Paul Bergstrom/Icon Sportswire
Breaking News

Illinois fires football coach week before season

Illinois has fired football coach Tim Beckman amid allegations of influencing medical decisions and pressuring players to play hurt, athletic director Mike Thomas announced Friday

Hackenberg, Elliott to duke it out for Heisman (2:39)
Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports
5hAdam Rittenberg

Like chaos? Then 2015 may be right for you

Even the top teams have question marks and tough issues, from unproven QBs to difficult schedules. The games should be low on guarantees and high on drama.

Gilmore on fines: Ill-advised, incomprehensible (2:13)
Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports
15hIvan Maisel

3-point stance: Is Big 12 parity a good thing?

Six teams -- Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Baylor and TCU -- have won a least a share of the Big 12 title over the last six seasons.

20hKirk Herbstreit

Herbstreit: 2015 Herbie Awards

Kirk Herbstreit reveals the candidates and winners of his 2015 Herbie Awards and makes his College Football Playoff picks.

Getty Images, AP Photo
7hTravis Haney

Top breakout players in 2015: Nos. 10-1

Ah, breathe that clean, rarefied air. We’ve reached the mountaintop of our countdown of the top 50 breakout players for the 2015 college football season.

2dKyle Bonagura

UCLA names true freshman Rosen starting QB

UCLA named true freshman Josh Rosen the team's starting QB, the team announced Wednesday. Rosen, viewed by many as the top quarterback in the class of 2015, beat out junior Jerry Neuheisel.

Dobbs and Oklahoma State duo ready to breakout (1:52)
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports
1dTed Miller

Rodriguez raising the bar at Arizona

Rodriguez has guided the Wildcats to the upper echelon of the Pac-12, but is national championship contention a step too far?

Getty Images
1dTodd McShay

McShay: Top TE prospects for 2016

Which tight ends are highest on Scouts Inc.'s draft board heading into the 2015 college football season? Todd McShay runs down his list, which includes O.J. Howard and Pharaoh Brown.


Adam Rittenberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Would be interesting if Illinois went MAC route again. PJ Fleck could be a dynamic hire. Dino Babers also well regarded. But would Illinois get backlash by going again to the MAC?

Brian Bennett ESPN Staff Writer 

Tim Beckman might not have even gotten a Year 4 if Illini didn't rally to make Heart of Dallas Bowl last year, where it lost to La Tech to finish 6-7. Might end up being one of most costly bowl appearances ever.

Harbaugh starstruck by MJ's call

Need evidence that Michael Jordan still carries weight in today's sports world? Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was in shock when he got a call from Jordan in July. 'The real Michael Jordan?'

USA TODAY Sports, NBAE via Getty Images

Timing, not firing, a surprise with Beckman

ESPN's Danny Kanell didn't think Tim Beckman would survive as Illinois' coach through this season, but as Ron Gilmore says, "The timing is a big shock."


Illinois fire head coach Tim Beckman

In a release, Illinois AD Mike Thomas said he learned of "efforts to deter injury reporting and influence medical decisions that pressured players to avoid or postpone medical treatment and continue playing despite injuries," adding, "I expect my coaches to protect players and foster their success on and off the field." Story

AP Images/Nam Y. Huh

Tom VanHaaren ESPN Staff Writer 

Illinois is an interesting position from a recruiting standpoint with Tim Beckman being fired. I spoke to a few recruits who said they thought this might happen, which has already scared off a few recruits. This news only makes it harder for the remaining coaches to hold the class together and add more pieces.

Brian Bennett ESPN Staff Writer 

One could argue that Illinois would have been in better hands with Bill Cubit all along. But this is still stunning news.

Joe Schad @schadjoe

Illinois says Beckman will not receive the $3.1 million remaining on the last two years of his original five-year contract.

Brett McMurphy @McMurphyESPN

Illinois found Tim Beckman deterred injury reporting & influenced players to avoid or postpone medical treatment & continue playing

Danny Kanell @dannykanell

Tim Beckman probably wasn't going to survive anyway but this is very interesting considering all the allegations that have been made.

Jeremy Fowler @JFowlerESPN

Explosion out of Champaign...Tim Beckman fired a week before the season! Bill Cubit interim. Bill's a good fallback option to have.

Mitch Sherman ESPN Staff Writer 

Tim Beckman has been fired at Illinois. Offensive coordinator Bill Cubit will serve as interim coach for the 2015 season.

Greg Ostendorf ESPN Staff Writer 

Check out the new bleached blonde look the Auburn secondary will be sporting this season. Said safety Tray Matthews: "We just wanted to change things up. This is a whole new defense. I want the world to know that. It's going to be a big difference."

High-tech dummies are the real MVPs

Engineer students at Dartmouth College created the MVP, also known as the "Mobile Virtual Player," to reduce head and neck injuries to players during practice.


Austin Ward ESPN Staff Writer 

With Ohio State's depth at WR about to be tested in the opener at Virginia Tech, pressure could be on Braxton Miller to deliver early. Early in the week, Urban Meyer said he was "getting real close," but he wasn't ready to name Miller a starter at H-back. "I want him to be," Meyer said. "My plan is to have him ready to do that."

Kanell and Gilmore's Week 1 game to watch

Kanell on Texas A&M-Arizona State, "Whoever wins this game, the hype train is going to take off."