College Football Notes – Jan. 9, 2018

by BoCarter | Posted on Tuesday, January 9th, 2018
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The 68th annual NFF College Hall of Fame Class was denoted on ESPN SportsCenter live at a national news conference Monday, and the 2018 group included:
Coaches – Frank Beamer (Murray State, West Virginia); Mack Brown (four schools); and Mel Tjeerdsma (Austin College and Northwest Missouri State). Players – Trevor Cobb of Rice; Kerry Collins of Penn State; Dave Dickenson of Montana; Dana Howard of Illinois; Paul Palmer of Temple; Matt Stinchcomb of Georgia; Aaron Taylor of Nebraska; and Michigan’s Charles Woodson.
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NFF College Hall of Fame coach Carmen Cozza, legendary head coach at Yale with 11 Ivy League titles in 32 years at the Yale helm, passed away Jan. 4 at age 87 in New Haven, Conn. The 2002 Hall inductee guided the Bulldogs from 1965-96. He has been called “the ultimate teacher-coach” whose basic values of “hard work, fair play, loyalty and compassion” define his legacy. In 32 seasons at Yale, Cozza was a seven-time AFCA District Coach of the Year Award winner. From 1974-81 his teams won seven of eight Ivy crowns. In nearly half of his seasons (14) he lost two or fewer games. His 1968 team finished undefeated and featured players such as Calvin Hill and Brian Dowling. Cozza retired with a 179-119-5 record. His win total placed him 12th among active Division I coaches in 1996. In addition to producing 118 All-Ivy league players, his influence inspired five NFF Scholar-Athletes and seven Rhodes Scholars. Cozza himself was influenced and inspired to enter coaching after playing for both fellow NFF College Hall of Famers Ara Parseghian and Woody Hayes at Miami (Ohio) where he also starred in baseball. After coaching in high school and at Miami as an assistant, he moved to Yale to assist John Pont, succeeding Pont when he moved to Indiana.
NFF College Hall of Fame Facts
Some notable birthdates in NFF College Hall of Fame annals in the Jan. 8-14 time period are Jan. 8 (1909) Ben Ticknor, Canton, Mass.; (1922) Steve Suhey, Janesville, N.Y.; (1927) George Taliaferro, Gates, Tenn.; (1959) Mark Herrmann, Cincinnati, Ohio; Jan. 9 (1916) Brud Holland, Auburn, N.Y.; (1956) Ken MacAfee, Portland, Ore.; (1956) Gary Spani, Satanta, Kan.; Jan. 10 (1892) Alex Weyand, Jersey City, N.J.; (1909) Harvey Jablonsky, Clayton, Mo.; (1921) John Tavener, Newark, Ohio; Jan. 11 (1895) Paddy Driscoll, Evanston, Ill.; Jan. 12 (1895) Bo McMillin, Prairie Hill, Texas; (1899) Fritz Crisler, Earlville, Ill.; (1943) Tucker Frederickson, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Jan. 13 (1907) Gerald Mann, Sulphur Springs, Texas; (1947) Bill Stanfill, Cairo, Ga.; (1958) Tyrone McGriff, Vero Beach, Fla.; Jan. 14 (1908) Vernon Smith, Macon, Ga.
Notable anniversary death dates for Hall of Famers are 8 (1977) Steve Suhey, State College, Pa.; Jan. 9 (1945) Roland Young, Tokyo, Japan; Jan. 10 (2006) Dave Brown, Lubbock, Texas; (2007) Ray Beck, Rome, Ga.; Jan. 12 (1965) Dr. John Tigert, Gainesville, Fla.; (1980) Lawrence “Biff” Jones, Washington, D.C.; Jan. 13 (1985) Brud Holland, New York City; (1987) Matt Hazeltine, San Francisco, Calif.
