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Now that College Football Playoff rankings are out, let the elimination games begin

Colloquially, they are known in college football as elimination games. Collectively, they are as big a part of the new College Football Playoff as the three January playoff games themselves. We want elimination games, those tense matchups of terrific but desperate teams with national-championship aspirations …


High School Sports

Lincoln-Way West going the extra mile


After suffering a heartbreaking overtimes loss to Joliet Catholic in a Class 5A quarterfinal playoff game last season, Lincoln-Way West has put in extra work in the offseason to complete it’s state title run. read more...

High School Cube News

Jameis Winston, Florida State rally to beat Louisville


LOUISVILLE, Ky. — We’ve seen this sort of act before from Florida State. We never saw it in 2013, when the Seminoles blitzed, blasted and obliterated their way through a 14-0 season, blowing out nearly everybody they faced. But we’re seeing it over and over …

Undefeated FSU revs it up in time against Louisville


LOUISVILLE, Ky. — We’ve seen this sort of act before from Florida State. We never saw it in 2013, when the Seminoles blitzed, blasted and obliterated their way through a 14-0 season, blowing out nearly everybody they faced. But we’re seeing it over and over …

Louisville football faithful flocks back to Bobby Petrino


LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Many of the home fans wore bibs, and not of the Papa John’s variety. In this house of first-rate football named for a mediocre pizza chain, they wore bibs with crab legs on them.

Guess who was in town.

It’s easy to …

Notre Dame players not fretting over College Football Playoff ranking


SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Jaylon Smith’s phone died Tuesday night. So the Notre Dame linebacker didn’t find out where the Irish stood in the College Football Playoff selection committee rankings until Wednesday morning. Wide receiver Corey Robinson also first learned of the rankings Wednesday after …

Northwestern receiver Miles Shuler ‘grateful’ injury wasn’t worse


Northwestern receiver Miles Shuler said he wasn’t sure what to think when he felt his body go numb after taking a big hit in the third quarter Oct. 18 against  Nebraska at Ryan Field. For onlookers, the sight of the Cornhuskers’ medical team running across …

Mississippi State tops first College Football Playoff rankings, Notre Dame at No. 10


SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Everybody looked forward to dissecting the College Football Playoff committee’s first rankings.

Well, almost everybody.

“It’s way too early for any of that stuff,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said Tuesday afternoon. “I’ll be working on Navy and trying to figure …

Coach Al Carius keeps North Central cross country in D-III title picture


Great runners come and go, but a great program rolls on and on for coach Al Carius’ North Central cross-country team. When the Cardinals travel Downstate to Decatur for the CCIW championships on Saturday, they will be going for their 41st conference title in a …

Notre Dame 10th in playoff poll but still has fightin’ chance


Geez, Notre Dame, I just don’t know what to tell you.

A No. 10 ranking by the College Football Playoff selection committee in its first poll, released Tuesday evening? You looked a lot better than 10th a couple of Saturdays ago in Tallahassee, Fla. That …

Michigan State football controls its playoff fate


Breathe, Michigan State. You didn’t get snubbed. Not even forgotten. The College Football Playoff committee sent the Spartans a very subtle message Tuesday with a No. 8 ranking: Win out, and you’ll play for the national championship. Every team ahead of Michigan State has at …

Chaos reigns in college football as first playoff poll is set to be released


The college football neck of the woods on Twitter came unglued Sunday with reactions to the just-released USA Today coaches’ poll. There was so much about it that could be questioned, such as:

How did Ole Miss drop six spots — from No. 3 to …

Illinois tops Minnesota for first Big Ten home win under Beckman


CHAMPAIGN — Illinois coach Tim Beckman reported for what heretofore had been unpleasant duty: meeting the media after a Big Ten home game.

Only this time, he was soaking wet. Not ‘‘all wet’’ in the pejorative sense, but soaking wet. His Illini visor and warmup …

‘Gray Ghost’ uniforms give Illinois a spark

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois’ ‘‘Gray Ghost’’ alternate uniforms — honoring the 90th anniversary of Red Grange’s six-touchdown performance in the 1924 homecoming game — were immensely popular among the players.

One wouldn’t think a cool new uniform could have a lasting effect on a game, but …

What’s up with ... Thomas Rooks: His run lives forever in Illini lore


Taylor Rooks knew her father played football at Illinois but she had no idea that his game-winning run against Ohio State was forever burned into the memories of Illini fans until she enrolled herself. “I didn’t realize he was that cool or that good until …

Michigan State adds to payback for Michigan’s ‘little brother’ barb


Against any other opponent, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio might have called for his quarterback to take a few knees and run out the clock.

But Michigan isn’t just any opponent. And since 2007, simply beating Michigan hasn’t been good enough for Dantonio and the …

Illinois’ run defense faces tall order vs. Minnesota’s Cobb


The 10 things I’ll be looking for in Week 9 action Saturday: 1. Illinois doesn’t merely struggle to stop the run; coach  Tim Beckman’s team is historically bad at it. The Illini are at the bottom of the Big Ten in too many defensive categories …