ROSEMONT — Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott is the Offensive Player of the Year and Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz is the Coach of the Year in the Big Ten.
The league on Tuesday announced Ferentz’s honor and offensive awards, as determined by a vote of coaches and media.
CHAMPAIGN —The question for the 5-7 football team: Do you want to play in a bowl game?
If the call comes Sunday, Illinois will answer “Yes.”
That is the word from UI executive senior associate athletic director Jason Lener.
No need for Illinois to put together a search committee for its next athletic director.
The answer is right there in the school’s football media guide. On page 175: Richard George, 1978-81, DB, Collinsville.
CHAMPAIGN — In John Groce’s corner office at Ubben Basketball Complex sits an eye-catching poster resting comfortably on an easel, depicting a rendering of what the renovated State Farm Center will look like.
Recruits, their families and anyone else who visits Groce’s office have seen and heard for years what the finished product will look like.
When NCAA selection time nears and Big Ten basketball coaches begin to extol the virtues of their conference, they’ll have to explain November.
Dreary, unexpectedly disappointing November. Certainly not the ideal way to match last season’s seven teams in the tournament.
For Illinois fans, the past 30 days couldn’t have ended soon enough. With the calendar flipped to December now and the grand unveiling of State Farm Center a day away, a look back at 10 forgettable moments from the month that was:
CHAMPAIGN — If Kansas State, Georgia State and South Alabama all win Saturday, the number of bowl-eligible teams will stand at 78. That’s still two short of the 80 needed to fill all 40 bowl games, meaning a few 5-7 teams will get invitations to keep their season going.
Whatever opinion you have of John Groce, the UI basketball coach deserves a pass for the 2015-16 season.
Win or lose, let’s sit back and accept whatever happens. He’s been handicapped since the summer losses of Tracy Abrams and Darius Paul, and then it got worse ... and worse.
No Illini basketball team since the “slush fund” in 1966 has suffered anything like these setbacks.