Happy birthdays to NFF College Hall of Fame members Jan. 8 Mark Herrmann, Jan. 9 Ken MacAfee, Gary Spani, Jan. 12 Tucker Frederickson, Jan. 13 Bill Stanfill, Tyrone McGriff…
Appalachian State and East Carolina will meet in 2021 at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium…Georgia Southern and Liberty have slated a two-game series in 2025 and ’26…Washington State and Wisconsin will play in both 2022 and ’23…South Dakota State has added Arkansas-Pine Bluff to complete its 2018 schedule…Idaho administrators and fans have expressed a desire to set a future series with nearby Boise State…UCF threw a FBS national championship parade last week and had ads and NCAA title banners printed after its 13-0 undefeated season – the lone unbeaten mark among 130 FBS members for the 2017 season…If James Madison had downed North Dakota State in the NCAA Division I championship game at Frisco, Texas, Jan. 6, the now 14-1 Dukes would have joined 13-0 UCF, DIII Mt. Union (15-0) and NAIA St. Francis (Ind.) (14-0) as the only undefeated teams out of 774 four-year college football squads in 2017…James Madison’s 26-game winning streak was snapped by NDSU, which edged the Dukes 17-13 for the Bison’s sixth NCAA football crown in the last seven seasons…Virginia Tech ran a school-bowl-record 92 plays in its Camping World Bowl setback to Oklahoma State…Tulane’s 12-0 1998 football squad, coached by Tommy Bowden, had some retroactive national championship T-shirts available last week. The Green Wave finished No. 7 in both major national Top 25 polls and downed BYU 41-27 in the ’98 AutoZone Liberty Bowl…Alabama is now 6-8 in overtime games while Georgia is 8-6 in extra periods (including the first-ever double overtime win over Oklahoma 54-48 in the Rose Bowl presented by Northwestern Mutual).
Longtime Vanderbilt fan, graduate, former Board of Trust member and major supporter of the Dollar General Bowl, Cal Turner Jr. has established a $2 million fund for legal expenses for underserved law student and business entrepreneurs. Dollar General also became a corporate partner for the Big 12 Conference in 2017…Vanderbilt admissions and athletics offices issued a holiday “thank you” note to those helping with volunteer duties at home athletics contests and the Vanderbilt CoRPS admissions volunteer interview program.
Old Dominion head coach Bobby Wilder is the only NCAA FBS mentor entering his 10th season at the same school in 2018. Kansas State’s Bill Snyder (see note below), Ohio’s Frank Solich, Tulane’s Willie Fritz, and Alabama’s Nick Saban, among others, are in the midst of 20-plus-year head coaching careers in the collegiate ranks. Saban also has the most wins (13-1 overall) over Associated Press Top 25 teams at kickoff in a neutral city – Atlanta – of any coach in NCAA FBS annals. Saban has guided the Crimson Tide to five national championships in the last nine seasons. Saban also is 12-0 against former assistant coaches who competed against his teams later as head coaches…UAB head coach Bill Clark was named 2017 National Coach of the Year by CBS Sports…Rhett Lashlee was selected as offensive coordinator at SMU after being in the same capacity at Connecticut in 2017…Mike Elko has left Notre Dame to become defensive coordinator at Texas A&M…Auburn expects to new the contracts for offensive line coach Herb Hand and linebackers coach Travis Williams to be renewed…Colorado is in the process of naming former South Carolina offensive coordinator Kurt Roper quarterbacks coach…Davidson named former Washington and Lee head coach Scott Abell to take over head coach position at DU…LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda is remaining on staff after receiving outside offers…Former Louisiana-Lafayette offensive coordinator Will Hall has been tabbed as associate head coach/tight ends coach at Memphis…Nebraska AD Bill Moos helped celebrate through public comments the 13-0 record and Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl victory over Auburn for new Huskers head coach Scott Frost….Former Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Josh Conklin has become head coach at Wofford…Former Tennessee linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen is moving to the North Carolina staff…Texas Tech associate head coach/running backs coach Jabbar Juluke is leaving the program and is taking over as Louisiana’s assistant head coach and running backs coach…Former Utah head coach Gary Andersen is rejoining the Utes as associate head coach and defensive assistant…Former offensive line/co-offensive coordinator coach Dave Johnson has been named offensive line coach at Colorado State…Florida head coach Dan Mullen added Sal Sunseri and Greg Knox to his ”18 coaching staff…Former Memphis assistant coach Dan Lanning has been tabbed as new outside linebackers coach…New linebackers