Big Ten

Buckeyes stay atop latest AP poll, Badgers drop out

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Buckeyes stay atop latest AP poll, Badgers drop out

Ohio State, the first-ever unanimous preseason No. 1 team, is still the No. 1 team after its season-opening win at Virginia Tech.

The Buckeyes trailed at halftime Monday night but roared back with a dominant second-half performance from its cavalcade of playmakers, including an eye-popping showing from Braxton Miller, who switched form quarterback to wide receiver this offseason. That allowed them to hang on to the No. 1 spot when the latest AP poll was released on Tuesday afternoon.

Ohio State figures to stick at No. 1 for some time, not only due to its status as a favorite to repeat as national champion but also thanks to a light schedule that doesn't feature any major tests until November.

Michigan State, which opened the season as the nation's No. 5 team, kept its ranking after its season-opening win over Western Michigan.

Wisconsin fell out of the top 25 after its season-opening loss to Alabama on Saturday night in Texas. The Badgers were bothered by injuries in that game and struggled to establish a rushing attack. The Crimson Tide were ranked No. 2 in this week's poll, up one spot after jumping TCU.

Northwestern received votes after its impressive win over Stanford. The Cardinal entered the Week 1 showdown ranked No. 21, but the Wildcats kept them out of the end zone with a masterful defensive display. The Wildcats are ranked No. 29 based on those votes.

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.