FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll, Week 8 Reply

Week 8: Games Played Through October 23, 2021

TEAMPOINTSFIRST-PLACE VOTESLAST WEEK’S RANK
1.Georgia (7-0)832521
2.Alabama (7-1)7164
3.Cincinnati (7-0)7002
4.Oklahoma (8-0)6653
5.Ohio State (6-1)6395
6.Michigan (7-0)5706
7.Michigan State (7-0)5057
8.Oregon (6-1)48310
9.Ole Miss (6-1)38112
10.Iowa (6-1)33411
11.Notre Dame (6-1)29513
12.Wake Forest (7-0)21816
13.Kentucky (6-1)21614
14.Oklahoma State (6-1)1408
15.Texas A&M (6-2)124N/A
16.Pittsburgh (6-1)82N/A

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Penn State (41), Baylor (35), SMU (26), Auburn (18), Iowa State (14), San Diego State (14), Central Michigan (10), Arizona State (6), UTSA (4), Arkansas (3), NC State (1).

To see how individuals voted in this week’s poll, CLICK HERE.

NOTES:
Idle Georgia received all 52 first-place votes for the second straight week in the poll, while only minor changes occurred directly beneath the Bulldogs. No. 2 Cincinnati a week ago, fell a spot to No. 3 after a narrow victory at unranked Navy.

Alabama rose two spots to No. 2 after dispatching Tennessee by 28 points. Oklahoma struggled with Kansas in Lawrence and fell from No. 3 to No. 4. Nos. 5-6-7 (Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State) remained in the same order. No. 8 Oklahoma State lost at Iowa State and fell six spots to No. 14.

Penn State, No. 9 last week, dropped completely out of the poll after suffering a home loss to Illinois. Coastal Carolina also dropped out of the poll after losing to Appalachian State.

Texas A&M re-entered the poll at No. 15, and Pittsburgh debuted in the poll for the first time in school history at No. 16 after beating Clemson.

The SEC led all conferences with five teams, followed by the Big Ten with four and the ACC and Big 12 with two each. The American, Independents and Pac-12 had one team each.

THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE:
No. 1 Georgia vs. Florida (Jacksonville)
No. 2 Alabama is idle
No. 3 Cincinnati at Tulane
Texas Tech at No. 4 Oklahoma
Penn State at No. 5 Ohio State
No. 6 Michigan at No. 7 Michigan State
Colorado at No. 8 Oregon
No. 9 Ole Miss at Auburn
No. 10 Iowa at Wisconsin
North Carolina at No. 11 Notre Dame
Duke at No. 12 Wake Forest
No. 13  Kentucky at Mississippi State
Kansas at No. 14 Oklahoma State 
No. 15 Texas A&M is idle
Miami, Fl. at No. 16 Pittsburgh

ABOUT THE FWAA-NFF SUPER 16 POLL: The FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll was established at the conclusion of the 2013 season by long-time partners, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the National Football Foundation (NFF). Voters rank the top 16 teams in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, and the results will be released every Sunday of the 2021 season; the individual votes of all members will also be made public. The first regular season poll will be released on Tuesday, Sept. 7 (to account for Labor Day games), and the final poll will be released Sunday, Dec. 5. The pollsters consist of FWAA writers and College Football Hall of Famers who were selected to create a balanced-geographical perspective. The poll utilizes a computer program designed by Sports Systems to compile the rankings, and The JBoy Show is the official Media Partner of the poll.

ABOUT THE FWAA: Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and gameday operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive Director Steve Richardson at 214-870-6516 or tiger@fwaa.com. 

ABOUT THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION & COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME: Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. Learn more at www.footballfoundation.org and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @NFFNetwork.

FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll, Week 7 Reply

WEEK 7: GAMES PLAYED THROUGH OCTOBER 16, 2021

TEAMPOINTSFIRST-PLACE VOTESLAST WEEK’S RANK
1.Georgia (7-0)832521
2.Cincinnati (6-0)7343
3.Oklahoma (7-0)7184
4.Alabama (6-1)6865
5.Ohio State (5-1)5936
6.Michigan (6-0)5397
7.Michigan State (7-0)43510
8.Oklahoma State (6-0)42312
9.Penn State (5-1)4208
10.Oregon (5-1)38011
11.Iowa (6-1)3712
12.Ole Miss (5-1)22913
13.Notre Dame (5-1)18414
14.Kentucky (6-1)1589
15.Coastal Carolina (6-0)11715
16.Wake Forest (6-0)10316

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Texas A&M (48), Pittsburgh (25), NC State (19), Baylor (18), Auburn (17), SMU (10), Arizona State (4), San Diego State (4), Florida (2), Purdue (1), Arkansas (1), Clemson (1).

