Monday, November 12, 2007

College Football weekly news and notes

-Courtesy of the National Football Foundation

Hurricanes Say Goodbye to the Orange Bowl

Over 200 Miami football alumni were on hand as the Hurricanes hosted Virginia last weekend for the school's final game at the Orange Bowl after 71 seasons. Among the 200-plus football alumni in attendance were Michael Irving, Bernie Kosar, Andre Johnson, and major benefactor and movie mogul Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Others lauded during halftime ceremonies were Heisman Trophy recipient Gino Torretta, George Mira, Sr. , Russell Maryland, and College Football Hall of Famers Don Bosseler and Bennie Blades.

HBO to Air Ohio State-Michigan Documentary

Michigan vs. Ohio State: The Rivalry, an hour-long documentary on one of college football's most storied games, will debut tomorrow on HBO Sports.

The presentation traces the history of the heated rivalry of the Big Ten foes back to a dispute between states over land to last season's epic showdown. The film also includes interviews from Hall of Famers Bo Schembechler and Archie Griffin.

The documentary will air on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 10:30 p.m. and will be rebroadcast several times during the following weeks.

Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Updates

Coaches from 15 of the top 25 BCS-ranked teams are among the top vote-getters for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award. The award recognizes coaches who contribute on and off the field, to their communities, civic causes, and their players' lives.

Fans have until November 27th to vote for their coach before the first round of voting closes. One winning coach from each NCAA football division will receive $50,000 for the charities of his choice and $20,000 for his school's alumni association. Log on to for more information.

BCS News

The fifth BCS Standings of 2007, released nationally by The National Football Foundation, was announced on Sunday. LSU moved into the No. 1 spot after Ohio State's loss to Illinois. Oregon, undefeated Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri make up the rest of the top five.

Illinois (No. 19), Cincinnati (No. 22) and Wisconsin (No. 25) re-entered the standings this week, while Auburn (then-No. 18), Alabama (then-No. 22) and Penn State (then-No. 23) fell from the BCS Top 25.

Through games of Nov. 11, there are 59 bowl-eligible teams for the 64 positions in 32 FBS postseason contests. Nineteen other squads are just one victory away from achieving the necessary six wins in a 12- game regular season to advance to bowl berths. The Big Ten and SEC each have 10 bowl- eligible schools prior to Thursday's tests. The final BCS Standings will be released on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2007.

Arizona State's Keegan Herring has been nominated for the 2007 FedEx Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award. Herring, a junior running back, is playing this season despite the deaths of three family members and a close friend in the last few months.

NFF News

Football Fridays at the College Football Hall of Fame continue in South Bend with the final weekend of festivities this autumn surrounding the Notre Dame-Duke game on Saturday.

Two-Minute Drill

ESPN GameDay made its first appearance at a Division III game when it held its 150th Saturday remote broadcast prior to the Williams College- Amherst College match-up last Saturday. The game, affectionately known as "The Biggest Little Game in America," was the 122nd meeting of the archrivals. Williams won the traditional tussle.

Syracuse retired the No. 39 jersey of College Football Hall of Famer Larry Csonka at halftime of the Orange-USF game at the Carrier Dome last Saturday... Toledo and Florida have agreed to play in 2013 at Gainesville, Fla... This Saturday, UC Davis and KXTV-TV will host the "Coats For Kids" program. Each fan attending the San Diego-UC Davis game is asked to bring a new or used coat for underserved children in the greater Sacramento area. The goal is 30,000 coats... Tennessee hosted a flyover to honor military veterans before its game with Arkansas last Saturday. Five OH- 58D armed reconnaissance helicopters from the 1- 230th Air Cavalry Squadron of the Tennessee Army National Guard did the honors on Veterans Day weekend... Kentucky head coach Rich Brooks kicked off the 20th annual "Big Blue Crush" blood drive Monday with a personal pint donation at UK... Area Chambers of Commerce and tourism groups are backing preliminary efforts to start a football program at Winthrop... Arkansas- Pine Bluff is on schedule to complete its new athletics fieldhouse, which includes football practice areas and new dressing rooms, by June 2008... Evansville alumni and fans have expressed continued interest in re-starting the school's football program, which was dropped in 1997... Kansas has become one of the first schools nationally to utilize electronic cards in place of hard tickets for season-long sports entry... Coldwell Banker has denoted the least expensive college football city for housing as Muncie, Ind. - home of Ball State - with 2,200-square foot homes averaging $150,000.

