Illinois
Fighting Illini

Big Ten Geeks: Digging deeper on Illinois' offense

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

The 2011-12 Illini would push their record to 15-3 with a win over Ohio State (you remember, the Brandon Paul game), and they climbed all the way to 22nd in the AP poll. What followed was a complete collapse–Illinois went 2-12 the rest of the way, and what had looked like a surefire at-large team ended up with no postseason appearance at all. Somehow, the Illini had covered the full range of possibilities we had covered in our 2011-12 season preview (hey, the Brandon Paul/Kemba Walker comparison doesn’t seem quite so insane now!). Could such a nosedive happen again?

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Super Seven: Ranking best Big Ten hoops arenas

Nov 27, 2012; Bloomington, IN, USA; A general view of the opening tip of the game between the Indiana Hoosiers and the North Carolina Tar Heels at Assembly Hall. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Superhero Night at Assembly Hall

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

When it comes to the best hoop arenas in the nation, places like Kentucky’s Rupp Arena, Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium, UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion and Kansas’ Allen Fieldhouse often are mentioned. But the Big Ten has its share of iconic venues, and I rank the conference’s seven best in this week’s Super Seven.

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Power Rankings: There's a new No. 1 team

November 12, 2012; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines forward Jordan Morgan (52) dunks the ball against the IUPUI Jaguars in the second half of a preseason NIT game at Crisler Center. Michigan won 91-54. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

A Windmill Dunk by Thompson

Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for my latest Big Ten Power Rankings. There’s a new No. 1 team on the list following Indiana’s loss to Butler on Saturday in the Crossroads Classic.

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Season in review: Illinois football

Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Tim Beckman’s debut was one to forget, as the Fighting Illini struggled on both sides of the ball. Spotty play along the offensive line hindered an offense that was last in the Big Ten in scoring (16.7 ppg); No. 11 in rushing (127.8 ypg); No. 10 in passing (168.8 ypg).

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Which division ideas do you prefer?

Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE

One of the hottest debates around the Big Ten Conference’s announced plan to expand to 14 schools revolves around the future look of the two divisions. Currently, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern reside in the Legends Division while Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin are in the Leaders Division.

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