To see how individuals voted in this week’s poll, CLICK HERE.

NOTES:
Georgia collected all 52 votes as the top team in the poll during a week when the only major developments were its resounding victory over previously unbeaten Kentucky and Iowa’s surprising home loss to unranked Purdue.

As a result of those games, the Bulldogs are in the driver’s seat for the SEC East Division title, and Iowa dropped from No. 2 to No. 11 in the poll. Cincinnati is now the No. 2-ranked team, moving up a spot from No. 3 a week ago. Kentucky fell five spots to No. 14 after suffering its first loss of the season.

The same 16 teams are in the poll as last week, with six teams not playing a game this past Saturday. Oklahoma, Alabama and Ohio State all moved up a spot to 3-5, respectively. Unbeaten Oklahoma State won at Texas and jumped from 12 to No. 8. Michigan State continues to win and now is at No. 7, one spot behind Big Ten rival Michigan.

The Big Ten leads all conferences with five teams, followed by the SEC with four and the Big 12 with two. The American, ACC, Independents, Pac-12 and Sun Belt have one team each in the poll.

THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE:
No. 1 Georgia – Idle
No. 2 Cincinnati at Navy
No. 3 Oklahoma at Kansas
Tennessee at No. 4 Alabama
No. 5 Ohio State at Indiana
Northwestern at No. 6 Michigan
No. 7 Michigan State – Idle
No. 8 Oklahoma State at Iowa State
Illinois at No. 9 Penn State
No. 10 Oregon at UCLA
No. 11 Iowa – Idle
LSU at No. 12 Ole Miss
USC at No. 13 Notre Dame
No. 14 Kentucky – Idle
No. 15 Coastal Carolina at Appalachian State (Wednesday)
No. 16 Wake Forest at Army

ABOUT THE FWAA-NFF SUPER 16 POLL: The FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll was established at the conclusion of the 2013 season by long-time partners, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the National Football Foundation (NFF). Voters rank the top 16 teams in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, and the results will be released every Sunday of the 2021 season; the individual votes of all members will also be made public. The first regular season poll will be released on Tuesday, Sept. 7 (to account for Labor Day games), and the final poll will be released Sunday, Dec. 5. The pollsters consist of FWAA writers and College Football Hall of Famers who were selected to create a balanced-geographical perspective. The poll utilizes a computer program designed by Sports Systems to compile the rankings, and The JBoy Show is the official Media Partner of the poll.

ABOUT THE FWAA: Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and gameday operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive Director Steve Richardson at 214-870-6516 or tiger@fwaa.com.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION & COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME: Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. Learn more at http://www.footballfoundation.org and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @NFFNetwork.

Armed Forces Merit Award 2021 finalists revealed Reply

Fort Worth, Texas — Five finalists have been named for the 2021 Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) – defensive lineman and Marine veteran Damian Jackson of University of Nebraska, Navy veteran and coach Robert Green, Troy chancellor and Marine Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Battlefields to Ballfields founder Mike Pereira, and Nevada coach and Army veteran Jordan Simmons.

Jackson advanced to the final round of voting in 2019 for the award while the others are all first-time finalists.

The announcement of the 2021 Armed Forces Merit Award recipient will be made via an 11 a.m. (CT) teleconference Thursday, Nov. 11 – Veteran’s Day – by Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Executive Director Brant Ringler and FWAA President Heather Dinich.

Created in June 2012, the award honors an individual and/or a group with a military background and/or involvement that has an impact within the realm of college football.

The Armed Forces Merit Awards selection committee is comprised of seven FWAA members and two representatives from the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl.  A total of 28 individuals and three programs were nominated for the 2021 award.

Past recipients of the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the FWAA include Nate Boyer of the University of Texas (2012), Brandon McCoy of the University of North Texas (2013), Daniel Rodriguez from Clemson University (2014), Bret Robertson of Westminster College (Fulton, Mo., 2015), Steven Rhodes from Middle Tennessee State University (2016), Dr. Chris Howard from Robert Morris University (2018), Army West Point assistant coach Mike Viti (2019) and Collin O’Donnell of Bluefield College of Virginia.

Boyer (long snapper), McCoy (defensive lineman), Rodriquez (wide receiver), Robertson (defensive back) and O’Donnell (defensive lineman) served in the Army before playing collegiate football.  Rhodes, a Marine, played four seasons at Middle Tennessee and participated in the 2013 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl with the Blue Raiders.  Viti (fullback) played at Army West Point prior to his military service.

