College Football Notes – Dec. 11, 2017

by BoCarter | Posted on Monday, December 11th, 2017
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The Tuesday, Dec. 5, Press Conference for the 60th NFF Annual Awards ceremonies later that evening featured new NFF College Hall of Fame inductees Peyton Manning, Marshall Faulk, Kirk Gibson, Matt Leinart, Brian Urlacher, and coach Steve Spurrier, among others at the Midtown Hilton Hotel in New York City. The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference also denoted its Offensive (NC A&T QB Lamar Raynard) and Defensive (LB Darius Leonard) Players of the Year to be named during Tuesday festivities. QB Danny Wuerffel, namesake of the Wuerffel Trophy, 1996 William V. Campbell Trophy® recipient and a 2013 College Football Hall of Fame (Florida) inductee, also presented the 13th annual 2017 Wuerffel Trophy to Kentucky’s Courtney Love.
Winner of the 28th William V. Campbell Trophy® was Virginia’s Micah Kizer who has worked as a volunteer for such groups as the Charlottesville Boys and Girls Club and area charities as well as being a lead-by-example standout for the 2017 Cavaliers. He joins UVa’s Thomas D. Burns in 1993 as the two winners of the Campbell Trophy from Virginia.
Earlier Monday, the Ivy League denoted its 2017 Asa S. Bushnell Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year in a news conference sponsored by the Rose Bowl. They were Princeton QB Chad Kanoff and Yale LB Matthew Oplinger, respectively.
NFF College Hall of Fame Facts
Some notable birthdates in NFF College Hall of Fame annals in the Dec. 11-17 time period are Dec. 11 (1910) George Sauer, Stratton, Neb.; (1924) Doc Blanchard, McColl, S.C.; Dec. 12 (1881) Zora G. Clevenger, Muncie, Ind.; (1900) Lloyd Jordan, Punxsutawney, Pa.; (1904) John Smith, Hartford, Conn.; (1914) Bob Herwig, Pomona, Calif.; (1930) Steve Meilinger, Bethlehem, Pa.; (1962) Brad Calip, Hobart, Okla.; (1967) John Randle, Hearne, Texas; Dec. 13 (1911) Buzz Borries, Louisville, Ky.; (1955) Brad Crawford, Logansport, Ind.; Dec. 14 (1922) Charlie Trippi, Pittston, Pa.; (1939) Ernie Davis, New Salem, Pa.; Dec. 16 (1913) Gust Zarnas, Ikaris, Greece; (1914) Steve Reid, Chicago, Ill.; (1916) Jess Dow, Tona, Texas; (1962) Jerry Gray, Lubbock, Texas; (1963) Tim Green, Liverpool, N.Y.
Notable anniversary death dates for Hall of Famers are Dec. 11 (1960) Mike Donahue, Baton Rouge, La.; Dec. 13 (1971) Eddie Kaw, Walnut Creek, Calif.; (1979) Edgar Garbisch, Cambridge, Md.; (1983) John Merritt, Nashville, Tenn.; Dec. 14 (1920) George Gipp, South Bend, Ind.; (1974) Bob Herwig, Sacramento, Calif.; (1983) Johnny Bright, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; (2004) Alex Sarkisian, East Chicago, lnd.; (1973) Emil “Red” Sitko, Ft. Wayne, Ind.; Dec. 17 (d- 1973) Wally Butts, Athens, Ga.; (2003) Otto Graham, Sarasota, Fla.; (2008) Sam Baugh, Rotan, Texas; (2011) Harley Sewell, Arlington, Texas.
