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Illinois Fighting Illini

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Video: This V'Angelo Bentley feature will warm your heart

V’Angelo Bentley is one of the biggest stars on the Illinois football team. He also has a pretty cool No. 1 fan and friend in Colby Crowley, a young Illinois fan who has x-linked juvenile retinoschisis, a condition that leads to legal blindness. Crowley met Bentley one day after Illinois practice, and he asked the only player in Illini history to score on a kick, punt, interception and fumble return to attend his birthday party. Bentley attended, and the two have developed a special friendship since. “What Colby has, you can’t see it,” said Jennifer Crowley, Colby’s mother. “He just

Big Ten paces FWAA 75th anniversary All-America Team

The Football Writers Association of America released its 75th Anniversary All-America Team on Thursday, and Big Ten fans will enjoy the results. The Big Ten placed a leading 19 players on the list, four more than ACC, however eight of the conference’s representatives played before their schools (Nebraska, 6; Maryland, 1; Penn State, 1) entered the Big Ten. On the topic of the Cornhuskers, no program had more than their six representatives, four of which garnered first-team honors, also tops on the FWAA list. The team with the second-most players? That would be Ohio State, with five. Michigan (3), Illinois

BTN LiveBIG: From the gridiron to the boardroom, a former Illini football player leads and serves

As a defensive lineman for the Fighting Illini, Kambium “Kam” Buckner had plenty of memorable moments. Upsetting then-No. 1 Ohio State in Columbus in November 2007. Playing in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day of 2008. But the game that sticks out most in his mind came two seasons prior, at Illinois’ home opener against a Rutgers team that was stacked with talented players — Jason McCourty and Ray Rice, to name a couple. Despite the fact that the Scarlet Knights were favored, Buckner and his teammates fought hard and pulled out a 33-30 overtime win in Memorial Stadium.

BTN LiveBIG: Big Ten dominates a different kind of 'Top 25' ranking

Around this time of year, students, alumni and fans of Big Ten college football teams are abuzz about the top 25 rankings. On campuses, in online forums and at sports bars across the country, people are talking about how many teams the conference has in the respective preseason polls, who’s underrated and overrated, and their predictions for bowl season and the second-ever college football playoff. But with all due respect to the AP and Coaches polls, there’s another “top 25” ranking that’s much more clear-cut, and one in which “impact on the field” takes on an entirely different meaning. We’re

Big Ten football teams celebrate becoming verified on Twitter

Twitter got to verifying Friday, with just under three weeks left to kickoff, and all 14 Big Ten football teams now have the blue check. [ MORE: View our full football tour schedule ] It might sound like a small thing, but it’s kind of a big deal on the popular social media platform. If you don’t think so, just take a look at the football teams’ official accounts. Four teams already have tweeted about becoming verified as of publish time. @GopherFootball had a lot of fun with it, putting the check mark on several pictures of key 2014 plays.

Nine Big Ten teams on CBS Sports' 'best college football team by state' map

Which college football team earns the title of being the “best college football team” in your home state? [ MORE: Big Ten East must-see game | Big Ten West must-see game ] That’s the question our friends over at CBS Sports posed to their followers today, along with an outstanding map graphic, which shows their picks. The list is based on teams they believe are playing the best right now, as oppose to which programs have had the most all-time success. A total of nine Big Ten teams are represented on the map. Of course, keep in mind there are

Watch Illinois offensive lineman Pat Flavin outsmart dunk tank

Illinois offensive lineman Pat Flavin is used to protecting the passer, not being the passer. [ MORE: Like this post? Check out our full Gone Viral section! ] Never was that more evident than following Illinois practice Thursday at Camp Rantoul. The Illini broke out a dunk tank, and for Flavin’s toss he decided to play some quarterback. He barked out a strong cadence, accepted the snap, took a three-stop drop, checked his receivers and let it rip. The toss was off target, however it still managed to dunk the person in the tank. Based on the laughs at the