A 1991 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, Dr. Howard was a Rhodes Scholar and recipient of the 1990 Campbell Trophy, the highest academic award in the nation presented to a senior college football player.  A member of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee (2017-19), Dr. Howard was inducted into the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame and a recipient of the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award, which recognizes distinguished individuals on the 25th anniversary of the conclusion of their collegiate athletic careers.

Kansas State and its football team were honored in November 2017 as the sixth recipient of the Armed Forces Merit Award for the university’s partnership with the United States Army that created a bond between the school’s athletic department and the Iron Rangers at Fort Riley.

Contacts – Tim Simmons, AFMA Coordinator at 720/244-6580 or bfishinc@aol.com, Steve Richardson, FWAA at 214/870-6516 or tiger@fwaa.com

ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of 34 collegiate sporting events nationwide. The roster includes five early-season college football games, 17 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and a college softball event, which accounts for approximately 400 hours of live programming, reaches nearly 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in more than 10 markets across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.  For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA, http://www.sportswriters.net) Founded in 1941, the FWAA consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and gameday operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual All-America team.

Robert B. Green

Robert B. Green is in his ninth season at the Naval Academy and his seventh as a coach on the field.  He is also in his second year as the Director of Racial Equality for the Navy football program.  Green spent his first two years as the Director of Player Development assisting Coach Ken Niumatalolo and the officer representatives with professional development and molding of Navy football players to assume future positions of leadership in the Navy and Marine Corps.  A 1998 Navy graduate where he was a three-year starter as a defensive back, Green was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U. S. Marine Corps in May 1998.  Green retired from military service in the summer of 2017.  As a Marine, the former Lieutenant Colonel’s personal decorations include Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2nd award), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2nd award), Meritorious Service Medal (2nd Award), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and Legion of Merit.

Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr.

Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., a member of the College Football Playoffs’ Board of Managers as a representing for the Sun Belt Conference, has been the Chancellor of Troy University since September 1, 1989.  After completing his bachelor’s degree in 1967 from the University of Montevallo, Hawkins served in the U.S. Marine Corps and served as a platoon leader during the Vietnam War.  For his combat duty, he received the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and a citation from the Korean Marine Corps.  Dr. Hawkins was an assistant dean at UAB and president of the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind.  Dr. Hawkins is the longest serving CEO of a public university in the nation. In 30-plus years at the school, Dr. Hawkins has orchestrated the change of Troy’s name, a move to Division 1-A and help oversee the investment of $400 million in new and modernized facilities.  During Dr. Hawkins’ tenure, Troy University has been recognized as a leading institution for members of the military and veterans by U.S. News and World Report, GI Jobs, Military Times Edge, Advanced Military Education, and more.

Damian Jackson

Damian Jackson has played in every game this season at the University of Nebraska as a backup outside linebacker.  Nominated for the Armed Forces Merit Award for the past three seasons, Jackson was a finalist in 2019.  He has made the Big 10 All-Academic team that last three seasons.  Joining the football team in 2017 as a walk-on, Jackson was placed on scholarship for the 2020 season and has now played in the last 13 games for the Cornhuskers.  Jackson served as a member of the Navy SEALs for four years after graduating from Shadow Ridge High School in Las Vegas, Nev., in 2010.  He was not a member of the football team in high school but did participate in baseball and soccer.  A child, youth and family studies major, Jackson is on pace to graduate in December of 2021. He has volunteered his time with the Nebraska Football Road Race, a Day of Service and local hospital visits.  Jackson was the featured individual in a University of Nebraska video leading a crowd of people down a street, carrying a U.S. flag. Jackson eventually stops in front of an Army veteran, a sheriff, a firefighter, and a paramedic. Jackson takes off his helmet, which has a U.S. flag on it, and salutes the veteran, who salutes him in return.

Mike Pereira

Mike Pereira is the chairman of Battlefields to Ballfields (B2B), a foundation that he founded to “give veterans the resources and opportunity to be sports officials.”  With a board of directors comprised of people experienced in business, military service, and officiating, Founded in 2017, B2B provides scholarships to veterans to give them an opportunity to get integrated back into their community through officiating.  Endorsed by the National Association of Sports Officials, the B2B has provided more than 400 scholarships for men and women coming out of military service in 47 of the 50 states.  Nate Boyer, the first recipient of the Armed Forces Merit Award, is on the B2B board.  Pereira officiated football for 25 years before entering the NFL where he ran the officiating program for 12 years before becoming a rules analyst for Fox Sports NFL and college football telecasts.

