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Fighting Illini

Derrick Rose . (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

Wisch: Chicago Sports Got You Down? Here Are Some Pick-Me-Ups

Yes, right now, it’s a pretty rough time to be a sports fan in the Land of Lincoln. But all is not lost. In fact, even as the temperature in Chicago starts to bottom out, there are some pick-me-ups on the local sports scene that are still warming my heart this week.

670 The Score–10/22/2013

Barry Alvarez.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Wisch: Alvarez’s Wisconsin Remains Blueprint For Illini

here was a time when Wisconsin football was Illinois football.

670 The Score–10/19/2013

Nathan Scheelhaase (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Wisch: Seeing Red In Illini’s First Big Ten Trip To Nebraska

The Illini don’t have a Red Grange this season, but with Bill Cubit’s offense they may have more than a Galloping Ghost of a chance vs. the Huskers.

670 The Score–10/04/2013

John Groce. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Wisch: Illini Short On Expectations, Long On Experience

What exactly would you call this season for the University of Illinois basketball team?

CBS Chicago–10/03/2013

Illinois coach Tim Beckman.  (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Wisch: Illini Football Has Chicago Options For 2015

I’ve compiled a list of nonconference opponents that also have an open date on Sept. 5, 2015.

670 The Score–09/20/2013

Nathan Scheelhaase (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Wisch: Calling For An Illini Football Encore In Chicago

If Illinois wants more fans to end up making the 140-mile trip down to Champaign, they likely have to bring the product up to them first.

670 The Score–09/17/2013

John Groce. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Wisch: Groce Is The Coach Illini Fans Have Been Waiting For

From the looks of things, it appears that Illinois has a truly elite coach in John Groce.

670 The Score–09/13/2013

Soldier Field. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Baker: Chicago Messed Up With Soldier Field

I can’t help but be frustrated by all of the money Chicago has left on the table by being so shortsighted.

670 The Score–09/13/2013

Tim Beckman. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Wisch: Tim Beckman Can Win – With A Great O-Coordinator

If Tim Beckman’s coaching career at Illinois really does go from knocking on death’s door to cracking – or even kicking – it open for his return in 2014, he’ll probably be able to thank heavens for one person.

670 The Score–09/12/2013

Tim Beckman. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Illini’s Beckman ‘Shocked’ By OK State Allegations

The allegations that Oklahoma State players received cash payments and perks over the past 13 years shocked Illinois head coach Tim Beckman, who was the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator from 2007-08.

670 The Score–09/10/2013

Nathan Scheelhaase (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Wisch: Can Illini’s Cincinnati Shocker Spark A Big Season?

What a difference a week makes.

670 The Score–09/10/2013

Nathan Scheelhaase. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Wisch: Big Ten Needs B1G Games Every Week

I’m getting on board with the idea of the Big Ten spreading out its conference games throughout the entire season.

CBS Chicago–09/07/2013

Pat Fitzgerald. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Baker’s Dozen: Coach Fitz Turning NU Into Real Contender

I look forward to you joining me in my kitchen as I cook up my thoughts on an smorgasbord of topics.

CBS 2–09/06/2013

John Groce. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Wisch: Illini’s Groce Burning Up The Recruiting Trail

They say where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

670 The Score–09/05/2013

Dami Ayoola  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Illinois Kicks Running Back Ayoola Off Team

Illinois coach Tim Beckman says sophomore running back Dami Ayoola has been kicked off the team for an unspecified violation of team rules.

670 The Score–09/03/2013

Tim Beckman. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Wisch: Behold Illinois Football – Where Even Wins Don’t Feel Good

Behold, Illinois football: Where even wins don’t feel like them.

09/03/2013

Tim Beckman. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Wisch: What Does Tim Beckman Need To Do To Survive?

Beckman’s debut squad lost all eight Big Ten conference games by an average score of 37-13 and finished the season a sadsack 2-10.

670 The Score–08/30/2013

John Groce. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Wisch: 5 Thoughts About The Illini’s Basketball Schedule

Hey, anything to keep my mind off Illinois football, ya know?

670 The Score–08/29/2013

Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Il. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Wisch: Champaign The ‘Worst Town’ In The Big Ten? I Say No

I was offended on Thursday.

670 The Score–08/23/2013

A.J. Jenkins. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Chiefs Get Former Illini Jenkins In WR Swap With 49ers

The Kansas City Chiefs traded wide receiver Jon Baldwin to the San Francisco 49ers for wide receiver A.J. Jenkins on Monday in a swap of disappointing first-round picks.

670 The Score–08/19/2013

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