Big Ten

Big Ten poll update: Three Big Ten teams in top five of AP poll


Big Ten poll update: Three Big Ten teams in top five of AP poll

There's little argument at this point in the season that the Big Ten has been this year's top conference in college football. And the voters in the AP poll have shared their matching opinion.

Three Big Ten teams landed in the top five of the most recent AP top-25 rankings, with Ohio State at No. 2, Michigan at No. 3 and Wisconsin at No. 5. The conference also made up half of the top eight, with Penn State checking in at No. 8. The latter accomplishment was also achieved in the coaches poll, with the Buckeyes second, the Wolverines fourth, the Badgers sixth and the Nittany Lions eighth.

Ohio State's No. 2 ranking in both polls match up with its most recent College Football Playoff ranking, though of course these two polls have no weight on which teams make the sport's final four. The Buckeyes are coming off a narrow 17-16 win at Michigan State this past weekend. This weekend brings a titanic clash with Michigan, where a win — regardless of whether it yields a Big Ten East Division championship — figures to punch Ohio State's ticket to the Playoff.

Michigan, third in the AP poll and fourth in the coaches poll, is fresh off a 20-10 win over Indiana. The 10-1 Wolverines would win a division title and a spot in the Big Ten title game if they take down the rival Buckeyes this weekend. And a win in the conference championship bout would certainly land Jim Harbaugh's team in the Playoff.

Wisconsin moved to 9-2 with a 49-20 victory over Purdue this past weekend, and the Badgers came in fifth and sixth in the AP and coaches polls, respectively. A win in this weekend's rivalry game against Minnesota would win Wisconsin the Big Ten West Division crown and send the Badgers to Indianapolis, where a victory would most likely earn them a spot in the Playoff.

Penn State is also 9-2 after beating Rutgers, 39-0, this past weekend. The Lions, No. 8 in both polls, need Ohio State to top Michigan and a win over Michigan State in their regular-season finale to win the Big Ten East Division championship and travel to Indy. A win in the conference title game figures to send Penn State to the Playoff.

Nebraska was also ranked in both polls this week, the Huskers coming in at No. 17 in the AP poll and No. 15 in the coaches poll.

Iowa and Minnesota also received votes in both polls.

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.

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Weeks will separate a perfect 10-year anniversary where Northwestern will play at Wrigley Field for one of its regular season games in the upcoming years.

Back on Nov. 20, 2010, the Wildcats battled it out with Illinois, known as the “Wrigleyville Classic,” which saw the Illini take a 48-27 win.

Even though it’s still two years out, Northwestern still planned ahead and announced its opponent for its game at Wrigley Field on Nov. 7, 2020, against Big Ten rival Wisconsin.

“Obviously an exciting opportunity for our football program to come back to Wrigley Field, one of the Cathedrals of sporting venues in the world,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “When I announced it to our team, they were absolutely ecstatic.”

“The opportunity to play at Wrigley field is unique to us, being Chicago’s Big Ten team, and to have the chance to come down and play in an atmosphere like we did a few years back was a bowl game type atmosphere, and I look forward to this special opportunity.”

This game though will be a little different than it was back in 2010. Both the Wildcats and Illini played toward the west end zone due to a tight squeeze near the right field wall due to box seats that were added down the third base line.

Now, Northwestern and Wisconsin do not have to worry about that problem because the bullpens have since moved to the outfield.

Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney spoke at a news conference earlier on Tuesday at Wrigley.

“So excited to welcome back Northwestern to Wrigley Field to talk about football again,” Kenney said. “We had an incredible experience with them back in 2010."

Kenney also mentioned new seating is on a temporary platform that can all be removed and the dugout tops can be removed as well, and the field will expand west, to allow for a longer field.

With a sellout crowd in the last go around for the Wildcats, don’t be surprised for another sellout at the Friendly Confines.