Oregon State is finalizing preparations for a record $625 million fundraising campaign for athletics... Tennessee had a record $34.8 million in athletics donations for the 2006-07 fiscal year and ended with a $5.52 million surplus... Miami (Fla.) already has raised $2.5 million in the early stages of its athletics' fundraising campaign... Wingate (N.C.) recently dedicated its new Plyler-Griffin Athletic Center to house dressing rooms and offices for football.

Defensive coordinator DuChon Burns was named Texas Southern's interim head coach... Penn State president Dr. Graham Spanier has been named as chair of the Association of American Universities.

Navy has become the first bowl team to qualify for its contracted berth in the San Diego County Poinsettia Bowl and likely will face a Mountain West Conference opponent... Oregon State head coach Mike Riley has been chosen as the West team coach in the 62nd annual Hula Bowl All-Star Game on Jan. 12, 2008, in Honolulu.

Prairie View A&M and Morris Brown coaching legend William J. "Billy" Nicks has been chosen as recipient of the American Football Coaches Association's 2007 Trailblazer Award. He also was a 1999 College Football Hall of Fame inductee. The award will be presented posthumously to Nicks at the AFCA Kickoff Luncheon on Jan. 7 at the 2008 AFCA Convention in Anaheim, Calif... The four finalists for the 38th annual Rotary Lombardi Award are LSU's Glenn Dorsey, Ohio State's James Laurinaitis, Virginia's Chris Long, and Michigan's Jake Long... The Paul "Bear" Bryant Coach of the Year Award (sponsored by the American Heart Association in Houston) has narrowed its watch list to 16 mentors... College Sports Information Directors of America named their ESPN The Magazine All-District teams. Draddy Trophy Finalist Brandon Renkart of Rutgers is among the All-District honorees... Retired Mississippi State coaching legend Emory Bellard, 80, was honorary coach for the Mississippi State-Alabama tussle in Starkville, Miss., last Saturday... The Texas State T- Association will induct four football greats into its Hall of Fame Thursday, and they are Walter "Tommy" Cox (1969-71), Paul Phillips III (1973-77), Mike Wynn (1979- 82), and Ken Huewitt (1980-83)... Honorary captain for last week's Ohio State-Illinois game was Thomas "Pepper" Johnson, an All- America linebacker at OSU and team captain in 1984 and '85. His son Dionte, one of the Buckeyes' 2007 team captains, played his final game at Ohio Stadium last Saturday... Plaques honoring previous Notre Dame athletics directors were dedicated last week prior to the Notre Dame-Air Force game. The awards were placed on a wall surrounding the North Tunnel Plaza. Former athletics directors, Gene Corrigan (NFF Board member) and Dick Rosenthal, spoke at the program.

FSN's Big 12 Showcase, which highlights Big 12 Conference football throughout the year, celebrates its 500th episode this week... Southland TV will offer a special webstream broadcast of the Central Arkansas-McNeese State contest Saturday... Stars of an Earlier Autumn, a book chronicling missing information, stories and statistics from college football in the 1869-1936 era and written by Tex Noel, is now available at Goal.

Each Thursday, The National Football Foundation will post a viewers' guide for all televised match-ups featuring all Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) schools. Please visit

Dick Nolan, 75, a standout at Maryland and former head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, died Sunday. His son, Mike Nolan, is the current coach of the 49ers... Former Connecticut football letterman and assistant coach Thomas Kopp, 69, died Saturday in Belgrade, Maine.

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