Happy birthdays to NFF College Hall of Fame members Dec. 12 Brad Calip, John Randle, Dec. 13 Brad Crawford, Dec. 16 Jerry Gray, Tim Green…
North Texas has inked home-and-home contracts for games with California in 2019 and 2022 and Wyoming in 2023 and 2026…Notre Dame is hoping to make some possible adjustments to its 2018 football slate…The Pac-12 Conference office is looking at beefing up non-conference schedules for its members starting with 2018…Air Force will play at Purdue in 2020…Notre Dame and Syracuse have moved their 2018 tilt to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, N.Y….Philadelphia has signed to host the Army-Navy game four of the next five seasons…Auburn and North Carolina are negotiating a possible neutral site encounter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta in 2020…Oregon State and Purdue will meet in 2021 and ’24 while the Boilermakers will host Indiana State in 2024 and ’26…Army downed Navy to cap the regular season at 9-3 and to win the Commander-in-Chief Trophy for the first time since 1996. The Black Knights also downed the Midshipmen in back-to-back years for the first time since 1995 and ’96 and will be shooting for their third bowl win on three different stadiums in the Dallas-Fort worth when Army takes on San Diego State in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas…Humboldt State will continue its football program after earlier reports of the sport being dropped.
Baylor U. has been granted accreditation again by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges…Montana has built new student-athlete conduct codes and accountability into its coaching contracts…George Washington U. varsity football was remembered after its conclusion by retired assistant AD Ed McKee.
Former Louisiana Tech and California head coach Sonny Dykes is scheduled to be introduced Tuesday as SMU’s new head coach…New head coaches named in recent days on all NCAA and NAIA levels have been Herm Edwards at Arizona State, Josh Heupel at UCF, Chad Morris at Arkansas, Willie Taggart at Florida State, Mike Bloomgren at Rice, Jeremy Pruitt (he has agreed to guaranteed contract terms) at Tennessee, Mario Cristobal at Oregon, and Dana Dimel at UTEP…Missouri head coach Barry Odom received a contract extension through February 2023…UTEP’s Dimel was saluted by the Topeka (Kan.) Capital Journal for his longtime association with Kansas State football success…Jeff Traylor will serve as interim head coach for SMU’s contest with Louisiana Tech in the inaugural Frisco (Texas) Bowl Dec. 20…Collin Ferrell is the interim head coach at Kent State while Kane Wommack is serving in the same capacity at South Alabama…Mark Hudspeth will not return for his eighth season as head coach at Louisiana…Alabama A&M, Davidson, Delaware State, Fordham, Holy Cross, Incarnate Word (Texas), Mississippi Valley State, Robert Morris, and UAPB all are seeking new head coaches for 2018…Les Miles and former Tennessee national championship QB Tee Martin are two of the recent solid candidates for the Tennessee head coaching slot…Nebraska named its entire assistant coaching staff (all seven came from the 2017 UCF staff) under new head coach Scott Frost with Greg Austin as offensive line coach, Eric Chinander as defensive coordinator, Mike Dawson as defensive line coach, Jovan DeWitt as outsider linebackers/special teams coach, Travis Fisher as defensive backs coach, Ryan Held as running backs coach, and Mario Verduzco as quarterbacks coach…Toledo head coach Jason Candle and former Houston and Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin were among the finalists for the vacant UCF head coaching post…Arizona State has added offensive coordinator Billy Napier promoted to associate head coach, receivers coach Rob Likens, running backs coach John Simon, and offensive line coach Rob Sale…Colorado will be making new assignments and adding some members for its 2018 football assistant coaching staff…Former USF head coach and 2017 Oregon defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt is joining the staff in that same spot at Florida State…LSU assistant coaches have received annual bowl bonuses…Memphis gave head coach Mike Norvell a new five-year, $13 million contract extension…Former Fordham head coach Andrew Breiner is coming to Mississippi State as QB coach/passing game coordinator…Oregon has begun a fast-track head football coaching search with new Dec. 20-23 signing dates upcoming…Former Oregon State assistant coach Trent Bray is returning to the football staff…Pittsburgh head coach Pat Narduzzi received a contract extension through the 2024 season…South Carolina offensive coordinator Kurt Roper will have a new title for the 2018 campaign while Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp is approaching a new contract…New UCLA head coach Chip Kelly has added former Oregon assistant coaches Jerry Azzinaro and Don Pellum to the 2018 UCLA staff…Arizona State