Tate: Next question, please

CHAMPAIGN – Questions and musings that come to mind:

– Which would be bigger, the St. Louis Cardinals winning the World Series or the Chicago Bears winning the Super Bowl?

Hosick paces Illini at The Prestige

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Illinois' Kyle Hosick finished seventh overall after firing a 67, and the Illini men's golf team took 10th place at The Prestige at PGA West.

UI men's basketball practice report

Good luck finding a college basketball player who wants to redshirt.

Sit out a year? By choice? You're kidding, right?

Illini softball nabs recruit

WEST HILLS, Calif. – Danielle Zymkowitz, a senior second baseman and center fielder from Chaminade College Preparatory High School, gave an oral commitment to attend Illinois.

The 5-foot-3 slap hitter has been a leadoff batter for her high school and club teams. She was chosen to the all-area team last spring by the Los Angeles Daily News after she hit .421 and stole 29 bases. Zymkowitz is a two-time all-conference pick.

Tate: Paterno catching flak again as offense struggles

CHAMPAIGN – Joe Paterno always will be a Penn State hero, but some insiders there are wondering once again about the Nittany Lions' offense after Michigan held the ground game to minus-14 yards Saturday.

The scuttlebutt goes like this. The Nittany Lions were an unacceptable, almost unimaginable 26-33 between 2000 and 2004. Then, almost in desperation, JoePa threw caution to the wind. He ceased alternating Michael Robinson at multiple positions and turned the fleet senior loose at quarterback, and he inserted highly touted freshman Derrick Williams at receiver.

The day after

Every game has a defining moment when the outcome is established. Here is the play from Saturday's Illinois-Ohio game:

Illini give Nittany Lions a test

CHAMPAIGN – Playing without injured sophomore Kayani Turner, the Illinois volleyball team fell to No. 2 Penn State 34-32, 30-23, 32-30 on Sunday at Huff Hall.

The Illini had game points in the first and third games. Penn State (19-0, 8-0 Big Ten) has dropped only five games this season.

Zook weighs in on BCS standings

CHAMPAIGN – Ron Zook isn't going to tell you how he voted. But the Illinois coach will say he likes the Big Ten's chances in the BCS rankings.

As expected, Ohio State topped the initial list, which was released Sunday. Undefeated Michigan checks in at No. 3. The two meet in Columbus, Ohio, on Nov. 18. If they stay undefeated between now and then, the winner will play for the national title.

Tate: No one's exempt from the blame

CHAMPAIGN – It would be preferred at this dismal interval if we could pinpoint and isolate Illini football problems.

But they are myriad. They explode on us like a string of firecrackers. Except for Juice Williams' extemporaneous flashes, there was little to get excited about at a bleak Memorial Stadium on Saturday night.

UI men's basketball practice report

CHAMPAIGN – Chester Frazier was the first player to emerge on the court late Friday at the Assembly Hall. With a microphone in one hand, the fearless sophomore urged the Illini Madness crowd to "get up!"

Likewise, Frazier must emerge for the Illini this season. He's a front-runner for the starting point guard slot, a position vacated by Dee Brown. How's that for a tough act to follow? Brown won the 2006 Bob Cousy Award as the nation's top point guard.