Fighting Illini Watches
University of Illinois Athletics
The University of Illinois has 21 different varsity athletic programs in 13 different sports. All 21 of these teams are nicknamed the Fighting Illini, and they play in the Big Ten Conference. The biggest rivalries of the school's sports teams are the Ohio State Buckeyes, Northwestern Wildcats, Indiana Hoosiers and Missouri Tigers. While Illinois Loyality is considered to be the official song of the University of Illinois, the song Oskee Wow-Wow is played to rile up the crowd at football and basketball games. The school's primary colors are blue and orange. The University of Illinois may only have campuses in the cities of Urbana and Champaign, but the colors of blue and orange are proudly worn on merchandise throughout the state of Illinois.
The University of Illinois Fighting Illini have won a total of 25 national championships since the school was founded in 1867. The men's gymnastics team has won 10 of these titles, which is more than any other athletic program at the University of Illinois. The most recent national championship in gymnastics came in 2012. The men's outdoor track and field team and the football team have both been extremely successful over the years with five national title apiece, but neither program has won since 1951. The men's fencing team is the only other athletic program at the University of Illinois with multiple championships. They were won in 1956 and 1958. Despite this success, the school officially ended the fencing program in 1993. The women's outdoor track and field, men's tennis and men's basketball teams were all the best in the country for one year.
While they have never won a national title, the Fighting Illini baseball team is consistently one of the best teams at the University of Illinois. The baseball team has won the Big Ten conference a total of 33 times, but they have struggled to find success in their 11 trips to the College World Series. They have not had much luck recently, but the football and basketball programs are the most popular at the University of Illinois. The football team regularly plays in front of more than 60,000 loud fans at Memorial Stadium. Upwards of 15,000 people will show up at the State Farm Center any time the men's or women's basketball teams from the University of Illinois are playing a home game.