College Football Notes July 21-27

by BoCarter | Posted on Sunday, July 20th, 2014

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The NFF highlighted seven new college football teams competing on the varsity level for 2014, and they have increased the number of gridiron-competing schools across all NCAA divisions and the NAIA to 767 – an all-time high. Since 1978 when the NCAA changed its method for tracking attendance figures, the number of schools playing NCAA football (FBS, FCS, DII and DII) has increased by 173 schools from 484 in 1978 to a record high of 657 in 2013, or an average increase of 4.9 schools per year. In the past three seasons alone (2011-13), 25 football programs have been added at NCAA or NAIA institutions.
The new schools competing in 2014 are Arizona Christian, College of Idaho, George Fox U., Limestone (S.C.), Missouri Baptist, Paine College (Ga.), and Southeastern University (Lakeland, Fla.).

Voters for the FWAA/NFF Grantland Rice Super 16 FBS polls for 2014 have been selected, and some of the notables include: Mark Anderson, Las Vegas Review-Journal; Chris Ault, College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2002; Lee Barfknecht, Omaha World-Herald; Tony Barnhart, SEC Network; David Barron, Houston Chronicle. Other notable voters are Murry Bowden, College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2003 and NFF Vice Chairman; Gene Corrigan, NFF Board Member; Gene DeFilippo, NFF Board Member; Bob Epling, NFF Board Member; Jack Ford, CBS 60 Minutes Sports Correspondent, NFF Board Member; Jack Lengyel, NFF Board Member; Don McPherson, College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2008; Chuck Neinas, NFF Board Member; Barry Switzer, College Football Hall of Famer Class of 2001; and Reggie Williams, College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2007.

NFF College Hall of Fame Facts
Some key birthdates in NFF College Football Hall of Fame annals in the July 22-28 time period are July 22 (1913) Jim Tatum, McColl, S.C.; (1966) Tim Brown, Dallas, Texas; July 23 (1935) John Robinson, Chicago, Ill.; July 24 (1875) Bennie Owen, Chicago, Ill.; (1876) Clarence “Bert” Herschberger, Peoria, Ill.; (1894) Clarence Spears, DeWitt, Ark.; (1962) Kevin Butler, Savannah, Ga.; July 25 (1900) Ed Tryon, Medford, Mass.; (1936) Ron Burton, Springfield, Ohio; (1954) Walter Payton, Columbia, Miss.; July 26 (1869) Henry Williams, Hartford, Conn.; (1896) Everett Strupper, Columbus, Ga.; (1934) Tommy McDonald, Roy, N.M.; (1939) Bob Lilly, Olney, Texas; July 27 (1910) Fred Crawford, Waynesville, N.C.; (1950) Reggie McKenzie, Detroit, Mich.; (1959) Hugh Green, Natchez, Miss.; July 28 (1893) John “Jack” O’Hearn, Brookline, Mass.; (1943) Lawrence Elkins, Brownwood, Texas; (1957) Charles Alexander, Galveston, Texas.
Anniversary dates of death for key Hall of Fame members are July 22 (1975) Eddie Mahan, Natick, Mass.; (2010) Dennis Byrd, Charlotte, N.C.; July 24 (2002) Gaynell “Gus” Tinsley, Baton Rouge, La.; July 27 (1941) Howard Jones, Toluca Lake, Calif.; July 27 (2010) Jack Tatum, Pittsburg, Calif.; July 28 (1979) Four Horseman Col. Don Miller, Cleveland, Ohio; (2010) Bob Fenimore, Stillwater, Okla.

