College Football Notes Dec. 27-31, 2015

by BoCarter | Posted on Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

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College Football Notes
By Bo Carter

NFF College Hall of Fame Facts
Some notable birthdates in NFF College Hall of Fame annals in the Dec. 29-Jan.4 time period are Dec. 29 (1909) William Grinnell, Boston, Mass.; (1911) Tay Brown, Compton, Calif.; (1915) Bill Osmanski, Providence, R.I.; (1924) Warren Amling, Pana, Ill.; Dec. 30 (1896) Homer Norton, Birmingham, Ala.; (1941) Mel Renfro, Houston, Texas; (1946) Barry Alvarez, Langeloth, Pa.; (1966) Dr. Joe Micchia, Sharon, Pa.; Dec. 31 (1875) Charles Rinehart, Uniontown, N.J.; (1918) Ray Graves, Knoxville, Tenn.; (1928) Hugh McElhenny, Los Angeles, Calif.; (1932) Don James, Massillon, Ohio; Jan. 1 (1901) Century Milstead, Rock Island, Ill.; (1901) Frank Sundstrom, Middleton, N.Y.; (1925) Jack Cloud, Britton, Okla.; (1927) Doak Walker, Dallas, Texas; (1936) Don Nehlen, Canton, Ohio; (1940) Mike McKeever, Cheyenne, Wyo.; (1962) Pierce Holt, Marlin, Texas; (1967) Derrick Thomas, Miami, Fla.; Jan. 2 (1890) Vince Pazzetti, Wellesley, Mass.; (1912) Tony Blazine, Canton, Ill.; (1930) Bob Williams, Cumberland, Md.; (1959) Darrin Nelson, Sacramento, Calif.; Jan. 4 (1898) Jess Neely, Smyrna, Tenn.; (1898) Jack Harding, Avoca, Pa.; (1925) Johnny Lujack, Connellsville, Pa.; (1929) Darrell Mudra, Omaha, Neb.
Notable anniversary death dates for Hall of Famers are Dec. 29 (1915) Tom Shevlin, Minneapolis, Minn.; Dec. 30 (1976) Harry Baujan, Dayton, Ohio; Dec. 31 (1967) Bishop Frank Juhan, Sewanee, Tenn.; (1992) Bill Spears, Harriman, Tenn.; Jan. 1 (1991) Edgar Miller, Annapolis, Md.; Jan. 2 (1977) Dale Van Sickel, Newport Beach, Calif.; (1999) Raymond “Rags” Matthews, Ft. Worth, Texas; Jan. 3 (1954) Gus Dorais, Birmingham, Mich.; (2003) Sid Gillman, Carlsbad, Calif.; Jan. 4 (2000) Tom Fears, Palm Desert, Calif.; (2013) Pete Elliott, Canton, Ohio.

Happy birthdays to NFF College Hall of Fame members Dec. 29 Warren Amling, Dec. 30 Mel Renfro, Barry Alvarez, Dr. Joe Micchia, Jan. 1 Don Nehlen, Pierce Holt, Jan. 2 Bob Williams, Darrin Nelson, Jan. 4 Darrell Mudra…

Coastal Carolina will travel to UCLA in 2023 for a first-ever meeting…Boston College and Holy Cross have scheduled gams in 2018 and ’20…Southland Conference member Incarnate Word will face North Texas for the first time in 2018…Nebraska and San Jose State each won their bowl contests to guarantee the three post-2015 teams with 5-7 records (including Minnesota) would garner a winning mark in bowls… Indiana lost to Big Ten Conference opponents Ohio State, Michigan and Iowa and new ACC power Duke by a combined total of 25 points. IU also led the Big Ten in total offense average with 490.8 yards…

CitySquare and its work with thousands of underserved families in the Dallas-Fort Worth area was designated as the primary charity for the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl and community service activities. Southern Miss and Washington teams also made hospital visits in the DFW area prior to their Dec. 26 matchup at historic Cotton Bowl Stadium.

Retiring Virginia Tech head coach began his VT tenure with a 2-9 rebuilding team in Blacksburg in 1987 and then rolled to 278 total victories at Murray State (1981-86) and with the Hokies. He guided Tech teams to 23 consecutive bowl berths from 1993-2015 and was the winningest active coach in NCAA FBS at the time of his retirement last Saturday, Tech also was 25-0 when scoring 50 points during the 29-year VT career of Beamer…Terms and incentives of the contract of new North Texas head coach Seth Littrell were disclosed last week…Saddleback (Ariz.) college head coach Mark McElroy has been named the 2015 American Community College Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year…Former Duke offensive coordinator Scottie Montgomery will take over officially and hit the recruiting trail in coming days as new East Carolina’s head coach…Maryland hired former Arkansas State assistant coach Walt Bell as offensive coordinator.