coach at Oregon is Donte Williams…Former Georgia special teams analyst Scott Fountain accepted a position at Mississippi State…The contracts for Missouri offensive line coach Brad Davis and inside linebackers coach Vernon Hargreaves have been released in university public records…Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley extended defensive coordinator Mike Stoops a vote of confidence for 2018…Rutgers director of player personnel Toby Neinas will be moved to an on-field assistant coaching slot…San Diego State appears to be in the market for five new assistant coaches…Details of head coach Chip Kelly’s New Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher named Jim Turner offensive line coach…Mark Perry is the new director of football operations at Troy…Former Washington State linebackers coach Roy Manning is joining the UCLA staff in the same position…Colorado is almost finished finalizing contracts for its 2018 assistant coaches…Auburn has tabbed former Memphis defensive backs coach Marcus Woodson as a 2018 defensive coach…East Carolina offensive line coach Geep Wade and linebackers coach Ryan Anderson have completed their tenure with the Pirates…Florida State officially fired Donte Pimpleton (running backs coach) and Raymond Woodie (linebackers) along with tight ends coach Telly Lockette…LSU has retained Dave Aranda as defensive coordinator with a new four-year contract…Memphis head coach Mike Norvell added three assistants and is reorganizing his coaching staff…Montana named Timm Rosenbach named offensive coordinator…Portland State chose Payam Saadat as defensive coordinator…South Carolina is keeping key offensive assistant coach Bryan McClendon for 2018…UCLA has added Roy Manning (special teams coordinator) and Vince Oghubaasde (defensive line) to head coach Chip Kelly’s staff. The Bruins Angus McClure will return as tight ends coach…Former Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley (son of NFF College Hall of Fame coach Vince Dooley) is going to Missouri as offensive coordinator…Louisiana-Lafayette named Tim Leger wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator…The Spokane Spokesman-Review featured Washington State head coach and his staying power after other Pac-12 Conference head coaches were not retained for the 2018 campaign…Appalachian State named Greg Gasparato as a defensive assistant…Former Western Illinois head coach Charlie Fisher officially accepted the position as Arizona State. ASU also named former San Diego State cornerbacks coach Tony White as defensive backs coach…Boise State selected Chad Kauha’aha’a as defensive line coach…Former Mississippi State interim head coach (1-0 with a TaxSlayer Bowl win over Louisville) Greg Knox and Sal Sunseri have received their formal contracts on the Florida staff…Former Georgia Tech defensive line coach Mike Pelton is seeking a new university for the 2018 season…Former Minnesota assistant Brian Anderson was named as Illinois State wide receivers coach…Former Illinois State assistant coach Travis Niekamp has returned to ISU as defensive coordinator…Indiana chose David Ballou as strength coach…Former Marshall defensive coordinator Chuck Heater has accepted a post on the Maryland coaching staff…Michigan run game coordinator/tackles and tight end coach Greg Frey has left to become offensive line coach at Florida State…Michigan is hoping to add Cincinnati defensive line coach Al Washington to its 2018 staff. The Wolverines also fired Ben Herbert as director of football strength and conditioning…Michigan State defensive coordinator Harlon Bennett is headed to Florida State in the same capacity…Ole Miss has named former Oregon cornerbacks coach Charles Clark to its coaching staff…Ohio State chose former Washington State staffer Alex Grinch as co-defensive coordinator…Former Nebraska assistant coach Donte Williams now will coach outside linebackers at Oregon…Former San Diego State cornerbacks coach/recruiting coordinator Tony White is leaving for a spot at Arizona State…South Carolina officially contracted Bryan McClendon as USC’s fulltime offensive coordinator. Dan Werner will coach quarterbacks for the 2018 Gamecocks…Former Central Michigan, Cincinnati and Tennessee head coach Butch Jones has expressed an interest in some open jobs…UAB offensive coordinator Les Koenning will be seeking a new assignment for 2018. He has coached at 12 colleges and the Miami Dolphins since the 1981 season…Former Baylor and Florida Atlantic assistant coaches Kendal Briles and Randy Clements have joined the Houston Cougars coaching staff…UTSA named Giovanni Vizza has been added as a fulltime coach…Jon Budmayr is the new quarterbacks coach at Wisconsin…Wyoming named Ben Iannacchione director of sports performance and Eric Donoval named associate director of sports performance for football.
