CHICAGO - For the first time in a while, there is genuine excitement for Illinois' two Big Ten teams.
Northwestern comes off a ten-win season with a number of players returning to Pat Fitzgerald's squad. That figures to make the Wildcats a contender to end their 16-year Big Ten title drought.
Illinois might not end their 15-year conference championship winless streak, but Lovie Smith's arrival as head coach has fired up a fan base that has endured a rough stretch under Tim Beckman.
Hope, meanwhile, isn't as strong for the Rio Olympics as continued problems with facilities, security and Zika threaten to dampen August's Summer Games.
Paul M. Banks, the owner of TheSportsBank.net, discussed all of these topics during his appearance on Sports Feed on Thursday.
To watch his segment on Thursday's show with Jarrett Payton, click on the video above or below.