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Alabama gets their work in, ready for epic Iron Bowl


No. 1 Alabama (11-0, 7-0 SEC) remained undefeated by pounding overmatched FCS Chattanooga (8-4, 6-2 Southern) in Tuscaloosa 49-0.

Alabama should stay on top of the polls and the BCS standings without much question, which keeps them in position to return to the BCS Championship Game in January. their next contest though will be significantly more difficult than anything the Mocs could have dreamed of doing Saturday.

Alabama’s next game will be at Auburn, next week. The rival Tigers are off this week so they will be rested for the latest edition of the Iron Bowl. Auburn has lost just one game this season (at LSU) and has been on quite a roll of late. Auburn’s offense may be capable of taking advantage of any slow start by Alabama, but the Crimson Tide defense has come through with great performances more often than not. Texas A&M aside, most teams have had difficulty scoring on Alabama this season, but Auburn’s offense may be the second best Alabama will face this season (Texas A&M being the best, although Auburn beat the Aggies as well).

The winner of next week’s Iron Bowl will advance to the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta the following week. A strong argument could be made that the winner of next week’s game, be it Alabama or Auburn, will be a likely entrant in the BCS Championship Game with an SEC Championship Game victory. For Alabama it is a given if they are 13-0. But Auburn at 12-1 would have a very strong case to be in the game as well regardless of what other teams may currently be ahead of them in the BCS rankings.

Dalvin Cook returns to practice for FSU

TALLAHASSEE, FL - SEPTEMBER 12: Dalvin Cook #4 of the Florida State Seminoles runs the ball against the South Florida Bulls in the second half at Doak Campbell Stadium on September 12, 2015 in Tallahassee, Florida. Florida State defeated South Florida 34-14 as Cook rushed for 266 yards and three touchdowns. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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With each passing day, it appears Miami won’t be able to avoid one of the most talented and productive running backs in the country.

Thursday, Dalvin Cook returned to practice for the first time this week.  Cook suffered a hamstring injury in the first quarter of Florida State’s win over Wake Forest this past Saturday, and had spent the previous two days of practice riding a bicycle while the rest of his teammates prepped for the in-state and conference rivalry game against The U this Saturday.

The Palm Beach Post wrote that Cook showed “no signs” of the hamstring injury that had some worried about his availability in Week 6.

Head coach Jimbo Fisher, who said Wednesday he doesn’t “ever count Dalvin out” because of his healing ability, will meet with reporters later this evening and could address Cook’s status for the weekend then.  Or, he could play to keep the Hurricanes guessing, even as most assume the All-ACC back will be on the field.

Cook is far and away FSU’s leading rusher, with his 142.5 yards per game good for eight in the country and his six rushing touchdowns tied for 20th.

Gophers down eight starters for game vs. Boilermakers

EVANSTON, IL - OCTOBER 03: at Ryan Field on October 3, 2015 in Evanston, Illinois. Northwestern defeated Minnesota 27-0. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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It would be an understatement of significant proportions to say that the Minnesota football team is banged up.

How banged up?  On his radio show Thursday, head coach Jerry Kill, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported, revealed his team will be down a whopping eight starters for Saturday’s game against Purdue.

Kill’s revelation comes one day after he confirmed a total of 20 players donned non-contact jerseys in practice earlier in the day.

The coach didn’t specifically identify which starters would be sidelined, with the Pioneer Press writing “[t]he known injuries to starters include safety Damarius Travis (hamstring), cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun (knee), tight end Lincoln Plsek (back) and tackle Ben Lauer (knee/hand).”

One injured starter who will play, Kill confirmed, is quarterback Mitch Leidner. While not detailing any specific injury, Kill said Wednesday that Leidner “hasn’t been healthy. He’s been beat up.”

Overall, though, the Gophers’ health, or lack thereof, is bordering on historic.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my 32 years in coaching,” Kill said yesterday. “The toughest thing for me right now is all of these kids that work so hard, and when they get hurt, it kills me. … We are running out of people.”

Coming off an 8-5 season last year, the Gophers are struggling. While they stand at 3-2 after five games, the three wins came by a total of nine points over the likes of Colorado State, Kent State and Ohio. Their second loss — the first was by six to TCU in the opener — was a 27-0 shutout at the hands of Northwestern in the Big Ten opener last weekend.