Hometowns of more 2018 college head coaches – South Alabama: Steve Campbell, Cantonment, Fla.; South Carolina: Will Muschamp, Rome, Ga.; USF: Charlie Strong, Batesville, Ark.; Southern California: Clay Helton, Gainesville, Fla.; Southern Illinois: Nick Hill, DuQuion, Ill.
Fordham director of athletics and NACDA-recognized leader Dave Roach wasted little time in hiring former Yale offensive coordinator Joe Conlin as Rams head coach…Iowa AD deputy AD Barbara Burke was profiled for her solid work in a recent Des Moines Register article…New Tennessee AD Phillip Fulmer posted a video message for 2018 for Vols fans…Colorado State AD Joe Parker and head coach Mike Bobo were featured in a Fort Collins Coloradoan update about future football fortunes…Texas AD Chris Del Conte noted that the 2018 football Longhorns will not add alternate football uniforms… Tennessee has had some outside and media discussion of a slight downsizing of its Board of Trustees…The interim dean of Vanderbilt’s College of Arts and Science is Kamal Saggi as a search committee looks to find a fulltime dean. Numerous VU football student-athletes are in the A&S pre-Med and pre-Law undergraduate programs…Eastern Washington Bill Chavez is one of four finalists for the AD’s post at North Dakota along with Western Michigan associate AD Monty Porter, UND Champions Club executive director Mike Mannausau, and UTSA AD Kellie Elliott…Former (now suspended) Tennessee AD John Currie is receiving part of his annual salary compensation contract…Longtime Charlotte AD Judy Rose reflected on her decision to retire from that assignment after 27-plus years. At the time of her appointment, she was just the third woman to serve as an AD at a NCAA Division I member-institution.
Southeastern Conference powers Georgia and Alabama met for the first time in either the College Football Playoff championship or BCS as the Crimson Tide prevailed last Monday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta in overtime…The market for tickets prices for the CFP title game soared Jan. 2 after both SEC powers Alabama and Georgia qualified. StubHub noted the least expensive offering for a single ticket on Jan. 8 game day was $2,300 while the least expensive suite (not counting the price of game tickets) for the CFP championship was $94,000…Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby expressed support for the four-team College Football Playoff format and extolled the success of the renewed Big 12 football championship tilt…American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco discussed how bowl wins help the league, the value of bowl wins, keeping AAC head coaches, and UCF’s 13-0 record…The Pac 12 Conference has been asked about the formation of a possible football competition committee…The Mountain West Conference is keeping several annual circuit championships in Las Vegas, Nev., after discussions with the Las Vegas Sports Commission.
The Bowl Championship Series (1998-2013) and College Football Playoff (2014-present) have featured numerous undefeated teams prior to the bowl season. And, in fact, the final season of the College Bowl Alliance (1997) both 12-0 Michigan and 12-0 Nebraska split the mythical title in the major Top 25 polls. Since the start of the BCS during the 1998 season, the following are teams which finished undefeated in the last BCS or CFP Standings – end of regular season (total of 37 in 20 seasons):
1998: Tennessee, Tulane – BCS Champ: Tennessee
1999: Florida State, Marshall, Virginia Tech – Champ: Florida State
2000: Oklahoma – Champ: Oklahoma
2001: Miami (Fla.) – Miami
2002: Miami (Fla.), Ohio State – Ohio State
2003: None – LSU
2004: Auburn, Oklahoma, Southern California, Utah – USC (later vacated)
2005: Southern California, Texas – Texas
2006: Boise State, Ohio State – Florida
2007: Hawai’i – LSU
2008: Boise State, Utah – Florida
2009: Alabama, Boise State, Cincinnati, TCU, Texas (record five teams) – Alabama
2010: Auburn, Oregon, TCU – Auburn
2011: LSU – Alabama
2012: Notre Dame (Note: 12-0 Ohio State was ineligible for standings) – Alabama
2013: Florida State – Florida State
College Football Playoff Era:
2014: Florida State, Oregon – Ohio State
2015: Clemson, Iowa – Alabama
2016: Alabama, Western Michigan – Clemson
2017: UCF – Alabama
Tennessee (’98 season), Florida State (99), Oklahoma (00), Miami (Fla.) (01), Southern California (04), Texas (05), Alabama (09), Auburn (10), and Florida State (13) each were undefeated BCS titlists. There has not been an unbeaten CFP winner.
