Monday, October 13, 2008

NFF Chalktalk

2008 NFF High School Scholar- Athletes Announced

The National Football Foundation has announced the selection of five exceptional individuals as the best and the brightest in the country for their accomplishments as athletes, scholars and citizens, naming them as the NFF National High School Scholar-Athletes for 2008. They will be honored during the NFF's Chapter Awards Luncheon, presented by Sprinturf, on Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008, at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City.

2008 NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete honorees (currently freshmen in college): Nick Downey - Midwest Region - Chicago Metro Chapter - Mundelein (Ill.) High School; Jordan Haynes - West Region - Sacramento Valley Chapter - Sacramento (Calif.) Jesuit HS; Andrew Luck - South Region - Touchdown Club of Houston Chapter - Houston Stratford HS; Jonathan Meyers - Northeast Region - Ralph DeSantis/Fairfield County Chapter - Greenwich (Conn.) High School; Andrew Rodriguez - East Region - National Capital (Washington, D.C.) Chapter - Alexandria (Va.) Bishop Ireton HS.

On-Campus Salutes

Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald will be honored this Saturday for his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, as the Wildcats take on Big Ten rival Purdue in Evanston. The game will air on ESPN2 at noon EDT.

The only two-time winner of both the Chuck Bednarik and Bronco Nagurski Awards, Fitzgerald was the heart of the Northwestern defense that led the Wildcats to their first Rose Bowl in 47 years and back-to-back Big Ten titles. A two-time consensus First Team All-America selection, he was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in 1995 and '96.

2008 Divisional College Football Hall of Fame inductee John Randle (Texas A&M- Kingsville) will also be honored this weekend during ceremonies prior to the Javelinas' game with Midwestern State (Texas) at 7:00 p.m. CDT.

Selected as a First Team All-America in 1988, Randle was twice named the Lone Star Conference's Lineman of the Year. The Hearne, Texas, native amassed 105 tackles and 34 career sacks en route to leading the Javelinas to back-to-back conference championships in 1988 and '89 and two trips to the NCAA Division II playoffs. He currently resides in Medina, Minn. after an All-Pro career in the NFL.

BCS Standings

Next Sunday, Oct. 19, marks the first release of the 2008 BCS Standings. The announcement will be made via national press release courtesy of The National Football Foundation and announced live on Fox.

Schools with the most all-time appearances since the 1998 season (11th year overall in '08): Texas (69); Florida (68); Michigan (62); Oklahoma (60); Virginia Tech (60); Ohio State (52); Tennessee (52); Florida State (50); Miami (Fla.) (50); Southern California (49); Georgia (46); LSU (44); and Nebraska (44).

Schools with the most weeks in the No. 1 position from 1998-2007 are Oklahoma (18); Southern California (15); Ohio State (14); Florida State (7); Miami (Fla.) (7); Nebraska (5); Tennessee (5); LSU (2); Missouri (1); Texas (1); and UCLA (1). Texas is No. 1 this week in all two surveys - USA Today Coaches and Harris polls - used to determine the BCS leader in conjunction with the six computer rankings.

NFF News

Liberty Mutual has proudly partnered with the College Football Hall of Fame to honor one coach from each division who demonstrates excellence on and off the field through victories, community service, charitable endeavors and academic support. Visit now to find out how to vote for your favorite coach.

The NFF Tom Lombardo/St. Louis Chapter will welcome guest speakers Jim Hanifan and Steve Savard of the St. Louis Rams at its October Luncheon Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. (CDT) at Lombardo's Restaurant. For reservations and information, please contact Bob Bunton at

Benefactors interested in purchasing rare Jim Thorpe memorabilia via tax deductible donation, please contact NFF Valley of the Sun Chapter member Ted Updike at

