• The college football season is still two months away from finishing and already there are 10 FBS coaching vacancies. Rest assured, if the University of Minnesota administration continues to stall hiring Tracy Claeys, the former defensive coordinator will have offers coming in for him and his coaching staff before this season ends.
• Former Gophers standout Blake Wheeler entered Saturday leading the Winnipeg Jets in scoring with six goals and 11 assists through 14 games and had registered at least one point in all but two games so far. Wheeler’s 17 points were good for fourth-best in the NHL.
• After going three games without rushing for 100 yards, Adrian Peterson had 103 against the Bears last week, his third 100-yard performance in seven games this season. In his last full season with the Vikings in 2014, he had two 100-yard games through his first seven.
• It was after a Gophers spring football scrimmage in 2004 at the Metrodome that then-Wayzata linebacker James Laurinaitis walked up to Gophers coach Glen Mason while I was speaking to Mason and committed to Minnesota. But that fall Laurinaitis changed his mind and ended up enrolling at Ohio State where he was one of the best in Buckeyes history. Now he ranks with the NFL’s best linebackers with the Rams, and he has 52 tackles for a defense that has five defensive linemen who were drafted in the first round.
• Cordarrelle Patterson had 43 returns for 1,393 yards and two touchdowns as a Vikings rookie in 2013, when he went to the Pro Bowl. Last year he had 34 returns for 871 yards with no scores. But this year he is on pace for even less yardage than last year with 371 return yards in seven games, which would put him on pace for 848 yards.