DALLAS — The Football Writers Association of America has selected its sixth “Super 11” group of sports information departments deemed the best in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision for the 2014 season.
The winners: Auburn (SEC), Bowling Green (Mid-American Conference), Colorado (Pac-12), East Carolina (American Athletic Conference), Iowa State (Big 12), Nebraska (Big Ten), Pittsburgh (ACC), Rice (Conference USA) Rutgers (Big Ten), UNLV (Mountain West) and USC (Pac-12).
USC is a five-time winner of the award and Auburn, Bowling Green, Colorado, East Carolina, Nebraska, Pittsburgh and Rutgers are multiple winners. The committee honored Rutgers because of the exceptional work of former football Sports Information Director Jason Baum, who consistently provided exemplary service when he worked with the school’s athletic department.
New winners of the award are Iowa State, Rice and UNLV. Over the six-year period, the FWAA has honored 45 different schools.
Since the FWAA’s inception in 1941, one of the organization’s primary tasks has been to provide better working conditions for writers across the nation. Over the years, the FWAA has awarded press box commendations to deserving schools, as well as conduct ratings of sports information departments.
“We are cognizant there are many outstanding sports information departments across college football,” said Tim Griffin, the FWAA’s 2010 President and the Super 11 Committee chairman. “But as an organization, we’ve always felt it is important to honor the best of the best.
“These 11 departments have been consistently outstanding above and beyond the call of duty. It remains our commitment to continue to honor those departments who understand the demands of our jobs and strive to do what they can to help us on a consistent basis.”
Criteria employed in determining the winners not only included how press boxes and media operations were operated, but also the quality and timeliness of information provided. Also judged was the amount of information presented and appropriately updated on websites, and personal responsiveness to media inquiries as well as the accessibility of a program’s players, coaches and assistant coaches. The ratings also considered those departments that went the extra mile in servicing the media.
The Super 11 Committee received input from other FWAA members and others who covered college football during a period from Feb. 1, 2014 through Jan. 31, 2015.
“Our Super 11 awards are serious business,” said 2015 FWAA President Lee Barfknecht. “The FWAA never takes for granted the relationship between the sports information departments and our working members. At a time when that relationship at some places has become tense or fractured, we proudly salute the men and women at our winning schools who professionally handle the back-and-forth needed for all of us to do our jobs well.”
In January 2009, the FWAA formed the first Super 11 Committee. The concept has been supported and endorsed by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), many of whom are members of the FWAA.
The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,300 media members across North America who cover college football. The membership also includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards, a weekly poll and its annual All-America team.