The Rose Bowl presented by Northwestern Mutual had the largest attendance of any of the 40 FBS postseason contests with 92,844…The Big Ten Conference notched the best bowl winning percentage at .875 with a 7-1 record while the Southeastern Conference had the most total appearances with 11 followed by the Atlantic Coast Conference with 10 and Conference USA/Pac-12 with nine teams…The 93rd Annual East-West Shrine All-Star Game will be played in St. Petersburg, Fla., at Tropicana Field on Jan. 20, with airtime at 3 p.m. (EST) and air on the NFL Network…There now have been 24 New Year’s Six bowl bouts since the start of the College Football Playoff after the 2014 season…From the NYS contests, Ohio State’s eight team sacks at the 2017 Goodyear Cotton Bowl tied for the most in a New Year’s Six game. Boise State also had eight against Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl in 2014. OSU DE Sam Hubbard’s 2.5 sacks against USC were the most in a New Year’s Six game. Five players previously had two. OSU CB Kendall Sheffield’s four pass breakups tied for the most in a New Year’s Six game. Alabama’s Cyrus Jones had four in the 2015 Sugar Bowl against Ohio State…USC wideout Deontay Burnett’s 12 receptions against Ohio State tied for the second most in a New Year’s Six game. Boise State’s Thomas Sperbeck also had 12 receptions in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl against Arizona.
NFF College Hall of Fame coach at Kansas State Bill Snyder will return for his school-record 27th season as Wildcats’ top mentor…NFF Board member Joe Castiglione of Oklahoma will receive the 2018 Katha Quinn Award for exceptional service to the media…Recent research has shown that NFF College Hall of Fame coaches Hayden Fry and Bobby Bowden have the largest coaching “trees” of sending former student-athletes and assistant coaches into head coaching posts at football-playing colleges…Longtime college defensive line coach, NFL scout and Itawamba (Miss.) JC Sports Hall of Fame member S.E. Sullins was cited in a recent story about coaching longevity. He once had double duty as football assistant and head baseball coach at Chattanooga…Rice alumni competing for teams in the NFL playoffs are Chris Boswell and Vance McDonald (Pittsburgh), Phillip Gaines (Kansas City), and Andrew Sendejo (Minnesota)…New members of the American Baseball Coaches Association 2018 Hall of Fame Class (several with college football connections) are Ed Blankmeyer, St. John’s (N.Y.); Hill Denson, Belhaven and Southern Miss; Don Freeman, Prairie HS (Wash.); Jim Gilligan, Lamar; Tim Hill Sr., State College of Florida; Bobby Howard, Columbus HS (Ga.); Andy Lopez, Florida, Pepperdine, and Arizona; Stan Luketich, Desert Vista HS (Ariz.); Pat McMahon, Mississippi State, Old Dominion and Florida; Frank Permuy, Gaither HS (Fla.); and John Schaly, Ashland (Ohio)…Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists for the Feb. 3 Class of 2018 announcement are Ray Lewis (Miami, Fla.), Randy Moss (Marshall, Florida), Terrell Owens (Chattanooga), Steve Hutchinson (Michigan) NFF College Hall of Fame member Brian Urlacher (New Mexico), NFF Hall of Famer Tony Boselli (USC), Isaac Bruce (Memphis), Brian Dawkins (Clemson), Alan Faneca (LSU), Joe Jacoby (Louisville), Edgerrin James (Miami Fla.), Ty Law (Michigan), John Lynch (Stanford), Kevin Mawae (LSU), Everson Walls (Grambling), Robert Brazile (Jackson State), Jerry Kramer (Idaho), and general manager Bobby Beathard (contributor, Cal Poly).
NBA standout and Texas alumnus Kevin Durant made a $3 million donation to the university…Tennessee chancellor Dr. Beverly Davenport addressed challenges with the new Neyland Stadium video boards. National collegiate and corporate executive search firm Heidrick and Struggles is restructuring its office chain of command and financial structures…New Mexico State athletics is capitalizing on its 2017 and bowl success with a major football fundraising push…New Orleans-based Dat Dog Restaurants is opening a new franchise adjacent to Rice Stadium in Houston…Idaho athletics’ proposed $45 million arena and office complex will be named the Idaho Central Credit Union after a $10 million donation from that business…Tulsa is starting a $1.2 million facelift project for its football locker room…UNLV’s Board of Regents has had a chance to assess the Running Rebels joint-use Las Vegas Raiders stadium agreement…Chappell’s Sports Bar in Kansas City, Mo., was highlighted in a story about hundreds of college, professional and high school helmets along with local football memorabilia it houses for fans and patrons.