fans and administrators are urging the retention of defensive coordinator Phil Bennett for the new ASU staff under head coach Herm Edwards…Arkansas assistant coaches Paul Rhoads (defensive coordinator), Michael Smith (wide receivers), Reggie Mitchell (running backs), Kurt Anderson (offensive line), Vernon Hargreaves (inside linebackers), and Chad Walker (outside linebackers) sent social messages to 2017 team members and are headed to new assignments in the coming year…Connecticut head coach Randy Edsall is seeking a firmed-up contract with the Huskies administration for 2018 and future campaigns…East Tennessee State’s Carl Torbush retired last week as head coach…Florida State running backs coach Jay Graham will join the Texas A&M staff of new head coach Jimbo Fisher…Former Michigan safeties coach Brian Smith has become defensive coordinator at Rice…Missouri’s secondary coach Ryan Walters is now the Tigers defensive coordinator. Former Missouri defensive line coach Glen Elarbee has left to join Josh Heupel’s staff at UCF…Returning Montana head coach Bobby Hauck is retaining four position coaches and two football administrators…Alabama State named Donald Hill-Eley head coach…Colorado State offensive coordinator Will Friend and cornerbacks coach Terry Fair are leaving for positions at Tennessee…East Carolina tabbed David Blackwell defensive coordinator…Florida A&M has hired former Prairie View A&M head coach Willie Simmons as its new head football coach…Georgia outside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer is scheduled to join the Tennessee defensive coordinator…Hampton has chosen former East Carolina defensive coordinator Robert Prunty as head coach…Former Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze is seeking another position in coaching in coming months…Mississippi State is in the process of tabbing Bob Shoop as defensive coordinator…New Oregon State assistant coaches are Jim Michelczik, Brian Lindgren, Jake Cookus, Mike McDonald, and Dan Van De Riet along with new assistant head coach Mike Riley (OSU’s head coach from 2003-14)…South Alabama named former Central Arkansas mentor Steve Campbell as its head coach…Former Alabama director of personnel operations Brian Niedermeyer is joining the Tennessee football staff…Longtime UCF assistant coach Sean Beckton is joining head coach Scott Frost’s staff in Nebraska. NU also has added assistant coaches Troy Walters, Sean Beckton and Zach Duval…Former North Carolina Central head coach Jerry Mack is leaving NCCU to become offensive coordinator at Rice…Former Tennessee QB coach and North Texas interim head coach Mike Canales is slated to become UTEP’s offensive coordinator.
Hometowns of more 2017 college head coaches – Old Dominion: Bobby Wilder, Madison, Maine; Oregon: Mario Cristobal, Miami, Fla.; Oregon State: Jonathan Smith, Pasadena, Calif.; Pacific (Oregon): Keith Buckley, Milpitas, Calif.; Pennsylvania: Ray Priore, Long Beach, N.Y.
Former Rice and TCU director of athletics Chris Del Conte has been chosen as new AD at Texas. TCU named former deputy AD Jeremiah Donati to replace Del Conte on Dec. 11…Former Houston director of athletics Hunter Yurachek was named AD at Arkansas Dec. 5…Connecticut AD David Benedict had his contract and compensation agreement restructured by the UConn administration…Fresno State interim AD Steve Robertello noted that FSU will continue to invest strongly in its football program after a successful 2017 outing…Texas Rio Grande Valley named Alfredo Castillo athletics trainer…Temple athletics tabbed Dr. Stephany Coakley as its first mental health specialist for the department.
The first weekend of FBS bowl activity Saturday plus the FCS Celebration Bowl presented by the Air Force Reserve in Atlanta, Ga., finds MEAC (North Carolina A&T) vs. SWAC (Grambling) champions playing on ESPN at noon (EST). The remainder of the FBS bowl contests includes (all Saturday with EST broadcast times): the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, New Orleans, North Texas vs. Troy, ESPN, 1 p.m.; the AutoNation Cure Bowl, Orlando, Georgia State vs. WKU, CBSSN, 3:30 p.m.; the Las Vegas Bowl, Las Vegas, Boise State vs. Oregon, ABC, 4:30 p.m.; the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, Albuquerque, Colorado State vs. Marshall, ESPN, 7 p.m.; and the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl, Montgomery, Ala., Arkansas State vs. Middle Tennessee, ESPN, 8 p.m.…The complete 2017-18 FBS bowl game slate and results are online at both and links…The Camping World Bowl will match Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech in their first meeting since 1972…The AutoZone Liberty Bowl between Memphis and Iowa State is nearing ticket sellout proportions…New Mexico State is seeking its first bowl win since the 1960 Sun Bowl when the Aggies downed the Aggies of Utah State 20-13. That also was the latest bowl trek for NMSU, which is 2-0-1 all-time in postseason activity.
