Fighting Illini

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

Wisch: For Illini Fans, Football Excitement Is In Short Supply

In all honesty, though, it’s just tough to get jazzed about Tim Beckman’s encore when his opening performance hit all the wrong notes during a 2-10 campaign that included nine straight losses to close out the season.

670 The Score–08/02/2013

Ron Zook

Wisch: Illini AD Shouldn’t Be Investing Time In Debating Zook

Things Illini Nation learned this past week: 1) Ron Zook now works for a bank, and 2) Mike Thomas is willing to invest time in rebutting him.

670 The Score–07/18/2013

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

Wisch: Illini’s Beckman Struggling To Tackle In-State Recruiting

If Beckman can’t get things turned around soon – both on the field and with the state’s best athletes – he won’t be worrying about recruiting rankings for long.

670 The Score–07/11/2013

Wes Lunt. ( Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Report: Oklahoma State QB Lunt Transferring To Illinois

It’s a bright day for the University of Illinois football program.

670 The Score–06/17/2013

State Farm Center in Champaign, Ill.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Wisch: Arenas Could Spark Recruiting Rebirth For Illinois, DePaul

Remarkably, for the third year in a row, the Windy City is home to the No. 1 high school basketball player in America, with rising Whitney Young senior Jahlil Okafor following in the large footsteps of prior Public League phenoms Jabari Parker (2013) and Anthony Davis (2012).

670 The Score–06/14/2013

Nathan Scheelhaase scrambles against the Missouri Tigers.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Wisch: A New Illinois-Mizzou Football Series Shouldn’t Be Arch Madness

In the entire country, there is no nonconference college basketball rivalry better than Illinois-Missouri. But in all of America, there was no nonconference college football rivalry worse than Illinois-Missouri.

670 The Score–06/07/2013

The former mascot of the University of Illinois, Chief Illiniwek. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Wisch: Return Of Chief Illiniwek Proposed – And Ignored?

Banished from athletic events at the University of Illinois six years ago, Chief Illiniwek is now standing on the hypothetical sidelines in Champaign, holding a new proposal for his return.

CBS Chicago–05/07/2013

State Farm Center in Champaign, Ill.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Wisch: It’s The State Farm Center, But It’ll Always Be ‘The Hall’

Growing up, I always believed that besides the Sears Tower, Assembly Hall’s spaceship-shaped silhouette is the most recognizable of any building in Illinois. And now, just like how the Sears Tower has become the Willis Tower, the Assembly Hall has a new name as well.

CBS Chicago–04/30/2013

Jereme Richmond (Credit: Lake County)

Jereme Richmond Arrested Again

Former Illinois Mr. Basketball, Jereme Richmond, has been arrested again.

CBS Chicago–04/26/2013

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Wisch: Big Ten Sacks Legends & Leaders, Now Must Tackle Trophies

Over the weekend, the Big Ten pulled off a heady play when the league leaked word that it’s mercifully dumping the much-maligned Legends and Leaders divisional monikers in favor of geographical names.

CBS Chicago–04/23/2013

Bruce Weber.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Kansas State Rewards Weber With Contract Extension

Kansas State rewarded basketball coach Bruce Weber for winning a share of the school’s first conference championship in 36 years with a raise and a one-year contract extension Wednesday.

CBS Chicago–04/10/2013

Illinois head coach John Groce. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Wisch: How Far Can The Fighting Illini Go?

The last time Illinois and Colorado squared off in a game that truly meant something, the Fighting Illini fell far behind, staged a furious comeback and escaped with a dramatic one-point victory.

CBS Chicago–03/21/2013

Brandon Paul. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Illinois, Paul Get Shot At Strong Finish In NCAA Tournament

Illinois ran out of the gate to start this season, a hot-shooting surprise that opened 12-0 just months after imploding in a way that made observers wonder whether the Illini might carry the effects for some time.

CBS Chicago–03/19/2013

Illinois players celebrate their over Minnesota. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Illini Win On Paul’s Buzzer-Beater

Brandon Paul scored 25 points and hit a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer to lead Illinois to a 51-49 victory over Minnesota in the first round of the Big Ten tournament on Thursday.

CBS Chicago–03/14/2013

Bruce Weber. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Wisch: The One Thing I Don’t Want For Illinois This Postseason

Throughout all the brimstone, my mind kept sparking back to a thought that’s been in my head for weeks: The Fighting Illni and Weber’s Kansas State Wildcats have no business meeting in the NCAA Tournament this season. And here’s to hoping that they don’t.

CBS Chicago–03/14/2013

Bruce Weber. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Wisch: Was Weber’s 9-Year Run Really The ‘Best’ At Illinois?

Bruce Weber isn’t on the sidelines in Champaign any longer. But that hardly means the guy can’t still stir up the Illini faithful.

CBS Chicago–03/13/2013

Big Ten Tournament. (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)

Wisch: Sold-Out Big Ten Tourney Shows Chicago Should Stay In Mix

In 2006, when Indianapolis beat out Chicago for exclusive rights to host the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament from 2008-12, conference commissioner Jim Delany expressed his hope that a fixed location would help boost attendance for his league’s hoops extravaganza.

CBS Chicago–02/23/2013

Jereme Richmond. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Ex-Illini Standout Jereme Richmond Sentenced To 8 Days In Jail

Former Illini standout and Illinois’ Mr. Basketball has been sentenced to eight days in the Lake County Jail, a judge ruled Friday.

670 The Score–02/15/2013

Brandon Paul. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Illini Given No. 5 Seed In Mock Tournament Selection

What a turnaround it’s been for Illinois.

670 The Score–02/15/2013

John Groce. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Illini Athletic Department Chose The Worst Picture Possible To Promote The Penn State Game

(WSCR) We’re going to assume this was just a major, major oversight by the University of Illinois ticket offices. In an email sent to Illini fans Thursday morning, the athletic department encourages fans to purchase […]

670 The Score–02/14/2013