President’s column: 2015 directory an invaluable resource

ffaw_redesignOMAHA  Members of the Football Writers Association of America are in the process of receiving a piece of pure gold.

That’s how strongly I feel about the value of our annual directory: 250 pages of precious information to help all of us work smarter and faster. This book will pay dividends on your membership fee over and over and over again.

FWAA 2015 President Lee Barfknecht.

FWAA 2015 President Lee Barfknecht.

Don’t just toss this gem aside when it arrives. Place it in your workbag immediately. The contact information from fellow members is invaluable. The names, addresses and cell numbers of sports information directors are there in an easy-to-read-and-find format. Need to contact a beat writer or a play-by-play announcer for a bit of background? That’s there, too. Also, calendars detailing the dates of various games, awards and meetings are included. And it’s in this one spot. You don’t waste time sifting through multiple websites looking for what you need. Practice schedules, times and contact information for weekly teleconferences and lists of all-time award winners are all there, too. A special addition this year is our 75th Anniversary All-America Team.

As a member, you have online access to the guide, too.

If you get a chance, offer a big thank you to Executive Director Steve Richardson and Editor Ted Gangi and our friends at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic for their toil on this important project. One more thing: show the directory to someone who isn’t a member. Hopefully, he or she will see what they are missing and want to join.

Super 16 Poll

For the second straight year, the FWAA and the National Football Foundation are partnering to conduct a weekly poll  the FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll of the best teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

The FWAA-NFF Super 16 Preseason Poll was released on Aug. 11, with defending national champion Ohio State starting 2015 on top. After the first regular-season poll (on Tuesday Sept. 8), the poll will be released every Sunday at 11:30 a.m. ET. The final poll will be revealed Dec. 6, the day after the conference championship games.

We are into transparency. All voters will have all votes revealed. Our voting list consists of current FWAA members, College Football Hall of Famers and NFF Board Members.

Please help us promote the poll in your writings and broadcasts when appropriate. We hope, at the very least, FWAA members run the weekly poll in their media outlets.

This should be another wild and newsworthy college football season. We have our highly favored preseason No. 1 (Ohio State), HarbaughMania at Michigan, the TCU-Baylor tussle in the Big 12, the post-Marcus Mariota period in the Pac-12, the usual intrigue in the SEC plus countless other storylines to follow.

For all of us weary of preseason prattle, let the games begin. May we all have safe travels and interesting coverage.