Homesteads: Hometowns of more 2015 college head coaches – Miami (Fla.): Mark Richt, Omaha, Neb.; Miami (Ohio): Chuck Martin, Decatur, Ill.; Michigan: Jim Harbaugh, Toledo, Ohio; Michigan State: Mark Dantonio, El Paso, Texas; Middle Tennessee: Rick Stockstill, Sidney, Ohio.

California director of athletics Mike Williams has been an active presence in several gatherings at his first bowl game as the Golden Bears’ AD – the 2015 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl…Daron Montgomery was named AD at St. Anselm while Miles Gallagher is the new AD at Millersville (Pa.).

The Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl was the first head-to-head C-USA (Southern Miss, West Division champion of the circuit) and Pac-12 (Washington) matchup after the two heralded conferences jumped out to a combined 4-1 start in pot-2015. That also translated into a 6-2 record (.750 winning percentage) over C-USA’s eight bowl encounters from December 20, 2014-Dec. 25, 2015, with both USM and Marshall (St. Petersburg Bowl at Tropicana Field) facing challenges Saturday…Through the first 12 bowl dates in 2015-16, the Mountain West Conference (3-2) and Mid-American Conference (3-3) had the most 2015 postseason wins and also competed in the most bowl contests – a combined 11 prior to Dec. 26…The Big 12 and Southeastern Conferences are two of the final loops to get their teams onto the gridiron in post-2015. Baylor of the Big 12 meets ACC power North Carolina Tuesday, Dec. 29, while the first SEC member to hit the field is LSU against Texas Tech of the Big 12 Tuesday night in Houston…Akron (Great Idaho Potato Bowl), Georgia Southern (GoDaddy Bowl) and Western Michigan (Popeyes Bahamas Bowl) each registered their first bowl victories as members of NCAA FBS…Southern Miss played on natural turf for the first time since 2014 at Alabama in the Dec. 26 Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl…Tuesday’s Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas, is a game involving the two teams with the most points scored in the 13-game history of the contest – in 2007 when 2015 foes California (42) and Air Force (36) combined for 78 points. Air Force jumped out to a Air Force held a 21-0 lead in the second quarter of that encounter…This is the 11th Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl game at Amon G. Carter Stadium on the TCU campus after SMU hosted two earlier bouts…Air Force is helping to make the seventh appearances by a service academy in the 10-year period since the bowl was renamed to honor the military in 2006. The service academies are 3-3 prior to Tuesday’s tussle…Washington and Washington State captured bowl games Saturday on opposite ends of Texas. California will try to help the Pac-12 Conference go 3-0 in Texas with a victory in Tuesday’s 13th annual Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl at Fort Worth…Duke won its first bowl game since the 1961 Cotton Bowl Classic (7-6) over Arkansas in the New Era Pinstripe Classic at Yankee Stadium by a 44-41 squeaker over Indiana…Florida State leads FBS in active consecutive bowl games with 34 in a row since 1982. The Seminoles are approaching Nebraska’s NCAA-record consecutive FBS postseason appearances from 1969-2003. Virginia Tech (23 straight years), Georgia (19) and LSU (16) are next on these listings while Florida has appeared in bowls 24 of the last 25 years.

During the 2014-15 bowl campaign C-USA led all 10 FBS conferences with a .800 (4-1 record) winning percentage, and SEC teams played the most games (12) while posting the highest victory total (11). The Big Ten (6-5 record) and ACC (4-7) each qualified 11 of their 14 teams for post-2014 activity. Conference USA is 7-3 (.700) over the last two bowl seasons to lead all FBS conferences in winning rate…A Mid-American Conference team never has played a football game in the 95-year history of stadiums at the site of historic Cotton Bowl Stadium.