The Atlantic Coast Conference and Conference USA each qualified a FBS-high 10 teas for bowl games in post-2017…After three 5-7 teams qualified for 2016-17 bowl activity because of their highest nationally football Academic Performance Ratings, three schools from three different conferences were bowl eligible but could not slotted into 2017-18 FBS postseason activity. They were UTSA (6-5) of Conference USA and Buffalo (6-6) and Western Michigan (6-6) of the Mid-American Conference…The Missouri Valley Conference has placed tickets on sale for winter championships via Ticketmaster and the loop’s official website and is following Missouri Valley Football Conference teams in the NCAA FCS semifinals this weekend.
NFF College Hall of Fame coach and Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez has been given the 2017 American Heart Association Bear Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award…Former Wisconsin standout and NFL Houston Texans hero J.J. Watt joined Houston Astros stalwart Jose Altuve as 2017 co-Sportspersons of the Year by Sports Illustrated…The Rice Public Relations Club honored veteran retired Rice AD and coach Bobby May earlier this month…Former SMU standout David Blewett has published a new book about the Mustangs and college football in the 1980s – Pony Trap…Former Alabama star and current NFL standby WR Julio Jones received Best Origin Story for ’17 by Sports Illustrated. The magazine also rated LSU as the best home area for college football tailgating.
Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield captured the 83rd annual Heisman Trophy last Saturday in New York City. The other finalists were 2016 recipient QB Lamar Jackson of Louisville and RB Bryce Love of Stanford. Finishing fourth and fifth in Heisman balloting were RB Saquon Bradley of Penn State and RB Rashaad Penny of San Diego State…Justice Hill of Oklahoma State leads the Big 12 Conference is rushing yards prior to bowl season with 1,347 on 245 carries and 14 touchdowns. Gary Jennings Jr. of West Virginia tops the circuit with 94 pass receptions for 1,030 yards and one TD as the Mountaineers head to Dallas for the Zaxby’s Heaty of Dallas Bowl against Utah…Washington State QB Luke Falk earned the 2017 Burlsworth Award as the top college walkon in NCAA FBS…UCF LB Shaquem Griffin has been selected as Best Inspiration for Football after starring in NCAA FBS while overcoming the disability of the loss of his hand…Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmunds was a Butkus Award finalist and leads the Hokies with 102 total tackles (sixth in the ACC) prior to bowl season…Texas CB Holton Hill will enter the 2018 NFL draft…The NCAA FCS Buck Buchanan and Walter Payton Awards are still to be determined as DI playoffs progress. The HBCU second annual 2017 Deacon Jones Trophy also is to be denoted.
LSU is remodeling and expanding its bathroom facilities in the south end zone area and adding other amenities to Tiger Stadium…Missouri’s Board of Curators viewed the latest architectural designs last week for renovations of the south end zone at Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field…Virginia athletics is re-evaluating some possible expansion and renovation plans for several sports after a recent long-range plans’ review by the administration…Kansas athletics has had water valve malfunctions in its offices and historic at Allen Fieldhouse but was able to conduct weekend events…South Alabama AD Joel Erdmann is seeking an on-campus football stadium after the Jaguars have been playing at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in downtown Mobile, Ala….Utah Valley athletics has extended its sponsorship agreement with UCCU and renamed its baseball facility UCCU Stadium…Arizona State watched as demolition crews felled the old east side of Sun Devil Stadium…Illinois athletics is adding a new soccer and track complex as well as making improvements to existing football facilities…USF has raised $6 million in private donations for its new indoor football practice facility.
