Illinois State Police documents show that the agency frequently assigns troopers to escort sports teams, musicians and even filmmakers across the congested roadways of greater Chicago.,Illinois State Police wouldn’t comment on the trip, so the Tribune made a public records request for all police escort contracts in 2018.,Though critics have called police escorts for sports teams a frivolous and potentially dangerous use of public resources, state police defend them as a way to provide “safety and security for all those involved in the motorcade as well as for the motoring public.”,The contracts show that visiting NFL teams routinely receive police escorts to and from the airport, hotels and Soldier Field.,College football teams are also major customers: Northwestern University had a standing order for police escorts between its team hotel and Ryan Field on game days, and the University of Illinois paid for the service when it played at Soldier Field in September.

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports(Photo: Mark J. Rebilas / USA TODAY Sports)

The Green Bay Packers are not participating in this season's NFL playoffs, but that doesn't mean fans of Wisconsin football are shut out completely.,Next game: Saturday vs. Seahawks, 7:15 p.m. CT Los Angeles Chargers Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon wears a University of Wisconsin hat as he warms up before an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in Denver (Photo: The Associated Press) read more

Does it matter to most residents of Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, Utah and Colorado whether their states' major college football programs match those in Alabama or Ohio dollar for dollar and victory for victory?,OK, more links: The O’s James Crepea takes a deep dive into Oregon’s 7-6 victory over Michigan State in the Redbox Bowl, the good, the bad, the encouraging and the discouraging.,Vince Grippi for the Spokesman-Review: Washington’s loss shows the Pac-12 just doesn’t measure up against college football’s elite level.,Joey Kaufman of the Los Angeles Daily News: Washington’s loss to Ohio State is one more Pac-12 disappointment.,Washington wilts in a Rose Bowl loss to Ohio State, leaving the Huskies with bigger questions.

PASADENA, Calif. — Urban Meyer sees the Rose Bowl nestled in verdant Arroyo Seco on a sunny winter day and thinks back to the formative days of his coaching career.,The three-time national champion will lead Ohio State (12-1) into the Rose Bowl on today to face Washington (10-3), and then he will retire from coaching at just 54 years old.,“I dreamed a lot about Ohio State, the rivalry game, the Rose Bowl,” Meyer said.,Chris Petersen is just three months younger than Meyer, and he has built a powerhouse in his half-decade in Seattle, highlighted by a College Football Playoff semifinal two years ago and this trip to the Huskies’ first Rose Bowl in 18 years.,The Rose Bowl is the big finish to the remarkable four-year Washington careers of quarterback Jake Browning and running back Myles Gaskin.

PASADENA, Calif. — Urban Meyer sees the Rose Bowl nestled in verdant Arroyo Seco on a sunny winter day and thinks back to the formative days of his coaching career.,The three-time national champion will lead Ohio State (12-1) into the Rose Bowl today to face Washington (10-3), and then he will retire from coaching at just 54 years old.,“I dreamed a lot about Ohio State, the rivalry game, the Rose Bowl,” Meyer said.,Chris Petersen is just three months younger than Meyer, and he has built a powerhouse in his half-decade in Seattle, highlighted by a College Football Playoff semifinal two years ago and this trip to the Huskies’ first Rose Bowl in 18 years.,The Rose Bowl is the big finish to the remarkable four-year Washington careers of quarterback Jake Browning and running back Myles Gaskin.

5 takeaways from Texas AM's 52-13 Gator Bowl win over NC State: RB Trayveon Williams caps Aggies' successful season with historic night

James Gilbert/AP read more

(Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

IE football player of the year is Cajon quarterback Jayden Daniels in San Bernardino on Thursday, December 6, 2018.,(Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) read more

SALT LAKE CITY — As impressive as Donovan Mitchell has been so far with the Utah Jazz — his sophomore shooting slump notwithstanding — what the young NBA player has done off the court might be even more impressive.,It's one thing to enjoy watching sports figures and teams compete, especially when they do things we can't (see any dunk Mitchell has ever done), pile up the fun statistics and wins and provide hours of entertainment.,Mitchell has made as much of a name for the way he donates his time and Jazz merchandise to the community — from spending hours each month with students at Kearns High School, showing up at random Fourth of July barbecues, buying groceries and phones to help people out, attending local high school and college games to, as one writer on our staff described it, "bringing joy to thousands of people in the community.",And that just scratches the surface of an organization that makes sure its players visit hospitals, donate to charitable causes, give people in need gifts and tickets, and speak to students and other groups, among many other kind acts befitting of the late Larry H. Miller's mantra that suggested people, "Go about doing good until there's too much good in the world.",The former BYU star quarterback has become a legendary sports figure in New Orleans — he was already considered a saint in Provo for leaping over Texas — and, as Brandon Judd described, "has turned into one of the most intriguing players in the NFL."

When the No. 4-ranked Sooners (12-1) take on No. 1-ranked Alabama (13-0) in a College Football Playoff semifinal at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday in the Capital One Orange Bowl, it will mark Johnson's 500th consecutive OU game.,No one has spent more time inside the Sooners' football program than the 82 year-old Johnson, who formally retired early last year after 38 seasons as an assistant coach (1979-97) and director of football operations (1998-2017).,Making the OU streak particularly impressive, Johnson has worked while overcoming personal tragedies:

From 1958-2016, Johnson was a football staff member for 59 consecutive college seasons, 703 total games and served under seven head coaches.,Johnson has spent the last 61 uninterrupted seasons being involved in college football with stints at Arkansas (1958-59 and 1962-74), Missouri (1960-61), Notre Dame (1975-78) and OU (1979-present).,Johnson has been attached to the OU football program for parts of five decades and is about to finish his 40th season with the Sooners. read more