The folks at Public Policy Polling are once again getting themselves involved in Big Ten athletics.
A recent poll the organization conducted in Maryland addressed plenty of topics, many of great public import and many not. In that latter category comes this interesting figure: that 40 percent of Maryland Terrapins fans wish their team was still in the ACC.
Yes, one of the questions asked by pollsters was, "Would you rather Maryland was in the ACC or the Big Ten?"
Forty percent of respondents preferred the ACC, 35 percent preferred the Big Ten and 25 percent were "not sure."
Now this could be interpreted in a variety of different ways. Are these East Coasters unhappy with being grouped with a bunch of Midwestern schools? Are they simply upset with the uptick in competition in high-profile sport such as football and men's basketball? Are they just mad about change in general, pining for the tradition of old? The pollsters didn't quite get that in depth.
This isn't the first time the people at Public Policy Polling have made headlines in the world of Big Ten sports. This time last year, PPP released results of a poll in Iowa that found that Kirk Ferentz's approval rating plummeted 14 percent from where it was in 2014, with 30 percent of Iowa fans disapproving of the job he was doing at the time. (A record-setting 12-win season likely changed all that, though.)
Now those PPP'ers are at it again, telling us Marylanders want to be back with their old Atlantic Coast Conference friends.
Maybe if DJ Durkin starts winning some football games, that will all change, too.
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 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.