Big Ten

Hawkeyes at No. 3, five Big Ten teams ranked in AP poll

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Hawkeyes at No. 3, five Big Ten teams ranked in AP poll

The undefeated Hawkeyes are up to No. 3 in the AP poll, one of five Big Ten teams ranked in the latest rankings, released Sunday.

Iowa jumped up from No. 6 to No. 3 following this weekend's win over Purdue to boost its record to 11-0. Two top-four teams lost, Ohio State and Oklahoma State watching their undefeated seasons come to an end, allowing the Hawkeyes to make the vault into the top three. Iowa also leapfrogged Notre Dame.

The Hawkeyes clinched a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game with the win and will look to complete a perfect regular season in next weekend's game against Nebraska before potentially locking up a spot in the College Football Playoff with a conference championship.

Michigan State, fresh off its upset of Ohio State, moved up three spots from No. 9 to No. 6. The 10-1 Spartans are a win away from clinching a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game. They take on Penn State in the regular-season finale next weekend.

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The Buckeyes fell from No. 2 to No. 8 with the home loss to the Spartans that dropped them to 10-1. Ohio State can still make the Big Ten title game with a win over Michigan and a Michigan State loss.

The Wolverines are the new No. 12 team, moving up from No. 14 following Saturday's win over Penn State. They also can still make the Big Ten Championship Game with a win over Ohio State and a Michigan State loss.

Northwestern jumped three spots from No. 20 to No. 17 after beating Wisconsin, 13-7, on Saturday. The Cats, at 9-2, can win 10 games in a single season for just the fourth time in program history with a win over Illinois in the regular-season finale. A win in that game plus a bowl win would give Northwestern its first 11-win season ever.

Wisconsin fell out of the top 25 with the loss to Northwestern.

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.