Jordan Simmons

Jordon Simmons is in his fifth season as the strength and conditioning coach at the University of Nevada as he brought a strong military and football background to the Wolf Pack.  In 2020, he was named by Jay Norvell as assistant head coach.  A native of Redondo Beach, Calif., Simmons came to the Wolf Pack from North Carolina, where he opened a kickboxing gym after a year with the United States 3rd Group Special Forces in Fort Bragg, N.C.  In his time with the Special Forces, Simmons worked with wounded warriors and executed team training for groups readying for deployment.  One of Norvell’s few original staffers at Nevada, Simmons’ father (Jerry) spent 23 years in the NFL as the head strength and conditioning coach for the Patriots, Browns, Ravens and Panthers.

FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll, Week 6

Week 6: Games Played Through October 9, 2021

TEAMPOINTSFIRST-PLACE VOTESLAST WEEK’S RANK
1.Georgia (6-0)831512
2.Iowa (6-0)75413
3.Cincinnati (5-0)6765
4.Oklahoma (6-0)6616
5.Alabama (5-1)6241
6.Ohio State (5-1)5468
7.Michigan (6-0)4957
8.Penn State (5-1)4524
9.Kentucky (6-0)37312
10.Michigan State (6-0)36711
11.Oregon (4-1)3529
12.Oklahoma State (5-0)22413
13.Ole Miss (4-1)172N/A
14.Notre Dame (5-1)16814
15.Coastal Carolina (6-0)12416
16.Wake Forest (6-0)65N/A

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES:
Florida (49), Texas A&M (42), Arizona State (36), Arkansas (29), SMU (11), BYU (8), Fresno State (3), Texas (3), NC State (2), San Diego State (2), Clemson (2), Baylor (1).

To see how individuals voted in this week’s poll, CLICK HERE.

NOTES:
No. 1 Alabama suffered its first loss of the 2021 season at Texas A&M and dropped out of the top spot in the poll for the first time this season. The Crimson Tide was replaced at No. 1 by fellow SEC member Georgia, which received 51 of 52 first-place votes after winning at Auburn.

Alabama dropped to No. 5, while Iowa moved into the second slot after edging Penn State in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes were followed by No. 3 Cincinnati, No. 4 Oklahoma and then Alabama at No.5. Penn State fell from No. 4 to No. 8.

BYU dropped out of the poll after suffering its first loss of the season. Arkansas also fell out of the poll after losing by a point at Ole Miss, which returned to the poll at No. 13. Wake Forest joined the poll for the first time this season at No. 16.

The Big Ten led all conferences with five teams in the poll, all of whom ranked in the top ten. The SEC has four teams, and the Big 12 two teams, the ACC, American, Independents, Pac-12 and Sun Belt had one team each.

THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE:
No. 9 Kentucky at No. 1 Georgia
Purdue at  No. 2 Iowa
UCF at No. 3  Cincinnati
TCU at No. 4 Oklahoma
No. 5 Alabama at Mississippi State
No. 6 Ohio State is idle 
No. 7  Michigan is idle
No. 8 Penn State is idle
No. 10 Michigan State at Indiana 
California at No. 11 Oregon (Friday)
No. 12 Oklahoma State at Texas
No. 13 Ole Miss at Tennessee
No. 14 Notre Dame is idle
No. 15 Coastal Carolina is idle
No. 16 Wake Forest is idle

ABOUT THE FWAA-NFF SUPER 16 POLL: The FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll was established at the conclusion of the 2013 season by long-time partners, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the National Football Foundation (NFF). Voters rank the top 16 teams in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, and the results will be released every Sunday of the 2021 season; the individual votes of all members will also be made public. The first regular season poll will be released on Tuesday, Sept. 7 (to account for Labor Day games), and the final poll will be released Sunday, Dec. 5. The pollsters consist of FWAA writers and College Football Hall of Famers who were selected to create a balanced-geographical perspective. The poll utilizes a computer program designed by Sports Systems to compile the rankings, and The JBoy Show is the official Media Partner of the poll.

ABOUT THE FWAA: Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and gameday operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive Director Steve Richardson at 214-870-6516 or tiger@fwaa.com. 

ABOUT THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION & COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME: Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. Learn more at www.footballfoundation.org and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @NFFNetwork.

FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll, Week 5

Week 5: games played through OCTOBER 2, 2021

TEAMPOINTSFIRST-PLACE VOTESLAST WEEK’S RANK
1.Alabama (5-0)819391
2.Georgia (5-0)793132
3.Iowa (5-0)697 4
4.Penn State (5-0)674 5
5.Cincinnati (4-0)605 7
6.Oklahoma (5-0)592 6
7.Michigan (5-0)452 13
8.Ohio State (4-1)440 11
9.Oregon (4-1)349 3
10.BYU (5-0)321 14
11.Michigan State (5-0)292 15
12.Kentucky (5-0)189 N/A
13.Oklahoma State (5-0)171 N/A
14.Notre Dame (4-1)153 8
15.Arkansas (4-1)144 10
16.Coastal Carolina (5-0)115 N/A

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Florida (58), Ole Miss (57), Auburn (40), Wake Forest (40), Texas(22), Fresno State (13), Stanford (8), Kansas State (6), SMU (5), NC State (4), Arizona State (4), USC (3), Mississippi State (2), Clemson (2), Appalachian State (1), Iowa State (1).