North Dakota State QB Easton Stick (Outstanding Player in the 2017 NCAA FCS championship contest) is 34-3 as a starter and now has two national championship rings for the Bison. He is a NFSU teammate of Connor Wentz, a senior for NDSU and cousin of three-time NCAA Division football championship QB Carson Wentz of the NFL Philadelphia Eagles…TCU defensive end Ben Banogu is returning for his senior season in 2018 with the Horned Frogs…Ohio State OL Jack Wolhlabaugh has transferred to Duke and will have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out ’18 due to the NCAA transfer rule…Texas A&M WR Christian Kirk, quarterbacks Sam Darnold of USC and Josh Rosen of UCLA, CB Jaire Alexander of Louisville, QB Josh Allen of Wyoming, RB Saquon Barkley of Penn State, OT Orlando Brown and TE Mark Andrews of Oklahoma, DT Taven Bryan and WR Antonio Callaway of Florida, CB Carlton Davis of Auburn, WR Quadree Henderson and safety Jordan Whitehead of Pittsburgh, TE Hayden Hurst of South Carolina, TE Ryan Izzo, DL Josh Sweat and safety Derwin James of Florida State, CB Josh Jackson of Iowa, RB Kerryon Johnson of Auburn, RB John Kelly of Tennessee, OLB Arden Key of LSU, WR D.J. Moore, of Maryland, CB Isaiah Oliver of Colorado, Oregon State RB Ryan Nall, OL Nick Gates of Nebraska, and DL Harrison Phillips of Stanford are some of the 50-plus college standouts who have declared for the 2018 NFL Draft as undergraduates…Northwestern QB Clayton Thorson is seeking a quick rehab assignment after undergoing knee surgery to get set for his senior season in ’18…Conference USA sported co-Newcomers of the Year in 2017 with WR Teddy Veal of Louisiana Tech and WR Jalen Guyton of North Texas. UAB RB Spencer Brown of UAB copped C-USA Freshman of the Year laurels…Georgia safety Domanick Sanders broke the school record for career starts by a position player with his 53rd since 2014 in the CFP national championship. The previous high was 52 games by both quarterbacks David Greene (2001-04) and Aaron Murray (2008-11). Kicker Blair Walsh also had 53 starting assignments for the Bulldogs from 2008-11…Alabama true freshman QB Tua Tagovailoa came off the bench in the second half to throw three touchdown passes and to lead Alabama over Georgia for the CFP title last Monday night…McKinney (Texas) HS RB Matthew Gadek is believed to have had the best individual rushing game in the national prep ranks in 2017. He rushed for 599 yards against Plano East (Texas) HS to snap the Texas high school individual mark of 587 yards by Somerville’s Darryl Ellis in 1998.
ESPN’s Jay Bilas will portray a policeman in an upcoming science fiction movie…Former Oklahoma standout Dusty Dvoracek and Vanderbilt QB Jordan Rodgers (brother of former California and NFL standout Aaron Rodgers) have been featured in recent ESPN bowl telecasts as analysts…Marty Smith has extended his contract with ESPN…ESPN rang in the 2018 New Year while averaging six million-plus viewers for a 24-hour period and reached more than 96 million fans from Dec. 29-Jan. 1. Millennials increased ratings’ numbers from the same weekend in 2016-17, and the network noted that College Football Playoff semifinals and New Year’s Six bowls added up to record viewing numbers. Jan. 1, 2018, was the second most-watched day in the history of the 38-year old network, and for the long weekend 96 million-plus viewers watched a composite 28 billion minutes of televised college football. The Rose Bowl presented by Northwestern Mutual pulled in a season-high 14.8 national Nielsen Rating. The network had an unprecedented, 30 hours of pregame coverage for the 2017 season College Football Playoff with ESPN notables Rece Davis, Kevin Negandhi, Joe Tessitore, Adnan Virk, analysts Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, Desmond Howard, David Pollack, Todd McShay, Joey Galloway, Jesse Palmer, Mack Brown, Booger McFarland and Tim Tebow, and reporters Maria Taylor, Tom Rinaldi, and Gene Wojciechowski providing expert commentary and analysis…The Dallas Morning News sports staff wrote an in-depth look at the 2018 Big 12 Conference race with Texas, TCU, Oklahoma State, and West Virginia as chief challengers to Oklahoma’s 11-title (since 2000) dominance…The Prince George (Va.) Journal selected UCF as mythical national football by virtue of the Knights 13-0 NCAA FBS overall record…The new all-spirts publication The Athletics has a 50 percent reduced subscription special for 2018…The Nebraska apparel and fan store – Best of Big Red – reports skyrocketing sales since the naming of Scott Frost as head coach at NU last month.
