Mark Richt

Georgia and Notre Dame still discussing home-and-home details

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Whether you like it or not, the College Football Playoff is here and it may already be having an impact on the regular season. Those who thought the value of the regular season may have been diminished with the playoff may be right, but we are getting a nice dose of sexier match-ups coming into play. Strength of schedule is now a revitalized factor in the championship race, and Georgia and Notre Dame are continuing their discussions about a potential home-and-home series with that in mind.

“I think we’re just waiting to work through some verbal communications before we have anything in writing,” Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity said Tuesday, according to The Telegraph. McGarity feels it would be great for fans as well.

“I think it’s an opponent we’ve played, what, one time? 1980? For our fans to be able to go up to South Bend, and for our fans to see Notre Dame play between the hedges, I think from a national perspective it’d be off the charts, as far as interest, as far as intrigue.”

Georgia and Notre Dame have played just once before, clashing in the 1981 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. Vince Dooley‘s Georgia squad won the game, 17-10, to complete an undefeated season and clinch the number one ranking in the AP poll and a national championship.

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly came out recently and claimed he wanted to see SEC teams added to the schedule. The Irish and SEC rarely cross paths, having played 10 games against SEC opponents since 1990, and four of those came in bowl games. Notre Dame’s last meeting with a program from the SEC school did not go so well, with Alabama dominating the Irish in the 2013 BCS Championship Game, 42-14.

It should be noted Georgia will be required to schedule one non-conference opponent from a power conference each season under new SEC scheduling policies. That requirement is filled by annual rivalry match-ups with Georgia Tech, from the ACC. Notre Dame may not be a part of a power conference in football, although it has a relationship with the ACC, but the Fighting Irish are being viewed as a school that would satisfy that scheduling requirement. Even if Georgia and Notre Dame work out a deal for a home-and-home series, it is not likely this will replace Georgia Tech on the Georgia schedule.

Georgia has a booked non-conference schedule for 2014 and 2015 but has plenty of openings to work with starting in 2016.

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.