Big Ten

Jim Harbaugh on Twitter: Georgia's Kirby Smart 'barking up the wrong tree'

jim-harbaugh-kirby-smart-0224.png

Jim Harbaugh on Twitter: Georgia's Kirby Smart 'barking up the wrong tree'

Jim Harbaugh is a professional feather-ruffler, it would seem, and the most recent college football figure in the Michigan head coach's crosshairs is the new head coach at Georgia.

Just don't expect Harbaugh to call the new head coach at Georgia by his name.

It all started when Harbaugh officially announced that Michigan would be heading down to a Florida high school for a spring-break practice.

[MORE BIG TEN: Report: Illini to add Auburn transfer defensive end Gimel President]

The prospect of such an event has made seemingly everyone in the world of college football agitated, with multiple conference commissioners weighing in and the whole affair generating far too many headlines. The basic sticking point: Why should Michigan get a recruiting advantage by packing up and practicing at a high school in SEC territory?

Well, now the event is officially happening in Bradenton, Fla., and the questions keep on coming.

Enter Kirby Smart, recently hired away from Nick Saban's Alabama staff to become the new head coach at Georgia. Smart was asked about Harbaugh's Florida practice and had this to say:

“They’re obviously trying to gain a competitive advantage, and obviously that’s their right, but I think the NCAA in due time will have to step in and keep it from getting out of hand,” Smart said, his quotes published by College Football Talk. “There are a lot of factors that people haven’t thought about with that deal. You’ve got to think about recruiting rules, how they are going to handle those? Is it an advantage or a disadvantage? Are they going to let coaches go to those? Are they going to be open practices? Do we go over there and watch them and scout them? If it’s open practices, why don’t we go? It’s a Pandora’s Box of what they’re going to get into.

“Obviously, I don’t want to get into it because I’d like to practice right there in our facility, and I’d also like to have the prospects in state to come to our practices and us not have to go to them.”

[SHOP BIG TEN: Get your Michigan gear right here]

Smart isn't alone in questioning Harbaugh's tactics. But he's the one who got a special Twitter smackdown from the Michigan head coach, who wouldn't even refer to Smart by name.

Whoa.

And in case you were wondering, no Michigan and Georgia do not have any future non-conference games scheduled. Darn.

Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

jeremy_larkin.jpg
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

anderson.jpg
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.