2020 NFL Mock Draft 3-31-20

nfl draft

The NFL Draft, in a highly altered and very much scaled down form, might be the only sporting event that survives the next couple months. If they can pull it off, and it is very much doable, you could see the MLB, NBA and NHL follow suit. It won’t be actual sports, but hey, it will be something close.

Just this morning, the National Football League announced that the draft will go on, on the planned date, but all fan events are cancelled. So for now, it’s on, but who knows what could change between now and the end of April.  Personally, I think it would be really cool if they went all retro/back to their roots- just a bunch of old dudes in a conference center ball room picking names off of a board.

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Illini Football Players, Coaches Get Creative in Quarantine Workouts

Exit press conferences and locker room access.

Enter Zoom, Cisco WebEx and teleconferences.

That’s the new normal for sports media amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Exit the weight room and group training.

Enter bench press pressing tires, pulling/pushing motor vehicles and jumping on to garbage cans.

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Lovie Smith Optimistic We’ll Have Football in 2020

Illinois Fighting Illini Coach Lovie Smith is optimistic that there will be a college football season in 2020. Yesterday, while on teleconference with the media, Smith said his “glass is half-full” on the matter.

“Eventually, we’re going to play football,” Smith told a group of reporters by telephone. “In the meantime, we’re going to do what we can do. It’s bigger than football.”

Of course, we have a very long way to go from the current mandate of staying at least six feet from one another at all times to packing stadiums for several hours every Saturday with tens of thousands of people. At the same time, it’s also hard to speculate on August while we’re still in March.

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LB Jake Hansen Could Lead Illini to B1G West Sleeper Status

The Illinois Fighting Illini, coming off a surprising bowl appearance season in 2019, could be a sleeper team in the Big Ten West division this fall. That is of course provided the coronavirus pandemic is cleared up in time to get college football season started in late summer.

As it stands, spring college football practice season has been wiped out by the COVID-19 outbreak, a topic that Illinois star linebacker Jake Hansen joined the Illini’s media teleconference to discuss on Monday morning.

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Five Quick Ways to Become a Better Football Player

Football is a beloved game because of two reasons- the adrenaline that comes with it is addictive and the excitement that it bestows on its fanatics is unlike anything else in the world. That split second goal that sends chills down your spine cannot be described or recreated by anything else. 

As a player, there is nothing more important than on-field intelligence and good ball control. These two skills are the difference between an amazing football player and one who is mediocre in the field.  But the good news is that just like any other sport, football offers room for improvement.

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Notre Dame Football: 2020 Spring Practice Preview

The Notre Dame football team commences their 2020 spring practice period tomorrow, Thursday, March 5. Afterward, Head Football Coach Brian Kelly will address the media. Here are some FYIs and other things to watch the next six weeks or so.

What’s the general outlook for Notre Dame football next fall? Well, they’re not exactly like a national title favorite by any means, but they’re not long shots either.
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Five Leading Candidates to Replace Mark Dantonio at Michigan State

On some levels, the retirement announcement Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio made yesterday was surprising. After all, it’s a very strange time in the calendar to be stepping away from college football. On other levels though, this was totally expected.

In September, rumors that Dantonio was set to retire at the end of the year ran rampant. It was a poorly kept secret. In October, Coach D. lashed out at a reporter who asked him about his future with the program, and the exchange conveyed that something was really up, just behind the scenes.

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Jay Cutler Originally Committed to Illinois, but Ron Turner Shifted QB Priorities

Before former Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler signed with Vanderbilt to play his college football, he strived to stay closer to home. The Santa Claus, Indiana native, who grew up a Bears fan, wanted to go to Notre Dame, but they weren’t interested.

Purdue wanted him, back in 2002 when Cutler was coming out of high school, but the Boilermakers coaching staff envisioned Cutler as a defensive back instead. Illinois offered him, Jay accepted, but then the staff told him he was lower on the priority list at the position. It proved to be a terrible mistake as then coach Ron Turner suffered through a 1-11 season in 2003, and then found himself out of a job after a 3-8 campaign in 2004.

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2020 Notre Dame Football Way Too Early Season Preview

The top NFL talent within the Notre Dame football program has mostly resided within the offensive line during the late 2010s and that trend will carry over into the first season of the 2020s. In looking at who’s gone, who’s back and who’s coming in, 2020 Notre Dame football will be strongest on the o-line.

Thus you can expect a really overpowering run centric team, a la the 2017 mold, to show up in South Bend this fall. Given how the team will be going through a complete overhaul in the secondary and defensive end position this summer training camp, the Fighting Irish will likely need to just outscore people this upcoming season. They could be susceptible to opponents’ passing games, and the best way to counteract that is to limit the number of times the opponent has the ball to attack the Irish inexperience.

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Big Ten Basketball Chaos, Parity Fun for Fans, Excruciating for Coaches Says Chris Collins

Absolutely anyone who cares about Big Ten basketball, no matter the size of their audience, publishes a Big Ten basketball power rankings. It’s the least original endeavor possible, and this year all of these power rankings are created equal.

From the Midwestern paper of record to somebody on Twitter with three followers and no avatar, to the people who make college basketball picks against the spread, they’re all equally valid.
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#8 Michigan State Above, #19 Michigan Middling in Congested Big Ten

michigan vs michigan state

The Big Ten may not have the greatest concentration of Final Four contenders in the nation, according to college basketball public betting data, but it certainly has the highest number of likely NCAA Tournament and NIT teams.

In terms of league title contenders, you have to start in the state of Great Lakes Splendor, with the two teams who met in last season’s conference title game. Right now #8 Michigan State is above everybody else in the league, sitting pretty at 5-0 in conference play. #19 Michigan is in the congested middle, at 2-2, but with an 11-4 overall record
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Complete Illinois Fighting Illini Bowl Game History and Bowl Summaries


Good morning college football and Illinois Fighting Illini fans. Another autumn Saturday is in the books and the season is just flying by. Last night saw Illinois go on the road, to Michigan State, and win their fourth straight game. They did it in extremely dramatic fashion, achieving the biggest comeback in school history (25 points).

Illinois is now bowl eligible, for the first time under Lovie Smith, and there are still two games left to play. This will be Illinois’ 19th bowl appearance, and they are 8-10 all-time. Let’s take a look at where we’ve been, so we can try to see where we’re going.

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