Asmussen's Top 50: No. 22 Mississippi

Bob Asmussen continues his countdown of the Top 50 college football teams this fall.

No. 22: Mississippi

Coach: Hugh Freeze

2013 record: 8-5

Projected 2014 record: 9-3

Circle the date: Oct. 4 vs. Alabama

Mark your calendars as Illini football nears camp

It’s about that time. Tim Beckman’s Illini are a little more than a month away from the season opener against Youngstown State. Beat writer Matt Daniels takes a look at five key dates before the Penguins visit Champaign:

Preps of summer: News you might have missed

School might not be in session, but news isn’t hard to come by. Here are a few headlines you might have missed during summer break, courtesy staff writer SCOTT RICHEY:

23 days to Camp Rantoul

Counting down the 50 most important Illini

Asmussen's Top 50: No. 23 Nebraska

Bob Asmussen offers up his countdown of the Top 50 college football teams for the upcoming season.

No. 23: Nebraska

Coach: Bo Pelini

2013 record: 9-4

Projected 2014 record: 9-3

Circle the date: Oct. 4 at Michigan State

Tate, Part III: Altering admission standards a change worth gambling on

At the height of the Cliff Alexander recruiting fever, John Groce’s basketball staff wasn’t the only one holding its breath on the UI campus. The Illini football office was also closely following the Chicago Curie basketball star.

Why? Because if Alexander picked up the Illini hat, it might have created the kind of crisis that the football staff needed to underscore a problem.

Illini get their guy in Brattan

CHAMPAIGN — Tim Beckman planned on spending the first few weeks of July enjoying a family vacation in Ohio.

Not exactly looking for a new offensive line coach at Illinois.

Next in line: Brattan latest to take position

For Illinois offensive linemen Michael Heitz, Simon Cvijanovic, Alex Hill and Ted Karras, Tom Brattan represents the fifth offensive line coach the likely starters have had during their Illini careers so far. A look back at who the most seasoned Illini offensive linemen have worked with, courtesy beat writer Matt Daniels:

Austin ready for something new

CHAMPAIGN — The biggest question mark new Illinois walk-on Alex Austin has about his new situation is whether his dad will update his wardrobe to include some orange and blue.

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