To see how individuals voted in the poll, CLICK HERE.

NOTES:
Alabama and Georgia remained 1-2, but Georgia, after shutting out Arkansas, picked up seven first-place votes on Alabama as the teams once again split the 52 first-place votes.

Oregon, No. 3 a week ago, dropped six places to No. 9 after losing to Stanford. Another big drop, from No. 8 to No. 14, occurred with Notre Dame after the Fighting Irish fell to Cincinnati. No. 3. Iowa and No. 4 Penn State each moved up a slot and will meet this Saturday in Iowa City in a Big Ten showdown of unbeatens. Michigan jumped up six spots to No. 7 after winning at Wisconsin.

Three SEC teams fell completely out of the poll after suffering losses to conference foes: Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Florida. They were replaced by Kentucky, Oklahoma State and Coastal Carolina–all first-time teams in the poll this season.

The Big Ten leads all conferences with five teams, followed by the SEC with four, the Big 12 and Independents with two each. The American, Pac-12 and Sun Belt had one each.

THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE:
No. 1 Alabama at Texas A&M
No. 2 Georgia at Auburn
No. 4 Penn State at No. 3 Iowa
Temple at No. 5 Cincinnati (Friday)
No.6 Oklahoma vs. Texas (Dallas)
No.. 7 Michigan at Nebraska
Maryland at No. 8 Ohio State
No. 9 Oregon is idle
Boise State at No.10 BYU
No. 11 Michigan State at Rutgers
LSU at No. 12 Kentucky
No. 13 Oklahoma State is idle
No. 14 Notre Dame at Virginia Tech
No. 15 Arkansas at Mississippi
No. 16 Coastal Carolina at Arkansas State (Thursday)

ABOUT THE FWAA-NFF SUPER 16 POLL: The FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll was established at the conclusion of the 2013 season by long-time partners, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the National Football Foundation (NFF). Voters rank the top 16 teams in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, and the results will be released every Sunday of the 2021 season; the individual votes of all members will also be made public. The first regular season poll will be released on Tuesday, Sept. 7 (to account for Labor Day games), and the final poll will be released Sunday, Dec. 5. The pollsters consist of FWAA writers and College Football Hall of Famers who were selected to create a balanced-geographical perspective. The poll utilizes a computer program designed by Sports Systems to compile the rankings, and The JBoy Show is the official Media Partner of the poll.

ABOUT THE FWAA: Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and gameday operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive Director Steve Richardson at 214-870-6516 or tiger@fwaa.com. 

ABOUT THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION & COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME: Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. Learn more at www.footballfoundation.org and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @NFFNetwork.

FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll, Week 4

Week 4: Games Played Through September 25, 2021

TEAMPOINTSFIRST-PLACE VOTESLAST WEEK’S RANK
1.Alabama (4-0)826461
2.Georgia (4-0)78362
3.Oregon (4-0)7113
4.Iowa (4-0)5955
5.Penn State (4-0)5906
6.Oklahoma (4-0)5424
7.Cincinnati (3-0)4389
8.Notre Dame (4-0)42812
9.Florida (3-1)42111
10.Arkansas (4-0)405N/A
11.Ohio State (3-1)36910
12.Ole Miss (3-0)29113
13.Michigan (4-0)16915
14.BYU (4-0)14116
15.Michigan State (4-0)104N/A
16.Texas A&M (3-1)817

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Coastal Carolina (46), Clemson (35), Wake Forest (23), Fresno State (14), Oklahoma State (13), Baylor (11), NC State (10), Texas (9), Boston College (5), North Carolina (5), UCLA (5), Auburn (3), Maryland (2), SMU (1).

To see how individuals voted in this week’s poll, CLICK HERE.

NOTES:
Alabama, Georgia and Oregon remained 1-3, with the Crimson Tide (46) and the Bulldogs (six) splitting the 52 first-place votes once again. Iowa and Penn State each moved up a slot to Nos. 4 and 5, respectively, as Oklahoma fell two spots to No. 6.

After losing at unranked North Carolina State, Clemson, No. 8 last week, fell completely out of the poll. Texas A&M, No. 7 last week, was upset by Arkansas in Arlington, TX  and dropped all the way to No. 16. With the victory, Arkansas jumped into the poll for the first time this season at No. 10. Michigan State was the other first-time team in the poll this season as Iowa State’s loss at Baylor dropped the Cyclones out of the poll.

