Bob Asmussen

Bob Asmussen

Asmussen | Looking back on the magic of the '07 Illini

Before the start of the 2007 season, I figured the Illinois football team would be better.

Coming off a 2-10 finish, including 1-7 in the Big Ten, the improvement bar was low.

There were signs of life in '06. Like a 23-20 win at Michigan State and a 17-10 home loss against No. 1 Ohio State.

Top 50 teams in 2018: No. 18, Mississippi State

Coach: Joe Moorhead

2017 record: 9-4

Projected 2018 record: 9-3

Circle the date: Nov. 10 at Alabama

Bowl trip: Liberty

Big Ten announces Kickoff list

Three Chicago-area players will represent Illinois at next week's Big Ten Kickoff.

Receiver Mikey Dudek (Naperville), offensive lineman Nick Allegretti (Frankfort) and defensive lineman Jamal Milan (Chicago) will talk to the media and mingle with fans at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile.

The 47th annual media event starts next Monday.

Top 50 teams in 2018: No. 19, Texas

Coach: Tom Herman

2017 record: 7-6

Projected 2018 record: 9-3

Circle the date: Oct. 6 vs. Oklahoma

Bowl trip: Camping World

Asmussen | Despite loss in Wimbledon final, Anderson earns respect of peers

In the 2004 movie "Wimbledon," Paul Bettany's "Peter Colt" rallies from a huge deficit to beat a heavy favorite for the championship.

That was fiction.

Real life was a lot different for former Illini Kevin Anderson. The South African, who won two titanic matches to get to Sunday, didn't have much left.

Top 50 teams in 2018: No. 20, Boise State

Coach: Bryan Harsin

2017 record: 11-3

Projected 2018 record: 11-1

Circle the date: Nov. 9 vs. Fresno State

Bowl trip: Fiesta

Top 50 teams in 2018: No. 21, Central Florida

Coach: Josh Heupel

2017 record: 13-0

Projected 2018 record: 10-2

Circle the date: Nov. 23 at South Florida

Bowl trip: Bahamas

Asmussen | Anderson raises the bar for ex-Illini success

Here's a suggestion for the Illinois athletic department, free of charge: Head to the local Best Buy and purchase enough thumb drives for every athlete on campus.

Then, ask your talented video department to load up the fifth set of Friday's Wimbledon semifinal.

I guarantee they will be fired up by the performance of Kevin Anderson. One of their own.

Top 50 teams in 2018: No. 22, LSU

Coach: Ed Orgeron

2017 record: 9-4

Projected 2018 record: 8-4

Circle the date: Nov. 3 vs. Alabama

Bowl trip: Belk

Top of the Morning, July 13, 2018

Want to see baseball all-stars on Tuesday? No need to turn on your TV for the game in Washington, D.C.

You can watch the local variety instead. In person.

The C-U Kiwanis Tom Jones Challenger League All-Star games are scheduled for 6 p.m. and 7:10 at Eichelberger Field on the Illinois campus. Admission is free and organizers are hoping to pack the place.