Top 50 teams in 2018: No. 42, Kentucky

Coach: Mark Stoops

2017 record: 7-6

Projected 2018 record: 8-4

Circle the date: Nov. 3 vs. Georgia

Bowl trip: Texas

Bob's Top 50 rankings: No. 42 Kentucky

A strong returning offensive line and a solid running game led AP voter Bob Asmussen to name Kentucky his 42nd ranked team.

Top 50 most important Illini: No. 42, Bobby Walker

Vitals: 6-4, 230, R-Jr., TE

Hometown: Golf

High School: Loyola Academy

Top 50 Most Important Illini Football Players: No. 42 Bobby Walker

Originally a walk-on, beat writer Scott Richey thinks tight end Bobby Walker has a chance to make an impact this season.

Nineteen area stars suit up one last time

MAROA — Tuscola and Shelbyville boast a strong prep athletic rivalry as Central Illinois Conference opponents. Turns out school doesn't even need to be in session for that to continue.

IHSA adjusts rules in 3 sports

Wrestlebacks are back.

A cut day now exists in golf.

And a mercy rule is in place for basketball season.

Those are among the notable IHSA rule changes for the 2018-19 academic year that will affect the state wrestling and golf tournaments, as well as lopsided regular-season basketball games.

Illini have work to do before opening new football facility

Facility upgrades? Check. New uniforms? Check. Butkus statue? Check. Landing a five-star recruit? Check.

June 25 Bob Asmussen chat

Monday, June 25, 2018 - 10:00am

How good are the latest Illinois football commits? What position is the most important need for the 2019 class? Which former football players deserve Illinois Hall of Fame consideration?

For the answers to these questions, or anything else on your mind, check in with our longtime college football beat writer.

In-state running back picks Illini

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois added to its future running back depth for the second day in a row Friday with a commitment from in-state recruit Nick Fedanzo. The three-star 2019 prospect announced his commitment on Twitter less than 24 hours after Plano, Texas, running back Kyron Cumby did the same.

Tipoff: Top 10 prospects for 2019 NBA Draft

The 2018 NBA Draft was Thursday, so why not start looking ahead to 2019 now? Our college basketball writer breaks down the top 10 college prospects that could hear their name called next June:

1. R.J. Barrett, Duke