Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Alabama, Oregon and Mississippi State, yes; Florida State, maybe not ]]> Lead story image

“Unless his leg is cut off, I am pretty sure he will be out there.”    Go on, read that again. What a line. And how perfect — thank you, Arizona State defensive back Damarious Randall. ]]> Fri, 28 Nov 2014 00:41:06 -0600 <![CDATA[ Spartans-Buckeyes winner will claim East, then conference title ]]> Lead story image

Here’s an idea: Give Michigan State and Ohio State their own conference. They would play just one conference game — against each other. The rest of their schedule would be filled with nonconference games. That way these national championship contenders wouldn’t be cheated by a poor Big Ten schedule. Because let’s face it: The Spartans and Buckeyes — who play each other Saturday in East Lansing — are so far ahead of the rest of the conference, they belong in the SEC. Other Big Ten games these teams have played aren’t functional. They’re simply ceremonial. The winner Saturday is practically … ]]> Sat, 06 Dec 2014 06:36:50 -0600 <![CDATA[ Joe Schmidt out for season; ‘big’ loss at MLB for Notre Dame ]]> Lead story image

LANDOVER, Md. — Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly called it ‘‘a big loss.’’ That might be an understatement. Middle linebacker Joe Schmidt will miss the rest of the season with a fractured and dislocated left ankle suffered in the third quarter of the Irish’s 49-39 victory Saturday against Navy at FedEx Field. He will have surgery Tuesday. The effects of Schmidt’s absence hardly can be overstated. He leads Notre Dame with 65 tackles and has two interceptions. He had eight tackles before being hurt against the Midshipmen. ‘‘Everybody is going to have to pick up a little bit,’’ Kelly said … ]]> Sun, 02 Nov 2014 20:49:26 -0600 <![CDATA[ South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier’s silence speaks volumes ]]> Lead story image

There were fantastic finishes Saturday: TCU’s victory on the final play at West Virginia, Arizona State’s overtime victory against Utah, Duke’s double-overtime victory at Pittsburgh. There was the horror, too, of the broken leg Ole Miss receiver Laquon Treadwell suffered inches from the goal line against Auburn, on what first appeared to be a late go-ahead touchdown but later was ruled a fumble. It was a memorable Week 10, especially in the context of the first College Football Playoff rankings. But what stands out more for some — particularly those in the media — was the Steve Spurrier news conference-that-wasn’t … ]]> Thu, 04 Dec 2014 07:24:57 -0600 <![CDATA[ Everett Golson accounts for 6 TDs in Notre Dame win ]]> Lead story image

LANDOVER, Md. — Notre Dame had its first chance to make a statement since the initial ­College Football Playoff rankings were released. It wasn’t an emphatic one. Everett Golson accounted for six touchdowns as the Irish ­escaped with a 49-39 victory against Navy in front of 36,807 fans at FedEx Field. “We knew this was going to be a challenge,” coach Brian Kelly said. “We played a lot of young guys on defense. We were going to have to outscore them. And that’s what it ended up being.” “It’s hard to win in college football. So we’re happy with the … ]]> Wed, 03 Dec 2014 07:14:20 -0600 <![CDATA[ Navy game special for Notre Dame’s Corey Robinson ]]>

The Navy game took on an extra significance for Notre Dame sophomore wide receiver Corey Robinson’s ­family. Robinson’s father, San Antonio Spurs great David Robinson, played basketball for the Midshipmen. “He said the Naval Academy was the best decision he’s ever made, other than marrying my mom,” Corey said. “It set him up for success the rest of his life.” Robinson said several family members, including his dad, planned on attending the game. Navy games linger It’s tough enough trying to contain Navy’s running game. But recent games against the Midshipmen seemed to have had a lingering effect the next … ]]> Wed, 03 Dec 2014 07:14:22 -0600 <![CDATA[ As expected, Ohio State routs hapless Illinois ]]> Lead story image

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Matt Wilhelm had a distinguished career as a linebacker with multiple NFL teams and at Ohio State, where he was a star on the Buckeyes’ last national championship team. But the radio program on which Wilhelm served as cohost Saturday? Distinguished, it was not. Sitting in traffic outside Ohio Stadium in the hours before Illinois’ 55-14 defeat here at the hands of the No. 16 team in the land, one could listen as Wilhelm and his pals yammered on about the Buckeyes. In those rare moments when the Illini were mentioned, their names were butchered. Quarterback Reilly … ]]> Wed, 03 Dec 2014 07:14:06 -0600 <![CDATA[ Illinois receiver Mike Dudek a breakout star ]]>

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The brightest spot for Illinois this season has been the breakout play of true freshman Mike Dudek. In the first quarter Saturday, the 5-11 wideout from Naperville (Neuqua Valley) had a 56-yard catch-and-run to break former star Arrelious Benn’s school record (676 yards in 2007) for receiving yards by a freshman. Dudek came into Saturday leading the Illini in receptions and receiving yards. His knack for finding open spaces and his ability to go up and get difficult balls over the middle have revealed him as a more refined version of Steve Hull, who led the receiving … ]]> Wed, 03 Dec 2014 07:14:08 -0600 <![CDATA[ Northwestern routed by Iowa amid rumors Michigan wants Jim Phillips ]]> Lead story image

