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 – Top Offensive Lineman

Offensive Tackle

1. Matt Kalil, USC (6-6, 306): With great size and strength, Kalil certainly looks like an NFL tackle. There’s nothing about his game that disproves the eye test. Kalil has a [Read more…]

2012 NFL Draft – Top Defensive Lineman

Defensive End

1. Melvin Ingram, South Carolina (6-2, 264): One of the most versatile defensive lineman in the draft, Ingram could play in both the 3-4 as an OLB or speed DE, as well as play the traditional 4-3 defensive end. Ingram has pro-ready hand technique and frequently gets his man off balance.    Prediction: Top-15

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Purdue’s Matt Painter gives take on Bruce Weber firing

matt-painter

Purdue coach Matt Painter is from the same Gene Keady coaching tree as just fired, former Illini Bruce Weber; they’re contemporaries, peers and friends.

They both spend a lot of time screaming at their players to “MOVE” and “MOTION” in the motion offense system that they run. (It’s been a struggle offensively for both teams at times this season).

Following his Boilermakers bad 88-71 loss to Ohio State in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament, Painter was asked what he thought about Weber being canned today: (his response was the polar opposite in emotion and length of the response from MSU coach Tom Izzo)

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Bo Ryan and the Wisconsin Badgers stay perfect in Senior Day Games (Rapid Reaction)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With a 70-56 win over the Fighting Illini, the Wisconsin Badgers’ Head Coach Bo Ryan is now 11-0 in Senior Day games at the Kohl Center.

Seniors Jordan Taylor and Rob Wilson were magnificent with 24 combined points to help the Badgers (23-8, 12-6) end the regular season on a three-game winning streak.

After losing eight of their last nine games, Illinois (17-14, 6-12) would have to pull out a miracle and win the Big Ten Tournament if they want to make the NCAA Tournament.

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Illini Get Grindy Road Win at Northwestern, Snap Chicago Area Losing Streak

bruce-weber

Lots of cliches applied in this college basketball game “tale of two halves,” “halftime adjustments” “wining ugly” “blue-collar”  I could go on and on, but I’ve tortured you enough already.

In the battle to be “Chicago’s Big Ten team” Illinois defeated Northwestern 57-56 in the same manner they won this year’s college football meeting- starting slow, having to come back in the second half, and then make sure they didn’t give it all away at the end.

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Realistic Expectations for the Golden Gophers

College basketball has something in common with high stakes poker. Both pastimes are a combination of skill and luck. Tubby Smith has been lacking in the latter since he began his tenure in Minneapolis. He has had to deal with health issues, an irrelevant football program, questionable decision-making by his players, and injuries. The one bright spot for fans and alumni is that he hasn’t forgotten the game since his more successful days with the most prominent program in the country: Kentucky.

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Penn State Gets Gift Win From Pathetic Illinois’ Special Teams, Offense

psu cheerleader

It was one of the ugliest college football games of all time. Certainly one of the ugliest Big Ten games. Not a good showcase of the conference on ABC’s national game. (The national media are going to have a field day ripping the conference after this one). Call it the football equivalent of the infamous 38-33 college basketball game played by these two schools in Champaign 2009.

It was absolutely pathetic on all levels how Illinois (6-3, 2-3 in league play) handed Penn State and Joe Paterno his record breaking 409th win. They completely gave it away.

The Illini offense and special teams were a sick joke in their inability to close the game today, and #19 Penn State (8-1 overall, 5-0 in conference) is now the only remaining unbeaten team in the Big Ten. Who’d have guessed that?

If you like passing and hate punting, this was NOT the game for you. The passing yards in the box score were just ridiculously bad. And you can’t blame it on the weather. Because the snow was only a factor in the first half.

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The good, the bad, and the ugly: Ohio State’s first half of the season

Luke Fickell

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Good:

Believe it or not, there are good things coming out of this season for Ohio State. The problem is, most of the good is looking towards the future; and most of it concerns Braxton Miller. Though he struggled early, the highly touted freshman is beginning to come into his own. His arm is obviously not developed yet, but the athleticism is there in full. At Nebraska, Miller was 5-8 for 95 yards and a touchdown while running nine times for 91 yards. It’s likely that OSU would have won the game had Miller not sprained his ankle in the second half. [Read more…]

Illinois Football Has 5 National Titles, Yes Really

memorial_stadium

When you look at the record of the current Illini head coach Ron Zook (34-45, midway through his seventh season in Champaign) and his two predecessors (Ron Turner 32-49, 8 years) and Lou Tepper (25-31-2 in 5 years), you may not think that it’s a program that can boast of multiple national titles.

The fact that those three men kept their jobs as long as they did, despite that sub .500 performance only verifies your assumption that it’s not a national championship program. However, you couldn’t be more wrong. Illinois football has five, yes FIVE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS.

Of course, these were all in the days long before the polls, the Harris interactive, and the BcS, so the term national title had a slightly different meaning.

The last one was in 1951, when the orange and blue went 9-0-1, 5-0-1 in the Big Ten. This is relevant today, because the 6-0 Illini are off to their first 6-0 start since that magical season.

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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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Michigan game could decide Northwestern’s season

dan persa passing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four games into the season, it’s difficult to describe a game as must-win, particularly when you’re talking about Northwestern, and especially when the opponent is #12 Michigan. The Wolverines are 5-0 on the season, and have impressed thus far. The ‘Cats on the other hand, are in a two-losses-in-a-row slippery slope. Lose to Michigan, and that slope will get a whole lot steeper. [Read more…]