Milt Tenopir, legendary O-Line coach at Nebraska, dies

Former Nebraska Offensive Line Coach Milt Tenopir, recipient of the inaugural Tom Osborne Legacy Award for contributions to line play, signs autographs at the Outland Trophy presentation banquet on Jan. 15 in Omaha.

Former Nebraska Offensive Line Coach Milt Tenopir, recipient of the inaugural Tom Osborne Legacy Award for contributions to line play, signed autographs at the Outland Trophy Presentation Banquet in January 2015.

Milt Tenopir, who coached some of college football’s most dominant offensive lines with Nebraska in the 1980s and ’90s, has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 76.

Tenopir won the first annual Tom Osborne Legacy Award in January 2015. The Award is presented at the Outland Trophy Presentation Banquet in Omaha to a person who has made great contribution to line play.

CLICK HERE to read the Associated Press obituary.

Former Nebraska Coach Tom Osborne recalled Tenopir as a great teacher who cared deeply about his players. CLICK HERE to read the entire story on Omaha.com.

 

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President’s column: The vanishing depth chart

This is starting to get ridiculous.

2016 FWAA President Mark Anderson

2016 FWAA President Mark Anderson

It was one thing when Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh didn’t have a flip card with a Wolverine two-deep roster on it in the press box before the home opener against Hawaii.  Now, he’s making it a habit for every home game.

But this isn’t just about Harbaugh.

It’s about the danger of a trend taking place when other coaches begin to believe it’s a good idea to never release a depth chart. That’s why it’s important to stand up to what’s happening in Ann Arbor and make sure it doesn’t spread nationwide.

And coaches need to release accurate depth charts, unlike the one Kansas distributed for its opener against Rhode Island. Eight players started despite not being listed on the first team, according to a story in the Lawrence Journal-World.

One or two is understandable. Coaches make late changes all the time based on a variety of factors, including injuries and tweaks to the game plan.

Not eight.

If a coach doesn’t want to release a depth chart during the week (hello, Jim Mora), we in the media won’t be happy about it, but that can at least be explained away as not wanting to give information to the opponent. But no credible reason can be given to not have a depth chart available shortly before kickoff on a flip card when there is no competitive advantage to be gained. The players already know their roles for that day.

The potential lack of flip cards in the press box also should be a concern for professional scouts and video crews _ not to mention the media, including the broadcasters for radio and television networks which pay millions in rights fees.

So what can be done?

Harbaugh has so much power that no one on Michigan’s campus is going to force him to have one.

We need outside help to make sure not only depth charts are released before kickoff, but that the information is genuine.

So we need the Division I Football Oversight Committee to not only implement rules to provide such depth charts, but to put real teeth in those rules. And while committee members are at it, establish some rules against coaches changing players’ numbers on a weekly basis. Confusion can reign.

A third area of concern is enforcing a rule already in place about the contrast between numbers and the color backgrounds of uniforms. The numbers in some of these combinations are increasingly difficult to identify.

Colorado visits Michigan this weekend, and the Buffaloes released their own tongue-in-cheek two-deep of celebrities and fictional characters. I do wonder about the decision to go with Bernie Sanders over Vladimir Lenin at free safety.

But even though you have to give Colorado credit for making light of the situation, the Buffs won’t release a two-deep because Michigan won’t do it. It’s a perfectly reasonable stance for Colorado to take.

One, however, the Buffs shouldn’t be forced to take.

Sound Mind Sound Body to sponsor FWAA Freshman All-America Team

The Football Writers Association of America is very excited and pleased to announce it has secured a sponsor for its 2016 Freshman All-America Team — Sound Mind Sound Body Football Academy.

The 16th annual 2016 FWAA Freshman All-America Team, presented by Sound Mind Sound Body Football Academy, will be announced at the association’s Annual Awards Breakfast on Jan. 9, 2017, at the College Football Playoff Media Hotel in Tampa, Fla. The FWAA’s First-Year Coach Award will also be revealed at that tifwaalogobigme.

“The FWAA Freshman All-America team is pleased to have Sound Mind Sound Body Football Academy on board as our sponsor,” said 2007 FWAA President Mike Griffith, who has administered the FWAA Freshman Team since its inception.soundmindsoundbody

“The camp, now in its 12th year, is a good representation of how prospective collegiate football student-athletes should be shaped and developed, with its emphasis on community and class room as well as football expertise,” said Griffith, a senior reporter/analyst with SECcountry.com.

Sound Mind Sound Body was established in Detroit in 2004 with the goal of increasing the number of youth who advance to colleges on scholarships, both academic and athletic.

Several of the nations top high school student-athletes have attended SMSB camps, including former FWAA Freshman All-Americas Malik McDowell of Michigan State and Devin Funchess of Michigan. Others include Jourdan Lewis of Michigan and 2015 Jim Thorpe Award winner and 2015 FWAA All-America Desmond King of Iowa.

“The Sound Mind Sound Body Football Academy presented by Adidas is honored to announce its partnership with the Football Writers Association of America,” said Curtis Blackwell, the Academy’s co-founder.  “Our partnership with the FWAA Freshman All-America team represents SMSB setting the bar for our campers to reach for the highest goals in their collegiate careers. The FWAA Freshman All-American team has been the first stop for several who have gone on to achieve greatness.”

The SMSB program will expand in 2017 and touch nearly 10,000 students. Camps will be held in Detroit, Los Angeles, Washington D.C, Houston, Atlanta, Toronto, Tampa, Charlotte, New Orleans, New York, Dallas, Phoenix,  Chicago and Ohio.

The FWAA’s Freshman Team is selected by a 10-person panel of nationally-prominent writers who represent each of the FBS conferences. Both true freshmen and redshirt freshmen are considered for the team. The pool of coaches for the First-Year Coach Award consists of those who are coaching in their first year at a school.

About the FWAA: The Football Writers Association of America, founded in 1941, consists of 1,400 men and women who cover college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at tiger@fwaa.com.