestern was in the also-receiving-votes category Monday, ranked as the de facto No. 29 team in the country.

Both Wisconsin and Purdue got nice jolts in the rankings when the new batch was released Monday. The Badgers jumped three spots up to No. 7 after beating Illinois and Indiana last week, while Purdue leaped up seven spots from No. 23 to No. 16 after wins over Northwestern and Maryland, two impressive victories over two of the four teams in the Big Ten's upper echelon.

Maryland dropped four spots with the home loss to Purdue, falling from No. 17 to No. 21 after its first game of the season against a ranked opponent.

Over in the coaches poll, Wisconsin leapt all the way up to No. 5, Purdue checked in at No. 18, Maryland was No. 22 was third in the others-receiving votes category, the de facto No. 28 team in that set of rankings.

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.