This one’s been in the works for a while, but finally came to fruition today: Notre Dame and Georgia will play a home-and-home series in 2017 and 2019, the schools announced Wednesday.
Notre Dame will host Georgia on Sept. 9, 2017 and head to Athens on Sept. 21, 2019. Start making travel arrangements for these games, since they’re going to be pretty great. Georgia and Notre Dame have only met once, in the 1981 Sugar Bowl, so these games will be each school’s first trip to the other’s campus.
For Notre Dame, it gives Jack Swarbrick, Brian Kelly & Co. the SEC measuring stick they’ve focused on since releasing the team’s 2014-2016 schedules. In 2017, Notre Dame will play the Big Ten (at Michigan State), SEC (Georgia), Pac-12 (at Stanford, USC) and ACC (to be determined); in 2019 the Irish are scheduled to play the SEC, Pac-12, ACC and Big 12 (at Texas).
“As our football schedules evolved with the start of our Atlantic Coast Conference competition in 2014, we had future games slated with top-drawer opponents in virtually all the major conferences,” Swarbrick said in a statement. “One exception was the Southeastern Conference, so we are pleased now to be able to check that box. These will be two contests that will have great national appeal, in part because our only previous matchup came in a bowl game.”
As an aside, kudos to both these programs for working this series out as a home-and-home and not a one-off neutral site game in, say, Atlanta or Chicago. The atmospheres in South Bend and Athens are going to be incredible for both these contests.
ESPN’s roster of college football talent has taken a bath lately. Sean McDonough and Chris Spielman broke up their critically acclaimed team for NFL work at different networks. Brad Nessler left for CBS. Brent Musuberger left for Vegas. Samantha Ponder has joined McDonough on the Worldwide Leader’s NFL team and, now, Kaylee Hartung is leaving the network as well.
Hartung confirmed her departure from ESPN on Monday. Though she did not name her next employer, it’s been an open secret within the industry for nearly a month Hartung will leave for CNN.
“Last night I worked my final event with ESPN,” Hartung announced on her Twitter page. “The decision to leave a job I love and take on a new challenge has been incredibly emotional but the overwhelming feeling I have today is gratitude. I am so grateful for the experience I’ve had within the ESPN family for 5 years. I’m grateful for the people I’ve worked with who have supported me, made me a better reporter, made me a better person and became my friends. I’m grateful for the coaches, athletes, staffers, and university officials who’ve shared their stories with me and let me be a part of their magical moments. I’m grateful for the fans who have embraced me and shared their passion with me. Thank you to everyone who’s been a part of my life during this incredibly fun and exciting chapter. I can’t wait to see what this next chapter has in store… Now I get to be a fan of you all!”
Hartung started with Longhorn Network and since moved to SEC Network and the mothership. Her final event for the network was Sunday night’s Women’s Elite Eight match between Mississippi State and Baylor. Hartung worked in the political media prior to landing with the Longhorn Network as an associate producer for the CBS program Face the Nation.
File this one under the most first world of all problems: the South Carolina football program is having to adjust its plans because the Gamecocks’ basketball team has been more successful than anticipated.
With Frank Martin‘s hoops headed to Phoenix for this weekend’s Final Four and taking all the Palmetto State’s attention with them, Will Muschamp‘s football program has been forced to alter what had been a big day planned.
The Gamecocks were scheduled to break ground on their announced indoor practice facility; those plans have now been postponed.
With only six days between South Carolina’s clinching of a Final Four berth and the football team’s planned Garnet-White game, the spring game will have to remain slated for Saturday. But it has been bumped forward to a noon kickoff.
Muschamp did not make the trip to Madison Square Garden for Sunday’s Elite Eight win (Florida’s Jim McElwain was in attendance) and Saturday’s spring game will also preclude his attendance, meaning the head football coach must wait until a possible national championship berth to support the basketball team in person.
Texas pursued former LSU quarterback Brandon Harris, but Harris is no longer interested in being pursued.
After Harris’s commitment to North Carolina, Tom Herman has reportedly turned his interests to the next logical choice in the graduate transfer market — former Notre Dame signal caller Malik Zaire.
The news comes from Chip Brown of Horns Digest who, unfortunately hid the goods behind a pay wall.
The move would be an interesting one considering Zaire’s history with the Longhorns. Zaire played like a Heisman candidate in a 38-3 crunching of Texas on the opening night of the 2015 season, hitting 19-of-22 passes for 313 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. As we know, Zaire was lost for the year to a broken ankle one week later, but managed to win back the starting job in training camp before the ’16 season.
Zaire didn’t last long, though, hitting 2-of-5 passes for 23 yards while being credited for no gain on three rushes, giving way to DeShone Kizer in an eventual 50-47 double overtime loss to the Longhorns in Austin to open last season.
Zaire would toss only 18 more passes as a Fighting Irish quarterback.
If Zaire reciprocates Herman’s interest he would immediately join an open quarterback battle with incumbent Shane Buechele and true freshman Sam Ehlinger. At the time of his South Bend departure Zaire was reportedly considering Wisconsin, Baylor and recently off-the-market North Carolina.
After being shot multiple times in a weekend shooting incident, USF defensive back Hassan Childs has been arrested and charged with three counts of aggravated assault and one count of misdemeanor marijuana possession. All of this is connected to a road rage incident that took place Saturday night.
According to a report from Jenna Laine of ESPN.com, Childs was taken into custody at the same Tampa hospital he received medical treatment. The man who shot Childs, Jovanni Jimenez, has claimed self-defense and alleges Childs pointed a gun and him and his family. As Jimenez explained his side of the story, he was driving home with his wife and son when he was being tailgated by another vehicle. Jimenez pulled over to allow the vehicle to pass, at which point Childs is accused of pointing a firearm at Jimenez’s car. Jimenez then continued to keep driving and once he came to a stop is when Childs pointed the gun at his car once again. At this point, Jimenez “feared for his life” and shot three times at Childs. Childs was hit in the upper right arm, torso and under his arm.
“We are deeply concerned that an incident occurred overnight in which one of our guys, Hassan Childs, was injured in a shooting,” a statement from USF head coach Charlie Strong said on Sunday. “Thankfully, Hassan is in stable condition and being well cared for, and no one else was injured. There is an ongoing investigation of the incident and we are in the process of gathering further information.”
Childs played in eight games for the Bulls last year. He recorded 16 tackles and returned two punts for three yards in a backup role.