Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday's Chalktalk

News and Notes From Around College Football for Nov. 10, 2008

NFF Announces 2008 Chapter Leadership Award Winners

The National Football Foundation has announced the selection of four exceptional individuals as the recipients of the 2008 NFF Chapter Leadership Awards. The awardees are Art Demmas - South Region (Middle Tennessee Chapter), Nashville, Tenn.; Bob Keropian - West Region (Northern California Chapter), Hillsborough, Calif.; Joe Owens - Midwest Region (Cincinnati Chapter); and Howie Vandersea - Northeast Region (State of Maine Chapter), Brunswick, Maine. The quartet has a combined 115 years of working directly with the NFF chapters in addition to being regional directors.

On-Campus Salute for Standout Seminole Set for This Weekend

2008 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Ron Simmons will be honored in Tallahassee this weekend, as Florida State hosts Boston College at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.

Simmons, twice named a consensus First Team All- America en route to leading the Seminoles to three bowl berths, holds school records for career tackles for loss (44) and forced fumbles (17); ranks second all-time in career tackles (483); and owns a spot in the top five of nearly every other FSU defensive category. Simmons also finished ninth in the 1979 Heisman Trophy voting and was the first FSU defender to have his jersey retired by the university.

Currently a semi-retired professional wrestler for the WWE named "Faarooq," he resides in Marietta, Ga.

NFF Initiates First-Ever Online Auction

The National Football Foundation has partnered with Steiner Sports to produce its first-ever online auction initiative to benefit the scholarship fund for the NFF's National Scholar- Athlete program. The online auction will take place until the end of November and may be accessed through the NFF's web site at www.footballfoundation.com.

Auction items include autographed helmets from various members of the College Football Hall of Fame, including Troy Aikman (UCLA), Billy Cannon (LSU), Coach Lou Holtz, NFF Chairman Archie Manning (Ole Miss), Jay Novacek (Wyoming) and Richard Wood (USC).

The online auction complements the silent auction held every December at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner at New York's Waldorf=Astoria. This year's Awards Dinner, scheduled for Tuesday, December 9, is sold out.

"Spread the Word" and Help Your Coach Win Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year

Whether building houses for the homeless or starting charities to help neighbors in need, today's college football coaches are making a meaningful impact in their communities. If your favorite coach is a community leader, you can help him win $50,000 for his favorite charities through the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award. Just Visit www.coachoftheyear.com, cast your vote, and encourage members of your community to do the same by clicking on "Spread the Word," located on the upper right hand corner of the website's front page. A brief e-mail form will appear, allowing you to tell family, friends and fellow alumni to cast their votes.

Since its 2006 debut, Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award winners have donated a total of $400,000 in prize money to 12 charities and their schools' alumni associations, for scholarships. This year, four more coaches - one from each NCAA football division - will win a collective total of $280,000 in charitable donations. By spreading the word in your community, you can help decide who should win this valuable support.

BCS Notes

Alabama and Texas Tech remain in the top two spots in this week's BCS Standings. Texas, Florida and Oklahoma all move up one position to finish out the top five.

There are five remaining FBS schools with undefeated records on the week after the fourth Bowl Championship Series standings' release last Sunday: Alabama, Texas Tech, Utah, Boise State and Ball State. Cincinnati and South Carolina made their first appearance in the 2008 BCS Standings this week.

There are 52 bowl-eligible schools after last week's addition of nine six-win teams in NCAA FBS. There are 12 squads in need of one victory to qualify. This year's bowl slate features 34 bowls (including the FedEx BCS title contest) and 68 FBS squads in postseason activity. Most recent qualifiers from last week's results are Boston College, Bowling Green, East Carolina, Iowa, Nebraska, Oregon State, Troy, and Wake Forest. Alabama and Florida clinched bids to the SEC Championship with wins last Saturday for the first confirmed matchup among the FBS conference title encounters.

NFF News

NFF board member and retired Navy director of athletics Jack Lengyel recently spoke to an overflow crowd at Wenatchee Valley (Wash.) College about his life in football and the experiences on which the movie, "We are Marshall" was based... 1998 College Football Hall of Fame coach and current Nebraska director of athletics Dr. Tom Osborne will be the featured speaker at an athletics symposium at Dickinson State (Neb.) on Nov. 17. Osborne will also participate alongside 2007 Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno in AFCA's Master Coach Series in Nashville on Jan. 12, 2009... 2007 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Doug Flutie had a statue unveiled outside Boston College's Alumni Stadium last Friday. BC director of athletics and NFF board member Gene DeFilippo participated in the event... Featured speakers for the 2008 IMG/NACDA Intercollegiate Athletics Forum on Dec. 10 in New York include SEC commissioner and NFF board member Mike Slive and Collegiate Licensing Co. founder and 2008 NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award winner Bill Battle, NFF board members Joe Castiglione (Oklahoma AD) and Chris Plonsky (Texas Senior Associate AD) will serve as guest panelists.

The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) now will administer the NFF Northeastern Ohio Chapter. Since 1988, the chapter has been administered by Tim Gleason, commissioner of the Ohio Athletic Conference. The Northeastern Ohio Chapter also will host its 2009 Awards Dinner on May 11 at Westlake, Ohio. NFF John L. Toner Award recipient and Ohio State director of athletics Gene Smith will receive the chapter's Distinguished American Award and OSU head coach Jim Tressel will present the Lee Tressel Memorial Ohio College Coach of the Year Award in honor of his late father Lee, a 1996 College Football Hall of Fame inductee.

Purdue's All-American Marching Band, founded in 1886 and celebrating its 123rd anniversary season, performed a free concert last Friday at the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind.

To become a member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, please contact NFF Director of Special Projects Hillary Jeffries at 800-486-1865 or via email at hjeffries@footballfoundation.com.