Two-Minute Drill

Southern California seeks its 400th all-time Pacific-10 Conference victory Saturday at Washington State. The Trojans won their 400th victory in the Coliseum last weekend against Arizona State... Toledo became the first Mid-American Conference school to down Michigan in 25 tries with an upset in Ann Arbor, Mich. last weekend. No. 8 Brigham Young will be the highest ranked team to play at TCU since 1993 when the Cougars visit Fort Worth this Thurs.... Texas Tech QB and NFF Draddy Trophy semifinalist Graham Harrell moved into fifth place in NCAA FBS career annals with 12,993 passing yards and moved past Houston's Brandon Kolb as the all-time collegiate passing yards' leader in state of Texas history... 2008 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Rueben Mayes (Washington State), has taken a new job as the regional director of development with the Sacred Heart Medical Center Foundation in Eugene, Ore.... Former Penn State football player Scott Shirley is the founder and executive director of Uplifting Athletes, which encourages college football teams around the country to hold fundraising events at their schools for rare disease charities. Chapters are currently in the works at Ohio State and Maryland. For more information, please visit Texas A&M hosted its ninth annual "Aggies Can" food drive last weekend at the A&M-Kansas State football contest, meeting its goal for canned goods and receiving $13,000 in cash donations... The American Football Coaches Association has donated $10,000 to the Randy Walker (late Northwestern and Miami (Ohio) head coach) Memorial Fund... College Football Hall of Fame coaches Knute Rockne and Paul "Bear" Bryant highlight Sports Illustrated's "The College Football Book," which includes excerpts from current and former writers of the magazine who chose the greatest coaches and players by decade for the new publication... Texas leads the nation this season in starting quarterbacks at Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) programs with 22. California is second with 15, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The John and Eileen Huarte Fitness Center at Valley Glen (Calif.) Grant High School held its grand opening last week after receiving a $50,000 gift from the former Notre Dame QB and 2005 College Football Hall of Fame inductee... Ron and Nancy Proesel have made a $100,000 unrestricted gift to the Northern Illinois Huskies Athletics Scholarship Fund - the largest donation ever to the fund.

Colorado extended the contract of coach Dan Hawkins through 2012... Rick Costello accepted the deputy director of athletics position at Rutgers... Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky had his contract extended through 2013.

College Football Hall of Famer Roger Staubach (Navy) joins football and broadcasting legend Pat Summerall as special guests for the 82nd birthday celebration for KRLD Radio at the Dallas Arboretum on Oct. 29. The station is the 2008 DFW radio carrier for Texas Longhorns' football and was the flagship for the Dallas Cowboys' network for almost 40 years... College Hall of Famer QB Don Meredith of SMU will have his college number retired at special ceremonies during the Mustangs' game with Houston on Saturday in Dallas... Former head coach Jim Carlen has been chosen for the Texas Tech Athletics Hall of Honor... The Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame announced its 2008 class, including Marvin Bader, Chet Forte, Curt Gowdy, Teddy Nathanson, Don Ohlemeyer, Val Pinchbeck, Vin Scully, Bob Seiderman and Charlie Steinberg. Ceremonies will take place on Dec. 16 in New York and hosted by CBS Sports' Jim Nantz.

The Armed Forces Bell Helicopter Bowl has named Gen. David H. Petraeus as the 2008 recipient of the Great American Patriot Award presented by Armed Forces Insurance. The distinguished graduate of the U. S. Military Academy in 1974, General Petraeus recently was selected to command the United States Central Command after serving as the Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq from Feb. 2007-Sept. 2008... The Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl teamed up with 23 high schools, cheerleading squads, dance teams, and marching bands last weekend to help raise funds and awareness for breast cancer through the Susan G. Komen Foundation... Tennessee student assistant Inquoris "Inky" Johnson is the most recent nominee for the 2008 FedEx Orange Bowl/FWAA Courage Award... Texas and Oklahoma State were named Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Teams of the Week.

Dom Rosselli, 93, who was an assistant football coach for 21 seasons at Youngstown State, died last week... Bill "Moose" Matthews, 73, who served as assistant director of athletics at Virginia Tech from 1964-86, died in Blacksburg, Va.

Key NFF Dates

Oct. 19: First Release of 2008 BCS Standings - Irving, Texas
Dec. 9: NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf=Astoria - New York, N.Y.
Jan. 5, 2009: National Hall of Fame Salute at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl - Glendale, Ariz.
Jan. 9, 2009: Presentation of MacArthur Trophy to BCS champion - Miami, Fla.

2009 BCS Schedule

Jan. 1: Rose Bowl presented by Citi - Pasadena, Calif., ABC
Jan. 1: FedEx Orange Bowl - Miami, Fla., Fox
Jan. 2: Allstate Sugar Bowl - New Orleans, La., Fox
Jan. 5: Tostitos Fiesta Bowl - Glendale, Ariz., Fox
Jan. 8: FedEx BCS National Championship Game - Miami, Fla., Fox