Big Ten

Hawkeyes, Spartans, Buckeyes all in top six, Northwestern at No. 13 in latest AP poll


Hawkeyes, Spartans, Buckeyes all in top six, Northwestern at No. 13 in latest AP poll

Half of the teams ranked in the top six of the latest AP poll are Big Ten teams.

Iowa moved down a spot to No. 4, but Michigan State moved up a spot to No. 5 and Ohio State jumped two spots to No. 6, giving the Big Ten three of the top six spots in the top-25 rankings, which were released Sunday afternoon.

The Hawkeyes completed a perfect regular season at 12-0 with a win over Nebraska on Friday, while the Spartans improved to 11-1 and clinched a Big Ten East Division championship with a throttling of Penn State on Saturday. Iowa and Michigan State will meet in this weekend's Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis, the winner likely earning a spot in the College Football Playoff.

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The Buckeyes rebounded from their loss to the Spartans in spectacular fashion, wrapping their regular season at 11-1 with a pounding of rival Michigan. Ohio State still has a very good chance of making a New Year's Six bowl game and perhaps even an outside shot at reaching the Playoff should chaos break out this weekend.

Elsewhere in the top-25, Northwestern moved up four spots from No. 17 to No. 13 after finishing its regular season at 10-2 with a win over Illinois on Saturday at Soldier Field. The Cats have 10 wins in a single season for just the fourth time in program history and could win 11 games for the first time in program history with a victory in the bowl game.

Michigan plummeted seven spots, down to No. 19 from No. 12 after getting beat up by Ohio State. And Wisconsin was back in the top 25 at No. 25 following a 9-3 regular-season finish with a Saturday win over Minnesota.

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.