MAC logjam leaves Illinois schedule in flux

CHAMPAIGN – Don't blame Central Michigan for its inability to keep its date with the Illinois football team in mid-October.

The culprit is actually the Big East, which booted Temple out of the league, setting off a string of moves that left Illinois without an Oct. 14 opponent. Temporarily.

Augustine joins the fun

INDIANAPOLIS – Soon enough, there will be business to attend to.

There will be workouts to sweat through. There will be NBA teams to impress. There will be the pressure that comes with a three-month window that might well determine the rest of James Augustine's life.

Illini knock out Boilermaker ace in front of record crowd

CHAMPAIGN – On a night when both starting pitchers took it on the chin, Illinois' batters wasted no time delivering the decisive knockout punch.

Battering Purdue ace Jay Buente for nine hits and as many runs in the first 2 innings Friday night, the Illini built a commanding early lead and then held on for a 9-7 victory in a Big Ten Conference opener at Illinois Field.

Leman remains a cut above

CHAMPAIGN – His first year, he made The Sporting News' freshman All-Big Ten team. His second year, he finished second on the team in tackles, starting every game.

But J Leman knows there are no guarantees. He understands that if he wants to stay on the field, he has to compete at a high level in practice. And he has to compete in the weight room.

Who's that Illini?

I'm a two-time winner of the soccer team's most valuable player award, most recently in 2003, my senior season. I earned first team All-Big Ten honors that year. Known for my defense, I was Illinois' first NSCAA Scholar All-American in 2003.

Tate: Add it up — Fewer stars, better action

One of our leading sports wordsmiths, John Feinstein, waxed poetic:

"Let's not waste time to debate where last weekend ranked in the pantheon of college basketball. In the previous 30 years of region finals (120 games), there were eight overtime games. In 48 hours last weekend, there were three. A 20-point comeback by a school that hadn't reached the Final Four in 19 years was only the third- best story ... the top seed came back from the dead with a 20-5 run in the last four minutes of regulation."

Illini not playing Central Michigan

CHAMPAIGN – The Illinois football team will be playing a game Oct. 14. But, according to Central Michigan, it won't be against the Chippewas.

Central Michigan's four nonconference games are against Boston College, Michigan, Kentucky and Temple. On Oct. 14, the Chippewas play Ball State at home.

The say 'eh' kid

CHAMPAIGN – Lars Davis knew he'd be filling some big shoes with the Illinois baseball team.

No truth to the rumors they're snowshoes.

Who's that Illini?

I was one of the premier golfers in the early years of UI women's golf. I competed in the AIAW national tourney in 1981-82 and the NCAA tournament a year later. I was honored as a George Huff Award winner three times and received an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship after the 1982-83 season.

Stanford leaves Illini doubled over

URBANA – Doubles, played first in dual matches, counts for only one of a match's seven total points.

Oddly enough, that one point has determined the fate of the No. 5 Illini all season as they were 13-0 when winning the doubles point and 0-3 when losing it going into Wednesday's match at Atkins Tennis Center against No. 22 Stanford.