Jim Rossow

Jim Rossow

Rossow: All pressure on Illinois to deliver

For Illinois, there are worse things than losing to Middle Tennessee State.

A letter of inquiry comes to mind. So does Digger Phelps as your commencement speaker. How about Marcus Griffin committing to Iowa the second time around?

That's about it.

Rossow: Next UI win deserves celebration

Used to be Illinois players and coaches sang "Illinois Loyalty" in the privacy of their locker room after winning a football game.

Now it's clear the Illini and their fans must do more. When you go 700 days without a win – the two-year anniversary of the Indiana game is a month away – an off-key rendition of a fight song won't cut it. Unless, of course, the student body sings it in the back yard of the president's house. Ten times. Starting at midnight.

Rossow: UI secrecy could mean excitement

Love to give you an update on Illinois football, but with practices now held in secret it's hard.

We know the Illini stretch well, probably better than any other team in the Big Ten. Many touch their toes without bending a knee.

Rossow: NFL pitch to be made by Rantoul

If Indianapolis or St. Louis or some other National Football League team ever needs a new preseason home, there's one nearby.

Just follow the balloons.

Rossow: UI's Rocky not pulling any punches

If it takes a trip to the meat locker or a glass of eggs for breakfast to make sure people call him by his preferred first name, Rausell Harvey will do it.

Rocky's an accommodating type.

Rossow: Balloons get the nod in Rantoul

RANTOUL – Balloons or football? Hot air or, well, hot air?

These are the choices folks around here have to make next month when both the U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championships and the Illinois football team invade town for the first time.

Rossow: UI recruit has hurdle to get over

There isn't a tailback in the state with niftier moves than Bolingbrook's Antoineo Harris, one of Ron Turner's marquee recruits.

Whether he can juke the NCAA Clearinghouse is another matter.

Retirement still on hold for Henson

He should be on the golf course, maybe on a tour of Europe, at least in the back yard sipping iced tea while the grandkids play.

But here's Lou Henson, sitting uncomfortably on metal bleachers with a pen and a notebook, watching a bunch of teen-agers run up and down a basketball court in the middle of Indianapolis, surrounded by slick-haired coaches half his age.

ROSSOW: UI recruit likes life in spotlight

INDIANAPOLIS – So many college coaches, so many questions. All at the Nike All-America Camp.

How could Jerrance Howard go without a field goal in his last two high school games as a junior?

International opportunity awaits Garris

CHICAGO – It's about time Kiwane Garris caught a break from the National Basketball Association.

The league which didn't draft him out of college and didn't keep him around after a stint with the Denver Nuggets has given the former Illini a chance to play for the U.S. world championship team.