The SEC (six teams) and Big Ten (five teams) accounted for 11 of the 16 spots in the poll. Independents had two teams. The American, Big 12 and Pac-12 had one team each. 

THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE:
No. 12 Ole Miss at No. 1 Alabama
No. 10 Arkansas at No. 2 Georgia
No.3 Oregon at Stanford
No. 4 Iowa at Maryland (Friday)
Indiana at No. 5 Penn State
No. 6 Oklahoma at Kansas State
No. 7 Cincinnati at No. 8 Notre Dame
No. 9 Florida at Kentucky
No. 11 Ohio State at Rutgers
No. 13 Michigan at Wisconsin
No. 14 BYU at Utah State (Friday)
Western Kentucky at No. 15 Michigan State
Mississippi State at No. 16 Texas A&M.

ABOUT THE FWAA-NFF SUPER 16 POLL: The FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll was established at the conclusion of the 2013 season by long-time partners, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the National Football Foundation (NFF). Voters rank the top 16 teams in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, and the results will be released every Sunday of the 2021 season; the individual votes of all members will also be made public. The first regular season poll will be released on Tuesday, Sept. 7 (to account for Labor Day games), and the final poll will be released Sunday, Dec. 5. The pollsters consist of FWAA writers and College Football Hall of Famers who were selected to create a balanced-geographical perspective. The poll utilizes a computer program designed by Sports Systems to compile the rankings, and The JBoy Show is the official Media Partner of the poll.

ABOUT THE FWAA: Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and gameday operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive Director Steve Richardson at 214-870-6516 or tiger@fwaa.com. 
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ABOUT THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION & COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME: Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. Learn more at www.footballfoundation.org and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @NFFNetwork.

Dave Matter named FWAA Beat Writer of the Year

Veteran Mizzou scribe is 11th recipient of the award

DALLAS — Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has been named the FWAA Steve Ellis Beat Writer of the Year for his coverage of the University of Missouri football team during a pandemic-ravaged 2020-21.

The FWAA has awarded out a Beat Writer of the Year since the 2011 season in honor of Steve Ellis, long-time Tallahassee Democrat writer who passed away in 2009. Democrat sports editor Jim Henry once wrote of Ellis: “Nobody covered Florida State athletics with the passion and ferocity that Ellis did for 30 years.”

Dave Matter

“As our industry evolves, I take more pride in being a newspaper beat writer in 2021 than ever before,” said Matter, who has covered the Missouri football beat for more than two decades. “To be recognized for that work is deeply appreciated, especially by my peers in the FWAA.

“Writers make our way with words, but I’ve struggled to find the best ones to describe how incredibly touched and honored I am to win this award,” Matter added. “Just to be mentioned with the past winners — some I know well and some only by their work and reputation — is the honor of a lifetime.”

Previous winners of the FWAA’s Beat Writer Award: Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (2011), Mark Blaudschun of the Boston Globe and Steve Wieberg of USA Today (2012), Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News (2013), Tim May of the Columbus Dispatch (2014), Chris Dufresne of the Los Angeles Times (2015), Jason Kersey of The Oklahoman (2016), Mike Griffith of SEC Country (2017), Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com and Chris Vannini of The Athletic (2018), Brett McMurphy of Stadium Network (2019) and Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated (2020).

Matter has lived the Missouri beat — now on his fourth football coach (Larry Smith, Gary Pinkel, Barry Odom and the current head football coach Eliah Drinkwitz) — since the late 1990s when he still was a student at Missouri. He was a staple at the Columbia Daily Tribune until 2013 when he went to work for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, his current employer.

“Before he became such a fixture around Mizzou athletics that the Antlers (Missouri student group) started chanting his name at basketball games, Dave Matter made a name for himself by willing to stand in the sun longer than anyone else,” said Joe Walljasper, former Columbia Daily Tribune Sports Editor. “He watched every minute of every broiling preseason football practice, interviewed everyone who would speak to him, and then wrote long blog posts — thousands and thousands of words — that put the whole sweaty mess into context.

“I would prefer not to know how much unpaid overtime he worked, but he built a strong reader following and earned the respect of the people he covered,” Walljasper added. “Through the years, he’s developed sources, honed his writing style and accumulated the institutional knowledge that turns a good reporter into a great reporter. But he never lost the willingness to put in the work.”

Matter has won writing awards in the FWAA Best Writing Contest and others: Associated Press Sports Editors Top Ten twice and National Sports Media Association three times. He has had three books published, including “The 100-Yard Journey: A Life in Coaching and Battling for the Win” (Triumph Books), co-authored with former Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, whom he covered from 2001 to 2015.

