Archives for December 2011

Illini Win Bowl Games in Back to Back Years- 1st Time in School History

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For the second year in a row, the Illini found themselves with a college basketball game scheduled at the exact same time as a college football game. Their bowl selection led to the scheduling conflict.

Last year, they won both as the football team crushed Robert Griffin III’s Baylor Bears in the Texas Bowl while the hoopsters beat the Iowa Hawkeyes handily.

This year Illinois football beat UCLA 20-13 in the Kraft Fight Hunger bowl while the cagers went to Purdue and…let’s not talk about that one.

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Cold Day at the Kohl Center: Iowa Hawkeyes Knock Off #11 Wisconsin

 

 

 

 

 

 

No, this headline is not a misprint, the #11 Wisconsin Badgers have indeed dropped their conference home-opener to the Iowa Hawkeyes by the score of 72-65.

Iowa (9-6, 1-1) took full advantage of a horrendous-shooting performance from the Badgers (24-for-69) and a lackluster showing on the defensive end despite Wisconsin (12-3, 1-1) being one of the best in the nation on that side of the ball.

Freshman Hawkeye Aaron White was the surprising star of the day with a game-high 18 points off the bench. [Read more…]

Oregon’s 2nd and 3rd Ground Weapons: Kenjon Barner and Darron Thomas

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The Quack Attack is largely built on short, fast guys who will beat anyone at setting the edge. Once they turn the corner against you, you’re done. Chip Kelly has made the Oregon Ducks into an offensive juggernaut by recruiting and molding the perfect guys to fit his system.

The focal point of the Oregon Ducks offense is tailback LaMichael James, last year’s Doak Walker Award winner and this year’s national leader in rushing yards per game. After that, the Ducks get major ground gains from running back Kenjon Barner and quarterback Darron Thomas.

Barner is a three-year backup who could start anywhere. He’s been so good that he, like James has a NFL draft decision to make.

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Legit Cause for Concern as Marquette Begins Big East Play

jaw crowder marquette

This is more than just my annual “over-reaction to a Marquette loss” article. It just so happens that the timing of this  comes after an embarrassing 74-57 defeat at the hands of Vanderbilt in which the score doesn’t accurately depict how big of a blow-out it actually was.

Now prior to the season if you would have told me that the Golden Eagles would finish 11-2 in their non-conference slate, I would have happily taken it without a second thought.  However, after ten straight wins to start the season there is now reason for concern as Marquette enters Big East play having lost two of their last three.

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Wisconsin Badgers’ New Rose Bowl Uniforms (Photos)

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Yesterday saw the unveiling of the special edition Adidas college football uniforms that the Wisconsin Badgers will wear for the 98th Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 2.

The new look is inspired by the grand old tradition of the Rose Bowl and the school’s back-to-back trips to “the Granddaddy of them all.” The white and red uniform features a “Battle Rose” design, including rose petal graphics within the jersey numbers, Motion W helmet logo and stripes, adidas TechFit compression base layer and adizero gloves.

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Nation’s Leading Rusher, Oregon’s LaMichael James Ready for Rose Bowl

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Running back LaMichael James made some headlines this week. For what appeared to be his deathly fear of roller coasters.

He’s not afraid to go really fast on the college football field, as he is the focal point of Oregon Ducks offense. The Ducks go at a ridiculously fast pace; as they have scored 35 touchdowns on drives of 70 or more; each consuming less than three minutes. James is averaging a national best 149.6 yards on the ground while running for 1,646 yards; 4th in the country. Despite missing two games with a dislocated elbow.

He’s the school’s all-time leading rusher; just 77 yards shy of 5,000. Just don’t confuse with LeGarrette Blount, which is surprisingly easier to do than you think. James took over for the now Tampa Bay Buccaneers tailback at Oregon when Blount was suspended for his involvement in that brawl in 2009.

But question #1 for James is obviously: forgoing his senior year to enter the NFL draft?

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Rose Bowl Preview: #10 Wisconsin Can and Will Hang With #5 Oregon

 

 

 

 

 

For the second consecutive year, the Wisconsin Badgers find themselves representing the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl. However, this time around, they get a Pac-12 powerhouse in Oregon instead of a pesky TCU squad who proved to be too much in an upset in Pasadena.

The battle between the Badgers (11-2) and Ducks (11-2) is one of the most intriguing match-ups of the bowl season, particularly because the two teams are so much alike. The game will feature two of the most potent offenses in the country and both teams seem to be playing their best football right now. [Read more…]

Oregon Ducks Rose Bowl Bits: Lifesaving OL, Trapped in Elevator, Unis

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The Granddaddy of them all, the Rose Bowl awaits for the #5 Oregon Ducks. Chip Kelly is going for his first BCS win in three tries. But plenty of stories have already surfaced RE: the Ducks during this Rose Bowl week. Let’s get you caught up.

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2011-2012 Big East Basketball Power Rankings

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Last year, the Big East made history by sending 11 teams to the NCAA Tournament.  The depth of the conference was clear and obvious when a UConn team that finished with a 9-9 mark in Big East play cut down the nets.  With the league possibly entering the final year before Syracuse, Pitt, and West Virginia selfishly bolt for greener pastures (screw you, college football), the conference as a whole is down compared to what it has been in previous years.  Here are my inaugural 2011-2012 Big East Basketball Power Rankings.

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Illinois Linebacker to Play in Bowl Game Just 6 Weeks After Getting Shot!

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This has got to be one of the most inspiring stories of the college football bowl season. This is more than a comeback. University of Illinois senior linebacker Trulon Henry was injured in a off-campus shooting November 13th. Henry, a two-year starter for the Illini (he moved from safety to linebacker this year) was shot in the hand and underwent surgery.

He missed the final two games of the season, both losses, to the Gophers and Badgers.

Henry, who was not originally at the party where the shooting occurred, was called by a teammate to help encourage players at the party to leave. Unfortunately, Henry was one of the three people shot at the gathering. The bullet exited through his forearm, and he suffered a broken bone.

But he’s going to suit up on New Year’s Eve versus UCLA in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

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Notre Dame Season Ends and Begins the same: Critical Red Zone INT

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The season ending loss to the Florida State Seminoles had a few things in common with the season opening defeat to South Florida: the quarterbacks threw too many interceptions, especially in the red zone; the defense kept bailing out the offense only to see the O turn it over again. And the explosive Brian Kelly hissy fit on the sidelines, caught on national television.

This time quarterback Tommy Rees was his victim. When he see his box score 16-26-163, 1 td, 2 int, I think you can understand why.

He switched in and out with Andrew Hendrix, who was actually much worse: 3-8-24, int.

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Jimmer’s Fiance Whitney Wonnacott Wins National Cheerleader Poll (Photos)

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Jimmer mania has hit the NBA. Jimmer Fredette had 6 points in 25 minutes in his pro debut, a 100-91 win over the L.A. Lakers. He had 10 points on 4-10 shooting in the next game, as his Sacramento Kings lost to Portland.

It’s exciting times for his woman now as well.

For a few years now, Athlon has held a “Sideline Spirit” contest, which chooses a handful of cheerleaders from all across the nation, and people vote to see which school has the most “spirit.” And you vote based on the photo portfolios you see online, so “spirit” translates from marketing/PR corporatespeak into the English “hot/popular.”

The most popular college basketball and college football cheerleader in the entire nation for 2011 is Whitney Wonnacott from BYU.

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