ARLINGTON, Texas — Alabama and Wisconsin will play their 2015 football season opener on Labor Day weekend at Cowboys Stadium.
The game Saturday, Sept. 5, will be the second appearance for Alabama in the Cowboys Classic. The Crimson Tide last season with a 41-14 victory over Michigan and went on to its third BCS championship in four years.
The only previous meeting between Wisconsin and Alabama was a 15-0 victory for the Badgers in 1928.
LSU and TCU are set to open the 2013 season at Cowboys Stadium, followed by Florida State and Oklahoma State in 2014.
Kiel officially out at ND
CHICAGO — Gunner is gone.
Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly officially confirmed Tuesday what had been expected for nearly two weeks: Gunner Kiel, the former No. 1 quarterback recruit in the nation, has left the program and will transfer.
“He is no longer part of the program,” Kelly said during a news conference.
On March 7, reports emerged from multiple outlets, including the Chicago Tribune, that Kiel would seek a transfer after spending his freshman season buried on the depth chart — and with a sophomore, Everett Golson, seizing the starting job for the future.
Kiel committed to LSU in December 2011 before changing his mind and signing with the Irish.
Some reports indicated Notre Dame wanted Kiel to mull the decision over spring break to see if he had a change of heart. But Kiel did not show up for Monday morning workouts after break, sources close to the team told the Tribune, making his departure all but a foregone conclusion.
And Kelly erased all doubt Tuesday, as he began discussing the opening of spring practice on Wednesday. Kelly said the release process for Kiel was finalized Friday, and the schools Kiel is considering “were in line with the schools that were appropriate, relative to who was on our schedule.”
Mich. LB Ryan tears ACL
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan’s football team has taken a big hit during spring practice.
Wolverines coach Brady Hoke said Wednesday that junior linebacker Jake Ryan is out indefinitely with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Ryan was injured Tuesday in practice.
Ryan made a team-high 88 tackles last season, had 4.5 sacks and forced four fumbles. He was an All-Big Ten second team player and was voted the team’s top linebacker.
Ole Miss DE breaks leg
OXFORD, Miss. — Ole Miss defensive end C.J. Johnson is out for the rest of spring practice after suffering a broken fibula in his right leg during Wednesday’s practice.
Johnson is expected to have surgery Thursday, according to school officials. Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said Johnson’s recovery time is expected to be about three months.
The 6-foot-3, 233-pound junior played in all 13 games last season and led the Rebels with 6½ sacks last season.
Vols complete pro day
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s total number of players drafted next month could exceed the Volunteers’ win total from last season.
Although the Volunteers went 5-7 last fall with a defense that statistically ranked among the worst in school history, their offense featured several potential draft picks. That group showed its potential Wednesday during Tennessee’s pro day event.
Wide receivers Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunter are potential first-round draft picks. Quarterback Tyler Bray is projected to go in the first three rounds. Offensive guard/tackle Dallas Thomas of Scotlandville High School, tight end Mychal Rivera and wide receiver Zach Rogers are expected to get drafted as well.
Tennessee’s pro day event also included former Vols wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers, who transferred to Tennessee Tech last season. Rogers is projected to get drafted in the first three rounds.