The ESPNU Home Depot Awards Special was held Thursday, Dec. 7, live at the NFF College Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Ga. NFF President/CEO Steve Hatchell, NFF chair and College Hall of Fame member Archie Manning and other dignitaries from college football will be on hand to greet the winners and ESPN personnel. Hosted by Lee Corso, Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Hall of Famer Desmond Howard (Michigan), Tom Rinaldi, and Maria Taylor, the annual awards show recognized the accomplishments of college football student-athletes during the 2017 season with special notice for 2017 NFF William V. Campbell Trophy® recipient Micah Kizer. Others honored during the annual highlight of college football awards shows were Clemson assistant coach Tony Elliott (Frank Broyles Award), NC State’s Bradley Chubb (Bronko Nagurski and Ted Hendricks Awards), Georgia’s Roquan Smith (Dick Butkus Award), Iowa team (Disney Spirit Award), Stanford’s Bryce Love (Doak Walker Award), Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick (Jim Thorpe Award), Houston’s Ed Oliver (Outland Trophy), Oklahoma’s Mark Andrews (John Mackey Award), Ohio State’s Billy Price (Rimington Trophy), Texas’ Michael Dickson (Ray Guy Award), Utah’s Matt Gay (Lou Groza Award), Oklahoma State’s James Washington (Biletnikoff Award), Oklahoma’s Mayfield (Maxwell, Walter Camp and Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Awards), Penn State’s Saquon Bradley (Paul Hornung Award), broadcaster Brent Musburger (CFAA Contribution to American Football Award), and UCF (now Nebraska) head coach Scott Frost (Home Depot Coach of the Year)…The 2017 Manning Award, the Rotary Lombardi Award, the Ronnie Lott Award and the American Heart Association Bear Bryant Coach of the Year Award also will be released at a later date.
FWAA executive director Steve Richardson was on hand for the Big 12 Conference Championship, NFF Awards Dinner, ESPNU Home Depot Awards Show, and the Heisman Trophy as a presenter and chief representative of nationwide media covering college football…The AFCA’s 2017 Academic Achievement Team Awards, presented by the Touchdown Club of Memphis (Tenn.), go to Alabama, Cincinnati, Middle Tennessee, Northwestern, Utah, Utah State, and Virginia. All seven schools recorded a 100 percent graduation rate for members of its freshman football student-athlete class of 2010. Northwestern’s leads the group with 10 Academic Achievement Awards…Danny Barnts of Point Loma Nazarene, Sam Atkinson of Gallaudet, Laurie Bollig of CoSIDA, and Rob Carolla of the Project 150 College Football Group have been highlighted in recent CoSIDA Open Forum discussions.
Correspondent/Columnist Bo Carter recalls his 30-year anniversary of covering college football and basketball daily in Texas since he joined the Southwest Conference in 1986-87 and later with the Big 12 Conference, and here are some of his recollections:
1988-89 Southwest Conference Men’s Basketball – Arkansas head coach Nolan Richardson placed the Razorbacks back into the thick of national contention and scored a convincing, 100-76 victory over the rising Texas program and first-year head coach Tom Penders in the SWC tournament behind tourney MVP Lenzie Howell. UA also won the SWC regular-season crown and closed the year at 25-7 overall. The Longhorns enjoyed one of their best seasons since the early 1980s with the first of eight NCAA postseason appearances over 10 years under Penders’ guidance.
2017-18 College Football Playoff Bowl Schedule with New Year’s six
(All Games Televised by ESPN, All Times EST)
Monday, Jan. 1, 2018
Rose Bowl presented by Northwestern Mutual – Pasadena, Calif., Rose Bowl Stadium, Georgia vs. Oklahoma, 4 p.m.
Allstate Sugar Bowl – New Orleans, La. – Mercedes-Benz Super Dome, Alabama vs. Clemson, 7:45 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 8 – CFP National Championship, Atlanta, Ga., 8 p.m.
Dec. 29-30, 2017 (Other New Year’s Six Bowls)
Friday, Dec. 29 – Goodyear Cotton Bowl – AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas, Ohio State vs. Southern California, 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 30
PlayStation Fiesta Bowl – University of Phoenix Stadium, Penn State vs. Washington, Phoenix, Ariz., 4 p.m.
Capital One Orange Bowl – Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Lakes, Fla., Miami (Fla.) vs. Wisconsin, 8 p.m.
Jan. 1, 2018
Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl – Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Ga., Auburn vs, UCF, 12:30 p.m.

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