Illinois Alumni Association takes shot at Northwestern marketing slogan

illini logo

I received a mass email today from the Illinois Alumni Association.

The subject heading: ILLINOIS: Chicago’s Big Ten University

The message content:

Illinois alumni don’t need an expensive roadside billboard to let people know we’re the best public Big Ten university in Chicago!

Instead, make your case in your office space by displaying your loyalty for everyone to see. As we welcome 7,000 new graduates to the alumni family, we know that, together, we can uphold the greatness of our Alma Mater.

DOWNLOAD OFFICIAL ILLINOIS WALLPAPER

Yes another shot is fired across the bow. Hatfield vs. McCoys, Mozart vs. Salieri, Illini vs. Northwestern.

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San Francisco 49ers pull draft night shocker: Illini WR A.J. Jenkins

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The Seattle Seahawks made the first big shocker on NFL Draft night by taking Bruce Irvin DE/OLB from West Virginia. The San Francisco 49ers created another big surprise when they took WR A.J. Jenkins out of Illinois with the 30th pick. It marks the first time two Illini have been selected in the first round of an NFL draft since Kevin Hardy and Simeon Rice in 1996.

Illinois now has 5 first round picks in the last five years, the most in the Big Ten. That’s a very surprising stat isn’t?

The Niners defense was so strong last year, you knew they were going to go offense this draft. And now they have plenty of pass catchers: Mario Manningham, Vernon Davis, Randy Moss, Michael Crabtree etc.

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2012 NFL Draft – Top Pass Catchers

Wide Receivers

1. Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State (6-1, 207): Blackmon is an extremely strong player who is aggressive at when the ball is in the air. [Read more…]

2012 NFL Draft Combine winners and losers: wide receivers

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It’s combine time, the male version of a swimsuit calendar shoot. But don’t get too high or too low about this stuff. Like my friend Bill Smith says, “beware the workout warrior.” The site of the past Super Bowl, Indianapolis is also hosting the 2012 NFL Draft Scouting Combine. Let’s take a look at who’s draft stock is trading higher and who’s trading lower after the workouts.

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#16 Illini Destroy Hoosiers, 6-0 Despite Not Playing a Complete Game

Illinois (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten) is off to its best start since the 1951 National Title team went 7-0.

The Hoosiers (1-5, 0-2) lost their third in a row, have not beaten a Football Bowl Subdivision team this season and lost 13 consecutive against the Top 25 since a 31-28 victory over then #13 Iowa Hawkeyes on Oct. 14, 2006.

But that doesn’t tell the whole story. Illinois essentially spotted Indiana 10 points today, and seemed to be down double digits right after getting off the bus. They also had far inferior special teams to IU today, and that 41-20 final score wasn’t very indicative of how solidly Illinois beat them, or at least how solidly Illinois should have defeated them.

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Illini Receiver A.J. Jenkins: Probably Best WR Weapon in Big Ten

Earlier this college football season, University of Illinois senior wide receiver A.J. Jenkins made some comments that proclaimed himself the best wide receiver in the Big Ten.

He has since backed off from those remarks, and now maintains a more standard, PR-friendly, humble and some could say vanilla manner in his on-the-record comments to the media. But his play on the field (third in the nation, first in the Big Ten in receiving yards) is making a loud and powerful statement.

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Illini Beat Northwestern 38-35: Chicago’s Big Ten Team?

scheelhaase

It was a week where one school’s marketing slogan became a motivational rallying cry for the other school in the state. Northwestern has been promoting themselves as “Chicago’s Big Ten Team” for a season and half, and today Illinois made stated pretty loudly how they felt about it.

Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase scored a 1-yard touchdown with 13 seconds left to lead #22 Illinois to a 38-35 comeback win over NU. He threw for a career-high 391 yards and three touchdowns (one interception) for the Illini (5-0 for the first time since 1951). All three TD passes went to A.J. Jenkins, who had 12 catches for a school-record 268 yards. The previous school receiving yards record was also set versus Northwestern in 1984. (David Williams 204).

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Illinois 38, Northwestern 35: Rapid Reaction

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It was a game that could have changed the Northwestern season. The Wildcats had Dan Persa back, had an 18-point lead on the road, and had momentum. Then, it all fell apart.

Northwestern did everything in its power to lose on the road at Illinois. So did the Fighting Illini. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, fate appeared to be favoring orange over purple in the Big Ten season opener. Northwestern fell to Illinois 38-35, allowing the Illini to keep possession of the Land of Lincoln trophy. [Read more…]

#22 Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Northwestern Wildcats: Brutally Honest Game Preview

Big Ten conference play begins with the annual in-state rivalry game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Illinois Fighting Illini. It does feel a little weird not having this game played on the last week of the season, when all the other intrastate, intra-region bloodfeud games are held.  But last year it was such a special event that it’s hard not to get excited for the 2011 edition.

Remember last year? The Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs hosted the Wrigleyville Classic, with ESPN Gameday and Erin Andrews visiting Chicago. And of course, the goofy everyone going the same way on offense because of the short-sighted brain-dead planning in regards to the end zone barrier less than six inches from the wall. That didn’t make anyone here look good.

One guy who did look good was Mikel Leshoure who broke the Illini single game rushing record. Illinois relied on a powerful rushing attack—totaling 519 yards on the ground—to turn a 27-24 halftime deficit into a 48-27 win over NU. The Wildcats were playing for the first time without quarterback Dan Persa, who injured his Achilles tendon the week prior against Iowa.

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#22/#18 Arizona State Sun Devils vs. Illinois Fighting Illini: Brutally Honest Game Preview

A.J. Jenkins Develops into Illini Go-to Receiver, Big Ten Star

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In the 2009 preseason, college football experts were proclaiming the Illinois Fighting Illini receiving corps to be the best in the Big Ten, and among the best in the nation.

Well, the Illini finished 10th in passing in the conference out of 11 teams and stumbled to a 3-9 record. So it’s safe to say that the WRs fell short of expectations.

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Illini Need Wide Receiver Ryan Lankford to Develop Into Third Option

Illinois Fighting Illini WR Ryan Lankford was the team’s most improved player this spring practice session. But he didn’t have a catch on Saturday in the big 33-15 win over Arkansas State. Someone preferably Lankford needs to become Illinois’ third option.

Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase threw for a career-best 267 yards. His 16 completions went to A.J. Jenkins, who had 11 catches for 148 yards and a touchdown, and Darius Millines, who caught five balls for 119 yards and a score.

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