Happy birthdays to NFF College Hall of Fame members July 22 Tim Brown, July 23 John Robinson, July 24 Kevin Butler, July 25 Ron Burton, July 26 Tommy McDonald, Bob Lilly, July 27 Reggie McKenzie, Hugh Green, July 28 Lawrence Elkins, Charles Alexander…

Alabama and Southern California will meet for the first time in the regular season since 1978 when they tangle in the Cowboys College Classic to open the season at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Sept. 3, 2016. The historic programs have played seven times (Bama leads 5-2) and last faced off in the 1985 Aloha Bowl in Honolulu – a 24-3 Crimson Tide triumph…Sept. 3, 2016, will feature three of the top intersectional collegiate matchups in Texas football history. Besides the Alabama-USC matchup in Arlington, Notre Dame visits Texas and UCLA journeys to Texas A&M…Georgia State will play at Penn State in 2017 while the Nittany Lions will host Kent State in 2018..Louisiana-Lafayette and Tulsa will tangle in 2017 and ’19…Michigan and Oklahoma now are set for a 2025 and ’26 series…Virginia Tech will open its 2017 season against West Virginia at FedEx Field in suburban Washington, D.C….Tennessee and West Virginia are close to negotiating a 2018 single-contest meeting…North Carolina and Illinois will meet in 2015 and ’16…Houston and Vanderbilt will meet again in football in 2015 and ’21. They played for the first time in history in the 2014 BBVA Compass Bowl last January in Birmingham, Ala….East Carolina and Virginia Tech have extended their series from 2014-2020 over a seven-game juncture…Baylor athletics is making arrangements for less parking on congested streets and movement toward lots at McLane Stadium. It’s the first change in venues in Waco, Texas, since Baylor Stadium was opened off campus in 1950…College football game officials have been instructed to beware of illegal hits and sideline antics and gestures by coaches and student-athletes as points of emphasis for 2014…New Mexico State athletic and football will have educational and internship tie-ins with NMSU’s new College of Osteopathic Medicine…The Buffalo Bills became the first NFL team to open 2014 training camp last Sunday.

Colorado and Washington area athletics departments are hosting public service campaigns and public address announcements to educate fans about overuse of legal, recreational marijuana at 2014 home football games and other events. Driving impairment is a particular concern in some cases as well as mixing alcoholic beverages and marijuana at tailgate gatherings…Football student-athletes from First Baptist Academy in Jacksonville, Fla., and area high schools made a two-eek mission trip to the Philippines to assist with children being ministered to by Bob Tebow, the father of 2009 NFF William V. Campbell Award recipient Tim Tebow of Florida. Tim Tebow has delivered babies as part of the foreign mission in recent years…Utah State is borrowing a page from the motivational playbook of NFF College Hall of Fame coach and executive director of the AFCA Grant Teaff with the Aggies’ “I Believe” campaign for 2014 football. That was Baylor’s slogan for the 1974 season when the much-underrated Bears and Teaff in his third season at the helm won their first Southwest Conference title since 1924…Auburn athletics tweeted a “Greatest Fans in the World” photo to reflect Tiger supporters’ appreciation.

Marshall head coach Doc Holliday received a two-year contract extension…Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel indicated his team will utilize its successful, no-huddle offense again in 2014…Alabama head coach Nick Saban and South Carolina head coach and NFF College Hall of Fame quarterback at Florida Steve Spurrier had their teams chosen to win the rugged Southeastern Conference West and East Divisions, respectively, after last week’s SEC Media Days. Media making these selections have gotten both divisional winners correctly four times in the first 22 years of post-Media Days’ voting…Oklahoma football selected Drew Hill as director of player personnel…Tom Brattan is taking over as Illinois’ offensive line coach.

Tom Michael has been named director of athletics at Eastern Illinois…Southern Connecticut State announced Jay Moran as its new AD…Connecticut director of athletics Warde Manuel was quoted in favor of future student-athlete stipends in a recent national news story…The creed for North Carolina AD Bubba Cunningham is “move forward” as the Tar Heels approach fall sports’ workouts…Arizona AD Gregg Byrne noted that Brigham Young should be considered a Power Five opponent in College Football Playoff strength of schedule adjustments…Virginia Tech AD Whit Babcock has placed fan engagement near to top of his 2014 football agenda…Former Clemson senior women administrator Barbara Kennedy-Dixon has become a special assistant to the AD…Alabama associate AD and longtime women’s gymnastics coach Sara Patterson is retiring from UA athletics after 36 years…Tennessee football has named Jeff Jarnigan to replace late legendary public address man Bobby Denton as the voice of Neyland Stadium starting this year.

