Michigan State has its Messiah, and Northwestern can unchain Jango, while Nebraska has Dicaprio to act its way out of any trouble.
ScheduleAll times ET
A coach on a two-year contract? No AD? Bill Cubit and the Illini coaches overcame an uncertain future to land a class that can provide immediate help.
Grading the 2016 football recruiting classes in the Big Ten, which saw Ohio State deliver another top-5 class and Michigan finish with a fury.
As signing day nears we're taking a look at the highest-impact prospects each Big Ten school has signed over the last decade, starting with 2001-15.
Matt Bowen ESPN Staff Writer
Illinois DE Jihad Ward was the most powerful edge rusher on the field this week at Senior Bowl workouts. With a massive frame (6-foot-5, 295 pounds), Ward can get off the ball and move bodies at the point of attack.
Illinois will have to replace T.J. Neal, the team's second-leading tackler in 2015, who has decided to pursue a graduate transfer to another program.
Former Illinois football star Curtis Lovelace faces his day in court on a first-degree murder charge in the death of his first wife.
The Illini have some concerns but wide receiver will not be one of them next season.
Barring any last-second, non-publicized surprises, 20 Big Ten players have officially declared for the NFL draft this spring.
There is a lot of playing time up for grabs in the Illinois secondary, as three of four 2015 starters will not be coming back.
The Buckeyes leapfrogged Michigan State and Iowa after the bowl games in our final Big Ten Power Rankings of the season.
The college football season just ended, but we're already looking ahead to 2016. Here's how the Big Ten stacks up, at least to us.
Our reporters pegged the Big Ten's cellar-dwellers and a Michigan rebound ... but Iowa's run to the Rose Bowl defied summer prognostications.
By the latest count, there are 14 new coordinators in the Big Ten for 2016, accounting for half the coordinator jobs available in the league.
Questions regarding Illinois heading into the offseason revolve around coach Bill Cubit, who needs to give the Fighting Illini a recruiting punch.
Ohio State's J.T. Barrett and Iowa's C.J. Beathard should be among the conference's best quarterbacks heading into the 2016 season.
Adam Rittenberg ESPN Staff Writer
Confirmed some changes to Illinois' staff today: Defensive coordinator Tim Banks stepping down to pursue other opportunities. Mike Phair, who had been co-DC/line coach, will be the sole defensive coordinator. Ryan Cubit will be officially elevated to offensive coordinator, although Bill Cubit likely will remain the primary offensive play caller. AJ Ricker (offensive line) and Jeff Hecklinski (wide receivers) are joining the staff. Ricker could be involved in play calls. Bill Cubit still has two vacancies to fill on his staff.
Illinois head coach Bill Cubit is looking forward to this offseason as a chance to make his own mark on the Illini.
Bill Cubit brought the reeling Illini to the verge of a postseason berth after a tumultous offseason.
The league doesn't award an all-freshman team, but we do. A look at the impact rookies in the Big Ten for 2015.
Illini unable to overcome deficiencies
In-state talent and a robust recruiting budget? Check. Lackluster facilities and poor tradition? Unfortunately, check. Those things combine to make Illinois a tough place to recruit. Ranking CFB recruiting jobs 1-65
Mitch Sherman ESPN Staff Writer
Iowa QB C.J. Beathard attended the 2008 Rose Bowl to cheer for Illinois, at which his uncle Kurt Beathard coached. The Illini lost 49-17 to USC. "I was young," Beathard said, "and I dreamed of playing in that stadium. ... It's a classic place. It's surreal."
A lack of six-win, bowl-eligible teams has allowed 5-7 Nebraska, Minnesota and San Jose State to earn bowl berths, while Illinois and Rice were eliminated from bowl contention.
Alex Golesh and Mike Ward, assistant coaches with Illinois, have left the team.
Nike Men's Illinois Fighting Illini Blue/Orange Team Issue Performance PoloShop