IOWA CITY — So this is what Armageddon looks like for Northwestern. Iowa thrashed the Wildcats 48-7 on Saturday at Kinnick Stadium in what looks like a second consecutive lost season for Pat Fitzgerald’s bunch. The game began with a 24-point first quarter by the Hawkeyes (6-2, 3-1 Big Ten) and an ESPN report that said Michigan was interested in hiring Wildcats athletic director Jim Phillips to replace Dave Brandon, who resigned Friday. The threat of losing Phillips was even more of a nightmare than what transpired on the field. By halftime, Northwestern (3-5, 2-3) trailed 38-7, had 12 yards … ]]> Wed, 03 Dec 2014 07:10:29 -0600 <![CDATA[ Pat Fitzgerald mum on Northwestern starting quarterback ]]>

IOWA CITY — After his team’s abysmal offensive performance Saturday in the 48-7 loss to Iowa, ­Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald was non-committal about his starting ­quarterback. Starter Trevor Siemian was pulled after three quarters in favor of Zach Oliver. But Oliver’s play didn’t suggest he would be a better option, and redshirt freshman Matt Alviti, the prized recruit in the Class of 2013, hasn’t seemed to impress in practice. Whether it be at ­quarterback or any other offensive position, drastic changes are needed for a team that ­totaled only 180 yards against the Hawkeyes. “Just really wasn’t any rhythm, especially … ]]> Wed, 03 Dec 2014 07:10:30 -0600 <![CDATA[ Week 10 college football national report ]]> Lead story image

GAME BALLS Matt Jones and Kelvin Taylor, RBs, Florida How to tell these two apart? The former rushed 25 times for 197 and two touchdowns in an upset of Georgia. The latter rushed 25 times for 192 yards and two touchdowns. We’ll let you guess which is the son of former Gators and NFL star running back Fred Taylor. Nelson Agholor, WR, USC How does eight receptions for 220 yards and a touchdown sound? Now toss in a 65-yard punt return for a score. Trojans 44, Washington State 17. Nick Marshall, QB, Auburn He threw for two touchdowns. He ran … ]]> Wed, 03 Dec 2014 07:13:48 -0600 <![CDATA[ Jahlil Okafor, Duke ranked No. 4 in preseason college hoops poll ]]> Lead story image

The story seems to be the same every season at Kentucky: Lose star players to the NBA, replace them with another group of one-and-doners, compete for a national championship. The Wildcats changed the script this season: This year, the fabulous freshmen will be surrounded by other former McDonald’s All-Americans who played for the NCAA title just seven months ago — a team so deep and talented that coach John Calipari is considering a platoon system. Kentucky was the runaway No. 1 in The Associated Press preseason Top 25 released Friday, becoming the fourth program to earn the honor in consecutive … ]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:10:00 -0600 <![CDATA[ Miffed Buckeyes might cover four-TD spread over Illini by halftime ]]> Lead story image

The 10 things I’ll be looking for in Saturday’s Week 10 action: 1. We might as well start with the obvious: No. 16 Ohio State (6-1) is going to get to 20-0 in Big Ten regular-season play under coach Urban Meyer, tying a school record for consecutive league wins in the process, and do it at the expense of vastly overmatched Illinois (4-4). It’ll be interesting to see if the Illini can present themselves reasonably well coming off a confidence-building victory over Minnesota. Tim Beckman’s previously clueless defense came alive — relatively speaking — in that game, swarming to the … ]]> Tue, 02 Dec 2014 06:29:23 -0600 <![CDATA[ Rested Notre Dame focused on Navy, not rankings ]]> Lead story image

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame has had a long time to think about the end of its last game. The final offensive drive. The controversial offensive pass interference penalty that wiped out a go-ahead touchdown at Florida State. And the Seminoles coming away with the 31-27 victory on Oct. 18. Fresh off a bye, the Irish finally get the chance to rebound Saturday against Navy at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. “We approached (the bye) the right way. Florida State was rough. But we got the chance to recover mentally. Recover physically. Now we are going to go ahead … ]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:08:01 -0600 <![CDATA[ Michigan AD Dave Brandon resigns; Is Brady Hoke next out the door? ]]> Lead story image

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Dave Brandon took over Michigan’s athletic department four years ago with so many of the right qualifications: success as a businessman, experience as a university regent — and he’d played football for Bo Schembechler, too. That football program is the barometer of sporting success at Michigan, but the Wolverines have fallen on hard times recently. Those struggles — and the handful of other problems they helped magnify — led to the end of Brandon’s tenure as athletic director. “Dave feels that it would be in the best interest of our student-athletes, the athletic department and the … ]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:06:00 -0600 <![CDATA[ Now that College Football Playoff rankings are out, let the elimination games begin ]]> Lead story image

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 and no margin for error in the loss column. We crave elimination games, and now — on the first Saturday after the release of the CFP selection committee’s top 25 rankings — we’ve really got ’em. No. 3 Auburn at No. 4 Ole Miss (6 p.m., ESPN) is the best such example in Week 10. … ]]> Mon, 01 Dec 2014 17:28:17 -0600