Big Ten

Bovada likes Michigan, Ohio State as Big Ten favorites


Bovada likes Michigan, Ohio State as Big Ten favorites

Well, if Bovada is right, it should be a pretty high-stakes edition of The Game this November.

Bovada's preseason college football odds are out, and the oddsmaker likes Michigan and Ohio State as favorites to win the Big Ten title in 2016, giving the two storied rivals 7-4 odds to win the conference this fall.

The favoritism of the Wolverines and Buckeyes shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Jim Harbaugh worked wonders in his first season at the helm in Ann Arbor, turning a team that missed the postseason in its final season under Brady Hoke into a 10-game winner. And with the vast majority of what was an exceptional defense back this season, there's plenty of reason to put Michigan at the top of any Big Ten projection. But of course Urban Meyer reloads with the best of them, and despite the loss of so many players to the NFL, the return of quarterback J.T. Barrett and others should make for another hard-to-beat Ohio State team this fall.

Michigan State, which also has a lot of departed talent to replace, came in third in Bovada's odds, with the Spartans at 7-1 to win the conference crown.

Iowa, which went undefeated during its 12-game regular-season schedule last season and returns starting quarterback C.J. Beathard and defensive back extraordinaire Desmond King, has 9-1 odds to win the Big Ten.

So too does Nebraska, another team out of the West Division which has a senior quarterback in Tommy Armstrong running the show. The Huskers' status as a team tied for the fourth-best odds to win the conference is interesting following a sub-.500 record in Mike Riley's first season last year.

Bovada doesn't think too highly of the chances of local teams Northwestern and Illinois, giving the Wildcats — who won 10 games last season — 33-1 odds and the Illini 50-1 odds.

But at least they aren't as unlikely to win the league crown as Purdue and Rutgers, who each received 100-1 odds from Bovada.

Here's the complete list of Bovada's odds to win the Big Ten this season.

Michigan: 7-4
Ohio State: 7-4
Michigan State: 7-1
Iowa: 9-1
Nebraska: 9-1
Wisconsin: 14-1
Penn State: 18-1
Northwestern: 33-1
Minnesota: 40-1
Illinois: 50-1
Indiana: 50-1
Maryland: 50-1
Purdue: 100-1
Rutgers: 100-1

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.