The FWAA’s annual Awards Breakfast on Jan. 8 honored major 2017 and ’18 award recipients. Mike Finn of the ACC won the FWAA Lifetime Achievement Award, Mike Griffith of SEC Country was 2017 Beat Writer of the Year, CFP selection committee member Steve Wieberg received the Bert McGrane Award, Elizabeth Schroeder of Norman, Okla., was chosen as recipient of the FWAA Volney Meece Scholarship, and Wisconsin safety D’Cota Dixon was recognized as the 2017 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award winner. Dixon, a 5-foot-10, 204-pound redshirt junior, overcame an unstable family situation and personal health issues to post his second straight All-Big Ten Conference season for the school-record-setting 13-1 Badgers of head coach Paul Chryst. At the end of the Awards Breakfast 2017 president David Jones of Penn Live handed over the FWAA gavel to 2018 president Stephanie Lee of the Seattle Times…The FWAA and Allstate Sugar Bowl hosted the annual FWAA Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year reception last Saturday evening at Fandango’s Restaurant in Atlanta, 2017 Eddie Robinson Award recipient and then-UCF head coach (now at Nebraska) Scott Frost was on hand for a meet-and-greet session…The NFF joined i6 and diDNA as presenting sponsors for the seventh annual FWAA past presidents’ sinner in Atlanta last Friday night…The AFCA’s 96th annual convention began Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C., and NFF membership director Ron Dilatush was on hand to present several awards and Coach of the Year laurels on behalf of the NFF…Amway and the AFCA denoted Larry and Cheryl West of Fort Worth, Texas, as winners of the grand prize of the AFCA’s “Cameo with the Coaches Sweepstakes” presented by Amway from more than 18,000 entries. They won a round trip to the AFCA convention in Charlotte and VIP access to the national Facebook Live broadcast of the AFCA awards, a green carpet reception and the opportunity to meet some of the country’s top college football coaches…Tony Neely (nephew of NFF College Hall of Fame coach Jess Neely of Clemson and Rice), Rob Knox of Towson, Laurie Bollig of CoSIDA, and Ed Cassiere of Xavier (La.) were featured in recent issues of the CoSIDA Open Forum discussions…Former NFL Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles head coach and Michigan State standout Pat Shurmur (father of Vanderbilt quarterback start Kyle Shurmur) has interviewed for the head coaching post with the NFL Chicago Bears.
2017-18 College Football Playoff Bowl Schedule with New Year’s six
(All Games Televised by ESPN, All Times EST)
Monday, Jan. 1 Results:
Rose Bowl presented by Northwestern Mutual – Pasadena, Calif., Rose Bowl Stadium, Georgia 54, Oklahoma 48 (2 OT)
Allstate Sugar Bowl – New Orleans, La. – Mercedes-Benz Super Dome, Alabama 24, Clemson 6
Monday, Jan. 8 – CFP National Championship, Atlanta, Ga., Alabama 26, Georgia 23 (OT)
Dec. 29-30, 2017 (Other New Year’s Six Bowls)
Friday, Dec. 29 – Goodyear Cotton Bowl – AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas, Ohio State 24, Southern California 7
Dec. 30
Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl – Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Ga., UCF 34, Auburn 27
PlayStation Fiesta Bowl – University of Phoenix Stadium, Phoenix, Penn State 35, Washington 28
Capital One Orange Bowl – Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Lakes, Fla., Wisconsin 34, Miami (Fla.) 24

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