He is a 2000s jack-of-all trades beat writer. In addition to writing game stories, features, analysis pieces, columns, blogs, he hosts weekly on-line chats, a podcast, a weekly TV show covering University of Missouri Athletics available statewide via cable and on-line.

To top that off, Matter is an adjunct instructor at the MU School of Journalism. He teaches an introduction to writing course, “instructing first-year undergraduates how to compose news stories and press releases in multiple formats and media, including print, online, TV/radio and podcasts.”

“He is relentless as a journalist, selfless as a teammate and totally on top of what is going on at Mizzou,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist BenFrederickson said. “Yes, sometimes even more so than the folks who work there. I’ve learned so much from watching Dave work, and his strengths truly set him apart when the pandemic’s challenge arrived. During a time when Zoom ruled and creativity suffered, Dave didn’t settle. He blazed his own path, rewarding his readers with quality coverage. He can hit you in the feels with a feature, teach you something about the sport in an analysis piece, and break big news. All in one day.”

Frederickson added that Matter had been instrumental in reviving the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s campus correspondent’s job, which “gives Mizzou students an opportunity to get valuable experience covering the Tigers while still in school. He (Matter) is an advocate for the next generation while providing a great example to follow every day.”

Matter summed up the FWAA award this way: “This award isn’t possible without the editors who have turned me loose on the Mizzou beat over the last two decades: Roger Hensley and Cameron Hollway at the Post-Dispatch and from the Columbia Tribune, Joe Walljasper and the late Kent Heitholt, who gave me my first paying job in journalism and someone we’ve dearly missed since we lost him 20 years ago this fall. I proudly dedicate this award to his memory.”

Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and gameday operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive Director Steve Richardson at 214-870-6516 or tiger@fwaa.com.

FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll, Week 3

Week 3: Games Played Through Sept. 18, 2021

 TEAMPOINTSFIRST-PLACE VOTESLAST WEEK’S RANK
1.Alabama (3-0)826461
2.Georgia (3-0)78262
3.Oregon (3-0)699 4
4.Oklahoma (3-0)642 3
5.Iowa (3-0)594 6
6.Penn State (3-0)521 10
7.Texas A&M (3-0)486 7
8.Clemson (2-1)440 5
9.Cincinnati (3-0)416 8
10.Ohio State (2-1)337 9
11.Florida (2-1)327 11
12.Notre Dame (3-0)277 12
13.Ole Miss (3-0)214 15
14.Iowa State (2-1)119 14
15.Michigan (3-0)93 N/A
16.BYU (3-0)77 N/A

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Arkansas (60), Coastal Carolina (54), Michigan State (45), Wisconsin (27), North Carolina (10), UCLA (5), Virginia Tech (4), USC (3), Fresno State (2), West Virginia (2), Maryland (2), Auburn (2), TCU (2), Oklahoma State (1), Kansas State (1), Liberty (1), Wake Forest (1).

To see how individuals voted in this week’s poll, click here.

The Top 10 teams in the poll each won Saturday, and all remained among the top teams again. Even No. 11 Florida didn’t budge after losing by two points to No. 1 Alabama.

The Crimson Tide led the poll (46 first-place votes), followed by No. 2 Georgia (six first-place votes). Oregon moved into the third slot, past this week’s No. 4 Oklahoma. Penn State jumped from No. 10 to No. 6 after beating previously unbeaten Auburn in a SEC-Big Ten prime-time Saturday matchup.

UCLA and Virginia Tech dropped out of the poll after losses and were replaced by Michigan and BYU at No.15 and No. 16, respectively. The Wolverines and Cougars are in the poll for the first time this season.
 
The SEC led all conferences with five teams, followed by the Big Ten with four, the Big 12 with two and Independents with two. The ACC, American and Pac-12 had one each.

THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
Southern Mississippi at No. 1 Alabama
No. 2 Georgia at Vanderbilt
Arizona at No. 3 Oregon
West Virginia at No. 4 Oklahoma
Colorado State at No. 5 Iowa
Villanova at No. 6 Penn State
No. 7 Texas A&M vs. Arkansas (Arlington, TX)
No. 8 Clemson at North Carolina State
No. 9 Cincinnati is idle.
Akron at No. 10 Ohio State
Tennessee at No. 11 Florida
No. 12 Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin (Chicago)
No. 13 Mississippi is idle. 
No. 14 Iowa State at Baylor
Rutgers at No. 15 Michigan
USF at No. 16 BYU

ABOUT THE FWAA-NFF SUPER 16 POLL: The FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll was established at the conclusion of the 2013 season by long-time partners, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the National Football Foundation (NFF). Voters rank the top 16 teams in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, and the results will be released every Sunday of the 2021 season; the individual votes of all members will also be made public. The first regular season poll will be released on Tuesday, Sept. 7 (to account for Labor Day games), and the final poll will be released Sunday, Dec. 5. The pollsters consist of FWAA writers and College Football Hall of Famers who were selected to create a balanced-geographical perspective. The poll utilizes a computer program designed by Sports Systems to compile the rankings, and The JBoy Show is the official Media Partner of the poll.

