Big Ten

Big Ten poll update: Spartans drop out of both polls as Big Ten has four ranked teams


Big Ten poll update: Spartans drop out of both polls as Big Ten has four ranked teams

Suddenly a 2-2 team after Saturday night's shocking overtime loss to Indiana, Michigan State was nowhere to be found when both the coaches and AP polls were released Sunday afternoon.

Michigan State dropped out of the polls, with Ohio State and Michigan holding the Nos. 2 and 4 rankings in both polls and Wisconsin and Nebraska ranked in both polls, as well.

The Spartans were upended in thrilling fashion, the Hoosiers benefiting from a penalty on a missed field goal in overtime and eventually kicking the game-winner through for a 24-21 victory. It was a bad loss for Michigan State, which hadn't fallen to Indiana since 2006. After a seemingly big win at Notre Dame in Week 3, the Spartans have dropped two straight, dominated by Wisconsin and falling at Indiana.

The Buckeyes were ranked second in both polls after stomping Rutgers in a 58-0 laugher Saturday to improve to 4-0. Ohio State has looked as good as anyone in the country on both sides of the ball. Saturday, the Buckeyes shut out the Knights and held them to 116 total yards while racking up 669 on offense behind J.T. Barrett's four first-half touchdown tosses.

The Wolverines were ranked fourth in both polls after edging the Badgers, 14-7, in a clash of two elite defenses. Michigan proved the superior squad, limiting Wisconsin to 159 total yards — just 88 passing and 71 rushing — and getting the game's biggest play: a 48-yard touchdown bomb from Wilton Speight to Amara Darboh.

The Huskers bounced up to No. 12 in both polls, up three spots after a 31-16 win over Illinois. Nebraska needed a fourth-quarter comeback, and boy did it get one, scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter behind the efforts of Tommy Armstrong and Terrell Newby. The Huskers improved to 5-0 with the win, quite the start following the 6-7 finish to Year 1 of the Mike Riley Era.

The Badgers stayed ahead of the Huskers at No. 11 in the AP poll but fell a spot beneath them at No. 13 in the coaches poll after the loss to the Wolverines. Wisconsin was stifled by that sensational Michigan defense, and the high quality of that opposing unit makes reserving judgment wise moving forward. But next up is a date with Ohio State on Oct. 15 in Madison, and the Buckeyes' defense has been excellent, as well.

Maryland, Michigan State and Indiana also received votes in the AP poll. Michigan State, Maryland, Indiana and Minnesota also received votes in the coaches poll.

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


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


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.