WHEATON – No one roots harder for Ohio State setter Katie Virtue than her younger sister. Come next season, though, the rooter will become the rival at least twice a year.
A fierce rival, little sis promises.
It has been a few years – and a few coaching changes – since ESPN's Mike Gottfried was last in Champaign-Urbana.
The former Pitt/Kansas/Cincinnati/Murray State head coach is back in town today for Saturday's Michigan-Illinois game on ESPN. Gottfried is part of the network's A team,along with Ron Franklin.
For three weeks, Rantoul's Dwayne Smith toiled on the scout team. He has worked way back into the receiver rotation.
WINNFIELD, La. – Al Simmons couldn't believe it when Louisiana State didn't push harder in its recruitment of Anthony Thomas.
Of course, the Winnfield High School assistant coach admits to being a bit of a biased observer of the state's largest university and its football program.
CHAMPAIGN – Everywhere they go, Illinois players hear about it.
Go to class, get asked about Michigan. Walk through the dorms, more about the Wolverines. Stop for a piece of pizza, expect a Michigan quiz.
Unlike last year, when Penn State ruled the collegiate volleyball world, there might not be an NCAA champion from the Big Ten bunch.
And it hasn''t been a particularly auspicious nonconference season for the league in one respect: The Big Ten is a collective 4-12 against Top 25 opponents (though conference bottom dwellers Iowa and Northwestern account for half the losses).
Illinois practiced in a steady rain Wednesday. The redone fields held up well, with no signs of mud or puddles anywhere.
If there had been some mud, defensive tackle Jason Eberhart would have found it.
Gary Winckler, head women''s track and field coach at Illinois, is in Australia, working with some current and former Illini. He''ll check in periodically with sights and sounds from the Summer Olympics.
The Australians are a curious lot.
When referring to a $28 million indoor practice facility, part of the University of Washington's $53 million athletics overhaul, football coach Rick Neuheisel was quoted:
"When all that stuff is finished, there won't be anything lacking that will make a recruit want to go somewhere else, even to schools like Michigan and Florida State."