Conference USA head coaches voted on the 2014 Preseason Players of the Year Marshall senior QB Rakeem Cato (Offensive Player of the Year), Marshall senior DL James Rouse (Defensive Player of the Year) and UAB senior P Hunter Mullins (Special Teams Player of the Year)…C-USA and the Sinclair Broadcast Group will produce and distribute 100 events, including football telecasts, in each of the next two years. The agreement was reached last Thursday. Sinclair Group and the Big South Conference also have inked a two-year deal for national telecasts on the new American Sports Network…C-USA also will host the State of the Conference address from commissioner Britton Banowsky and a briefing by College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock to kick off loop Media Day Wednesday in Irving, Texas…The Southeastern Conference has had some scattered requests to bring back the popular SEC Media Bowling Tournament during circuit media days in Hoover, Ala., and off-day activities…SEC commissioner Mike Slive has called for a stepping up of the timetable for NCAA reforms and possible autonomy for leading FBS conferences…Stu Jackson has been named assistant commissioner for basketball operations with the Big East Conference…The Big 12 Conference’s One True Champion advertisement debuted in 2014 Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine…The Big 12 also will host a special 12 will host a State of College Athletics Forum in New York City on Aug. 6. Key figures attending are Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, Baylor president Ken Starr and athletic directors Steve Patterson (Texas), John Currie (Kansas State) and Oliver Luck (West Virginia). Also attending are several FWAA journalists, former Women’s Sports Foundation CEO Donna Lopiano, and Texas football player Selvin Young. It represents the first summer foray into NYC by the Big 12 since former commissioner and current NFF president/CEO Steve Hatchell organized Big 12 and Southwest Conference tours to the Big Apple in the 1993-98 era…The Big Sky Conference was lauded in a recent story for its leadership and innovations in NCAA FCS.

The College Football Playoff unveiled its 35-pound gold-plated and ornate national championship trophy for the 2014 season last week in Irving, Texas. USA Today sports proclaimed the unveiling “the unofficial opening of the 2014 college football season”…The CFP Selection Show on ESPN will denote the four teams in the semifinals during the opening segment on Sunday, Dec. 7, at 12:45 p.m. (EST)…The projected area financial impact for the CFP title game Jan. 12, 2015, in Arlington, Texas, is $300 million with an anticipated 60,000 unique visitors to the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington Metroplex…The Chick Fil-A Peach Bowl is in the process of determining its airtime on Dec. 31 for a Host Bowl East matchup.

ESPN’s coverage of conference media days will include at least 63 coaches (more on ESPN3) and five equity conferences’ media gatherings from July 21-31…The SEC Network explained the rollout for its digital broadcasts through SECNetwork.com and ESPN affiliates at last week’s SEC Media Days. The network also has reached new broadcast agreements with LUS Fiber, Wilkes Telephone and PTC Communications starting with the Aug. 14 launch date…Veteran radio sportscaster Bill Coates of ESPN Radio KTBB-FM in Tyler, Texas, begins his 32nd consecutive season of sports talk programs this autumn…Buffalo Bulls football broadcasts are moving to ESPN Radio 1520-AM this year…Clemson has added former QB Rodney Williams to its radio broadcast team…The SEC Network and Comcast Cable have agreed to contact to air the network for Comcast subscribers.