To become an NFF member, please contact NFF Director of Membership Ron Dilatush at 800.486.1865 or via email at rdilatush@footballfoundation.com.

For the weekly College Football Insiders newsletter, the NFF's College Football Viewer Guide complete with broadcast teams, Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) announcements and more information on the NFF and college football, please visit www.footballfoundation.com.

Two-Minute Drill

Texas Tech is 10-0 for the first time since the 1938 season... Missouri's 2008 football senior class has set a school record with 35 career wins to top the 1963 team's seniors with 33 victories... Wake Forest's 2008 seniors also established a school mark with 30 victories over the last four campaigns. Wake has won six games in three consecutive seasons for the first time since 1946-48... Kentucky has had three consecutive six-win seasons for the first time since 1954-56... Last Thursday's TCU (No. 12 in BCS) at Utah (No. 8) was the highest-standings' matchup between two Mountain West Conference members in history. It also was TCU's highest dual-ranking game since the No. 18 Horned Frogs faced No. 2 Texas in 1959... Rice has scored 42 points in seven of the Owls' last nine Conference USA skirmishes going back to late 2007.

Eighteen Tulsa football student-athletes shaved their heads in support of freshman OL Wilson Holloway, who lost his hair after undergoing 2008 chemotherapy treatments for cencer... Baylor QB Robert Griffin set a NCAA-freshman record streak of consecutive pass attempts with 208 in his first nine games... UNLV WR Casey Flair has gone from a walk-on from Alaska to the Rebels' all-time leading receiver, a 2007 Community Service All-America and the school's first football player voted first team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District in consecutive years... Rutgers fans are being encouraged to donate non-perishable food for the Community Food Banks of New Jersey at the final three home tussles... Georgia Tech is holding its Michael Isenhour Area Food Drive for the holidays and a "White Out" at Bobby Dodd Stadium for the Tech- Miami (Fla.) skirmish on Nov. 20... Mississippi State is auctioning 10 signed football helmets with all proceeds going to help fund the Komen Breast Cancer Foundation... Western Michigan held orchestra concerts at Detroit area high schools and conducted student assessment and college informational sessions at Ford Field during last week's contest in Detroit with Illinois... Last week's Colorado State at Air Force encounter celebrated Air Force Youth Day with discounted ticket prices and Radio Disney live entertainment... Weber State extended the contract of coach Ron McBride through the 2012 season... Former LSU, Army and South Carolina legend Paul Dietzel returned to South Carolina last week to sign his new book "Call Me Coach: A Life in College Football" and to serve in the ceremonial coin toss before the SC-Arkansas contest... Baylor has received a sizeable donation from alumni Jay and Jenny Reid Allison of Frisco, Texas, for the Alison Indoor Football Practice Facility, completing the Alwin O. and Dorothy Highers Athletic Complex... Williams (Mass.) edged Amherst (Mass.) in the 123rd meeting of the two schools, which is Division III's most-played matchup and the fourth longest-played tussle among all divisions. The Ephs have won the last four in a row.

2008 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Pat Fitzgerald of Northwestern is one of 15 semifinalists for the 2008 George Munger National Coach of the Year Award... The Awards and Recognition Association named its finalists for the ARA 2008 National Football Sportsmanship Award, which includes NFF Draddy Trophy finalist Casey Gerald of Yale. Gerald also joined 10 other Draddy finalists on the ESPN The Magazine All-District teams named last week... Iowa was named the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week... The 72nd annual Maxwell Award has listed its 15 semifinalists for the 2008 award... The 23rd annual Jim Thorpe Award selected its 13 semifinalists last Tuesday... The 14th Chuck Bednarik Award has tabbed its 15 semifinalists for 2008... Finalists for the 2008 Wuerffel Trophy, celebrating the legacy of Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel (Florida), will be announced Wednesday... The LSU Athletic Hall of Fame recently inducted College Football Hall of Fame coach and former SEC commissioner Bernie Moore, DL Anthony McFarland, veteran trainer Dr. Marty Broussard, and athletics administrator Harry Rabenhorst... QB great Reggie Collier joined W.A. Payne, Bruce Rossmeyer, Ken McCarty and Charles Thomas in the Southern Miss Alumni Hall of Fame... Football standouts Don King and Robert Hall joined former Texas Tech head coach Jim Carlen in the university's 2008 Athletic Hall of Honor group.

The Texas at Texas Tech ABC Saturday Night Football telecast on Nov. 1 was the fifth most-viewed regular season college game ever, and both ABC and ESPN primetime Saturday ratings are up from 2007. The UT-TT contest had a 7.5 national rating (8.6 million households) and was the highest television-rated game since Notre Dame and USC drew a 9.0 rating on Nov. 25, 2006. ESPN on ABC's Saturday Night Football broadcasts are 33 percent ahead of average '07 ratings while the ESPN primetime telecasts are eight percent ahead of 2007 ratings' averages... Fox Sports Net is preparing to launch regional cable broadcast affiliates in Tennessee and North Carolina... Longtime network commentator Dan Fouts is serving as analysts on high-profile CBS College Sports Television games this autumn... The Big Ten Conference and Thought Equity Motion will make available all of the top plays and highlights from each week's schedule via the new Big Ten Football Video Highlights iPhone application within hours after each encounter... ESPNU televised the historic 100th meeting between Ivy League rivals Penn and Princeton last Friday.

Dr. Jim Castaneda, longtime faculty representative at Rice, died recently in Houston... Tom Alexander, 78, former president of the NFF Touchdown Club of Houston Chapter and active in the NFF high school scholar-athletes program, passed away in South Texas.

Key NFF Dates

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 Gardens, 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 - Miami Gardens, Fla., Fox