Texas A&M quarterback Kyler Murray will transfer to Oklahoma and be eligible as a sophomore in 2017…Boise State all-purpose standout Jeremy McNichols had 189 all-purpose yards and scored three TDs in the Broncos’ 55-7 win over Northern Illinois in the San Diego Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl…Missouri has reinstated QB Maty Mauk for spring 2016 and the upcoming season. He is 17-5 as a starter…Notre Dame hopes to regain the services of injured RB C.J. Prosise in time to face Ohio State in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl Saturday…San Diego State KR Rashard Perry returned his third kickoff for a touchdown this year against Cincinnati in the Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl on Dec. 24…San Jose State RB Tyler Ervin set school season records for rushing with 1,601 yards and all-purpose yards with 2,637…Middle Tennessee safety Kevin Byard had a school career-record 19 pass interceptions…Western Michigan WRs Corey Davis and Daniel Braverman are the first pair of wideouts to reach 1,200 receiving yards in the same season since the 2000 season…Western Kentucky senior QB Nathan Doughty completed his bowl win over USF as MVP of the Miami Beach Bowl along with C-USA Championship Game MVP and back-to-back C-USA regular season MVP awards. As of Dec. 28, Doughty paced NCAA FBS in completion percent (71.8), touchdown passes (48) and passing yards (4,594) for the 2015 season. His 97 touchdowns thrown over back-to-back years in 2014 and ’15 are the most ever by an FBS quarterback…Duke senior safety Jeremy Cash, the ACC’s 2015 Defensive Player of the Year, underwent wrist surgery on Wednesday and was out for the bowl game. He had a team-high 101 tackles, including 18 for a loss…Duke WR Max McCaffrey is the brother of Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey, runnerup for the Heisman Trophy in 2015 and Associated Press College Football Player of the Year…Ole Miss All-SEC DL Robert Nkemdiche has completed his career after suffering a recent injury and announcing he will submit his name for the 2016 NFL draft…UCLA football-basketball star RB Soso Jamabo completed the football portion of his 2015-16 seasons with a 36-yard pass reception against Nebraska. He averaged six yards per rushing attempt and scored four TDs as a true freshman.

Raycom Sports president and CEO Ken Haines is retiring after a record-setting 36 years with the company and its inception with Rick and Dee Ray in 1979…he Outland Trophy has gained dozens of additional Twitter downloads and followers since upgrading its Tweets…ESPN is continuing its most extensive bowl coverage in history with on-site College Football Daily Show and SEC Network features along with extensive daily highlights on SportsCenter and ESPNU programming… continues to facilitate up-to-the-minute bowl news and updates through the College Football Playoff Game and beyond on FBS and FCS news and notes. The group also has links to phone apps for each of the major bowls.

NFF College Hall of Fame coach Barry Switzer was featured for his wit and wisdom and the recovery from a serious illness by his son Doug Switzer in a recent national news column…The original Yankee Stadium hosted 185 college football games from 1923-2007,a and the new Yankee Stadium has hosted 11 college contests since 2009.

The AFCA’s 93rd annual convention is set for San Antonio Jan. 10-13, 2016…The IFRA has denoted 43 schools in all college divisions with 500 points scored in 2015, and Morningside (825) and NCAA Division III champ Mount Union (Ohio) with 800 each hit the 800-point mark in ‘15…DIII champ Mount Union was followed by St. Thomas (Minn.), Linfield (Ore.), Wisconsin-Whitewater, and Wisconsin-Oshkosh in the final 2015 NCAA Division III national coaches poll…The USBWA has elected three famed football-basketball media members to its 2016 Hall of Fame in Kansas City Star college columnist Blair Kerkhoff, sportswriter Bob Pille and retired Notre Dame publicist Roger Valdiserri…The AFCA NCAA FCS All-America team includes four standout defensive linemen – Keionta Davis of Chattanooga, Dino Fanti of Eastern Illinois, Javon Hargrave of South Carolina State, and Tyrone Holmes of Montana.

2015-16 College Football Playoff, New Year’s Six Bowl Schedule
(All Games Televised by ESPN, All Times EST)
Friday, Dec. 31 – Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl – Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Florida State vs. Houston, Noon
Dec. 31 – Capital One Orange Bowl, Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, Fla., CFP Semifinal Game, 4 p.m., Clemson vs. Oklahoma
Dec. 31 – Goodyear Cotton Bowl, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas, CFP Semifinal Game, 8 p.m., Alabama vs. Michigan State
Jan. 1, 2016 – VIZIO Fiesta Bowl, University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz., 1 p.m., Notre Dame vs. Ohio State
Jan. 1 – Rose Bowl presented by Northwest Mutual, Big Ten vs. Pac-12, Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena, Calif., 5 p.m., Iowa vs. Stanford
Jan. 1 – Allstate Sugar Bowl, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, La., 8:30 p.m., Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss
Jan. 11- College Football Championship Game, U. of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz., 8:30 p.m., semifinals winners from Capital One Orange and Goodyear Cotton Bowls.

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