Bob Asmussen

Bob Asmussen

Asmussen | Spring is in the air for Illinois football

Did you know Illinois spring football starts today? It's true.

Entering his fourth season as a college head coach, Lovie Smith looks for his first bowl appearance. To get there, his team will need to make significant strides between now and the start of the 2019 season.

Top of the Morning, March 22, 2019

Greetings from Wells Fargo Arena. While some of you are spending spring break in Europe, my vacation choice is Des Moines, Iowa.

Asmussen | For my bracket, Big Blue Nation leads the way

I just looked back at my 2018 NCAA tournament picks. Big mistake.

In the middle of the page, where it read "Champion," I had foolishly penciled in "Michigan State."

Oops.

As you might remember, the Spartans didn't make it out of the first weekend. Despite playing in nearby Detroit, they lost in the second round to Jim Boeheim and his pesky Syracuse zone.

Asmussen | Stalcup's new gig too good to pass up

CHAMPAIGN — Those Illinois games you have attended throughout the years — the ones that went off without a hitch — that's on Holly Stalcup.

Like a good umpire, she usually only got mentioned when something went wrong. And that was rare.

First and 10: Asmussen's 10 best basketball-and-football programs

Our college football writer ranks the best football programs that also excel in basketball or basketball programs that excel in football. It works both ways:

1. Kentucky

Football in Lexington has always been underrated. Now, Mark Stoops is building a power, finishing 12th in the AP rankings. John Calipari keeps piling up lottery picks and victories.

Third and long: Asmussen's top cities to host the National Championship

Our college football beat writer is counting down the days until the 2019 season. Here are three cities he would like to see host the national championship game someday:

Four downs: Former Illini kicker Chase McLaughlin

Illinois football beat writer Bob Asmussen chatted with former Illini kicker Chase McLaughlin, who is waiting for his shot at the NFL. He is rated the No. 13 kicker prospect on DRAFTTEK's big board and the only Big Ten player listed. McLaughlin finished his Illinois career fourth in school history in field goals and sixth in points.

Asmussen | Here today, gone tomorrow: Illini QB Bush moves on to next step

He was here for just an instant, starting nine games at quarterback during the 2018 season.

If it goes the way AJ Bush Jr. hopes, the Illinois pro timing day was the start of something big.

The Norcross (Ga.) product sure looks the part. He checks in at 6 feet, 4 inches and 225 pounds.

Top of the Morning, March 15, 2019

As the University of Illinois considers adding a Division I hockey program, one area team has been competing at a championship level.

On March 4 in Springfield, the Champaign-Urbana Chiefs won their second-consecutive Lincoln Land High School Hockey League championship. The Chiefs beat Bloomington 1 by a score of 6-1 to cap an 18-0-2 season.

Asmussen | Show them the money: Lovie's newest staff receives pay bump

Lovie's newest staff now totals $3 million per year in salary

For some reason, I am fascinated by salaries. Especially those attached to coaches.

Maybe it's my natural curiosity. Or maybe I'm just nosy.

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