Some more of the household names on the 2014 national awards’ preseason watch lists from the National College Football Awards Association are Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award: 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston of Florida State, UCLA’s Brett Hundley, Oregon State’s Sean Mannion, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, Ohio State’s Braxton Miller, Baylor’s Bryce Petty; Doak Walker RB Award: Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska; Jay Ajayi, Boise State; Javorius “Buck” Allen, Southern California; Leon Allen, Western Kentucky; Walter Camp Award: QB Rakeem Cato, Marshall; DL Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State; QB Shane Carden, East Carolina; DB Landon Collins, Alabama; WR Amari Cooper, Alabama…Winston and 35 other ACC student-athletes were featured last Sunday on opening day of Atlantic Coast Conference media days in Greensboro, N.C. ACC commissioner John Swofford appeared in a photo opportunity and feature shots with the projected 2014 standouts. Vanderbilt enters fall practice with QB Patton Robinette (grandson of former All-SEC Tennessee basketball forward Pat Robinette) No. 1 on the depth chart, but transfer Stephen Rivers (younger brother of NC State and San Diego Chargers standout QB Phillip Rivers) of LSU and others are expected to contend for that post during early workouts. VU head coach Derek Mason notes the next goal is a SEC title after school-record back-to-back seasons with nine wins…Texas Tech projected freshman DB standout Nigel Bethel III has been reinstated to the the team and will sit out the first three games of ’14…Howard Payne QB Richard Young brings back the most passing yards of any signal caller in NCAA Division III statewide with 2,509 yards and 23 TDs on 239-of-360 passing numbers…WR Will Mahone will not return for Notre Dame football this season.

NFF corporate partner Under Armour Inc. is working with its college clients to avoid any preliminary release or sales of official university merchandise provided by Under Armour…Memphis athletics is hoping to break ground on a new $20 million practice facility in the next 4-6 months…Michigan athletics has a $12 million upgrade proposal for golf facilities on the Board of Regents’ agenda…In the national sports marking FYI department: The El Paso Chihuahuas’ jerseys are the hottest new-selling item in 2014 merchandise…Marshall is making steady progress on its new indoor football practice facility…Tulane’s new Yulman Stadium is on a timetable for completion by the Green Wave’s home opener against Georgia Tech on Sept. 6 in a ESPNews national telecast…Jacksonville (Fla.) Everbank Stadium will unveil one of the largest LED message and scoreboards for football during a July 29 Carrie Underwood concert at the stadium…North Texas will sell malt beverages inside Apogee Stadium for the first time in ’14…Long Beach State athletics’ new brand and logos emphasize the beach and less displaying if the old 49er mascots…Hawai’i athletics is hoping to make improvements to historic Les Murakami Stadium…Michigan’s Board of Regents voted not to approved postgame fireworks displays at Michigan Stadium for a pair of 2014 contests due to safety concerns.

The Florida Times-Union chronicled the leadership and production of 2006 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Paul Posluszny of Penn State in a recent story about his NFL squad – the Jacksonville Jaguars.

NCAA President Mark Emmert was featured in a recent Chicago Sun-Times’ article on NCAA reform and proposed changes…Intercollegiate Football Research Association has compiled a Top 25 list of average national ratings in the NCAA FBS coaches polls (United Press International and USA Today) and discovered that Alabama (average of 6.71 placement in the Top 25 polls) and Oklahoma (6.97 norm) are Nos. 1-2 from the time of the first coaches poll in 1950 through 2013.

2014-15 Inaugural College Football Playoff Schedule (All Tentative Times EST)
Dec. 31, 2014 – Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Time TBD – Host Bowl East, ESPN
Dec. 31, 2014 – Fiesta Bowl, University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz., 5 p.m. – Host Bowl West, ESPN
Dec. 31, 2014 – Discover Orange Bowl – ACC vs. Big Ten/SEC or Notre Dame, Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, Fla., 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Jan. 1, 2015 – AT&T Cotton Bowl, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas, 1 p.m. – Host Bowl, ESPN
Jan. 1, 2015 – Rose Bowl presented by Northwest Mutual, Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena, Calif. – CFP Semifinal, 5 p.m., ESPN
Jan. 1, 2015 – Allstate Sugar Bowl, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, La., 8:30 p.m. – CFP Semifinal, ESPN
Jan. 12, 2015 – College Football Championship Game – AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
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