Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Aside from Michigan's renaissance, it hasn't been a great day for the Big Ten, which received lackluster performances from two of its three ranked teams.
Things are about to get worse.
Illinois trails Missouri 30-3 at the end of the third quarter, as an anemic offense can't get on track without star wide receiver Arrelious Benn (sprained ankle). Juice Williams can't get much going down the field and has been totally outplayed by a less experienced quarterback in Missouri's Blaine Gabbert.
Barring a miracle comeback, Illinois will suffer what could be an extremely damaging loss to open the season. Let's not forget that this team opens Big Ten play against Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan State. After last year's 5-7 stinker, Illinois needed a positive start. The talent is most definitely in place, especially on offense, which makes this even more troubling. Illinois came into this game as the more experienced squad.
I don't do much trading on Wall Street, but the Illini remind me of a sexy stock. You want to invest big money, but something tells you to hold off. I bought in a bit toward the end of the preseason, but something clearly isn't clicking in Champaign. Bottom line: Illinois has to find a way to bring things together in a hurry.