ABOUT THE FWAA: Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and gameday operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive Director Steve Richardson at 214-870-6516 or tiger@fwaa.com.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION & COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME: Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. Learn more at http://www.footballfoundation.org and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @NFFNetwork.

2021 Best Writing Contest winners announced

The results for the 29th Annual FWAA Best Writing Contest presented by collegepressbox include one writer who claimed two first places and a total of five double placers.

Alex Scarborough of ESPN.com won first place in both Column and Enterprise; Glenn Guilbeau of USA Today took the Game Story category, and Dave Wilson of ESPN.com was tops in Feature.

Other double placers were Travis Hines of the Des Moines Register (second place and an honorable mention); Ryan McGee of ESPN.com (second place and an honorable mention); Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports (third place and an honorable mention); Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com (two honorable mentions), and Eric Hansen of the South Bend Tribune (two honorable mentions). 

First-place winners will receive game balls from Big Game and collegepressbox.  Finishers 1-3 receive cash prizes and certificates. Honorable mentions receive certificates. The first-place entries will be displayed in The Fifth Down.

Click on each first-place winner’s name below to read their stories. To go to a page with all the first-place stories, CLICK HERE.

GAME

First PlaceGlenn Guilbeau, USA TODAY

Second Place — Travis Hines, Des Moines Register

Third Place — Matt Baker, Tampa Bay Times

Honorable Mention — Ryan McGee, ESPN.com; Eric Hansen, South Bend Tribune; Dick Friedman, Harvard Magazine; Michael Lev, Arizona Daily Star/Tucson.com

FEATURE

First Place Dave Wilson, ESPN.com

Second Place — Andrea Adelson, ESPN.com

Third Place — David Jones, PennLive.com

Honorable Mention — Nate Mink, Syracuse Post-Standard; Ross Dellenger, Sports Illustrated; David Ubben,The Athletic

COLUMN

First PlaceAlex Scarborough, ESPN.com

Second Place — Ryan McGee, ESPN.com

Third Place — Reese Becker, Fifth Quarter

Honorable Mention — Eric Hansen, South Bend Tribune; Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com; Pete Thamel, Yahoo Sports

ENTERPRISE

First PlaceAlex Scarborough, ESPN.com

Second Place — Audrey Snyder, The Athletic

Third Place — Pete Thamel, Yahoo Sports

Honorable Mention — Travis Hines, Des Moines Register; Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com; Matt Fortuna, The Athletic

2021 Best Game Story: Glenn Guilbeau, USA Today Louisiana

By Glenn Guilbeau

USA TODAY Louisiana

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – On Saturday morning, LSU freshman reserve tight end Kole Taylor had one reception for three yards. 

By late Saturday night, Taylor had the most famous shoe in college football – a size 14 Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360, to be exact, that sells for $120 to $140.

It left a deep footprint all over LSU’s 37-34 upset of No. 6 and 22-point favorite Florida in the fog and mist of The Swamp.

Taylor, the No. 9 tight end in the nation from Central High in Grand Junction, Colorado, finally got some decent playing time. This was because starting tight end Arik Gilbert “opted out” for the rest of the season last week after a 55-17 loss to Alabama that dropped LSU to 3-5.

Taylor had two catches for seven yards going into a third-and-10 play in a 34-34 game with under two minutes to play. Freshman quarterback Max Johnson, who started for the first time, completed a short pass to Taylor, who was stopped by safety Tre’vez Johnson and cornerback Marco Wilson six yards short of the first down.

Florida would have nearly a minute and 30 seconds to attempt a drive for a game-winning field goal if LSU elected to punt. But something happened.

“I saw three flags on the ground,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. “And I was happy.”

In the process of that tackle, one of Taylor’s Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360s slipped off. Wilson picked it up and threw it more than 20 yards in celebration. Referee James Carter threw a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct. This gave LSU a first down at its 44-yard line with 1:24 to play and another chance.

If Taylor’s laces were tighter, LSU likely would have punted, and Florida could have driven to the winning score. But LSU equipment manager Greg Stringfellow inadvertently took care of that.

More…