Six linemen named semifinalists for 2021 Outland Trophy

OMAHA – Six semifinalists for the 2021 Outland Trophy – five offensive linemen and one defensive tackle – were announced Wednesday by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee. The semifinalists come from six schools at three different positions representing three different conferences.

The 2021 Outland Trophy is awarded annually to the nation’s best college interior lineman on offense or defense. The All-America Committee of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) selected the semifinalists from nominations by the entire membership.

The field for the 2021 Outland Trophy is as follows: defensive tackle Jordan Davis of Georgia, offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu of North Carolina State, offensive tackle Darian Kinnard of Kentucky, center Tyler Linderbaum of Iowa, offensive tackle Evan Neal of Alabama and offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere of Ohio State.

All six schools represented by the semifinalists have a previous winner and combine for 17 all-time Outland Trophy winners.

The FWAA began naming semifinalists for the Outland Trophy in the 2013 season. These six semifinalists will be pared to three finalists on Tues., Nov. 23 and the recipient of the 2021 Outland Trophy will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards, live on ESPN on Thurs., Dec. 9. The official presentation to the winner will be made at the Outland Trophy Awards Dinner sponsored by Werner Enterprises and produced by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee in Omaha, Neb., on Jan. 12, 2022.

Here is a closer look at each of the semifinalists:

Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia (#99, 6-6, 340, Sr., Charlotte, N.C.): The only defensive player among the six semifinalists, Davis is the most dominant defensive tackle in college football for top-ranked Georgia (10-0). The Bulldogs own the nation’s second-best total defense giving up 247 yards per game and with Davis anchoring the interior line own the nation’s second-best rushing defense (78.1 ypg). Georgia is the national scoring defense leader (7.6 ppg) by more than a touchdown and has not given up more than 17 points in any game. Nobody has been able to run on Davis. Georgia has an Outland Trophy tradition on the defensive front. Now with Davis, the Bulldogs have had two defensive tackle semifinalists in the past three seasons along with Andrew Thomas in 2019. The Bulldogs’ lone Outland Trophy winner was also a defensive tackle, Bill Stanfill, in 1968.

Ikem Ekwonu, OT, North Carolina State (#79, 6-4, 320, So., Charlotte, N.C.): Ekwonu has been ranked as the top run blocker in college football by Pro Football Focus and has more than 56 pancake blocks and 18 knockdowns for the Wolfpack (7-3). He has earned the ACC Offensive Line Player of the Week twice this season. Protecting quarterback Devin Leary at left tackle, Ekwonu and N.C. State are 19th nationally in passing offense at 291.1 yards per game, fifth in the ACC and 11th among Power 5 schools. Leary is 14th nationally in passing yards at 288.3 ypg. “He’s nasty. He’s athletic. He’s big,” said Tim Hasselbeck of the ACC Network. Bruce Feldman of The Athletic calls him the most feared lineman in the ACC. “Ridiculous strength levels, athleticism and will to finish,” said Jordan Reid of ESPN. N.C. State now has two semifinalists within the past four seasons, including center Garrett Bradbury from 2018. The Wolfpack’s lone Outland Trophy winner was at center, Jim Ritcher, in 1979.

Darian Kinnard, OT, Kentucky (#70, 6-5, 338, Sr., Knoxville, Tenn.): One of the top offensive linemen in the Southeastern Conference for a much-improved offense from a year ago. Kinnard has started at right tackle in the past 36 games for Kentucky (7-3) since the end of the 2018 season. The Wildcats’ resurgence this season is built around its run game, which boasts its 10th all-time 1,000-yard rusher in a season in Chrstiopher Rodriguez Jr., who led the SEC in rushing for the first half of the season and is currently second at 1,032 yards with six touchdowns. Kentucky, which has clinched second place in the SEC East, is tied for sixth in the SEC in rushing at 186.3 ypg. Kinnard is Kentucky’s first Outland semifinalist. Offensive tackle Bob Gain won the fifth Outland Trophy in 1950.

Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa (#65, 6-3, 290, Jr., Solon, Iowa): Linderbaum is one of the dominant linemen at his position for the Hawkeyes (8-2). He was the Second Team FWAA All-America center a year ago. The junior has started all 31 career games after playing on the defensive line as a true freshman. He moved to the offensive line following the 2018 regular season, and this season has a 94.8 offensive grade among centers by PFF, the best for a center since 2014. Iowa’s run game has improved, as Tyler Goodson needs 187 rushing yards in the final two games to become Iowa’s first 1,000-yard-season rusher since 2017. Iowa has now had a semifinalist in two of the last three seasons along with offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs in 2019. The Hawkeyes have four Outland Trophy winners in their past, most recently offensive tackle Brandon Scherff in 2014, who is also the Big Ten’s last Outland winner. Offensive tackle Robert Gallery (2003), tackle Alex Karras (1957) and guard Calvin Jones (1955) are other winners. The last center to win the Outland came in 2005 from the Big Ten, Greg Eslinger of Minnesota.

Evan Neal, OT, Alabama (#73, 6-7, 350, Jr., Okeechobee, Fla.): Slimmed down to 350 pounds to increase mobility, Neal has gained explosive speed and great reach. The FWAA Freshman All-America selection as a true freshman in 2019 settled in at left tackle this season after playing all along the offensive line previously for second-ranked Alabama (9-1), which is in the top 10 in offense in scoring offense (3rd, 44.6 ppg), total offense (10th, 484.7 ypg) and passing offense (11th, 322.6 ypg). Neal’s protection has helped quarterback Bryce Young to 302.5 passing yards per game, 13th nationally. The Crimson Tide claim last year’s Outland Trophy winner, offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood, and three of the last five winners from both sides of the ball. Quinnen Williams, a defensive tackle, won in 2018, and offensive tackle Cam Robinson won the 2016 award. Five of the Tide’s six winners have been offensive tackles. Alabama’s six Outland winners are second-most all-time to Nebraska’s nine.

Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State (#78, 6-5, 315, Jr., Tampa, Fla.): Regarded as the top offensive lineman on a Buckeyes front considered one of the nation’s best. He has built up his weight as his playing time increased, now weighing 315 pounds without losing his nimbleness for Ohio State (9-1). Petit-Frere started 18 of his 31 career games for the Buckeyes, who this season are tops in the nation in scoring offense (46.3 ppg), total offense (550.4 ) and sixth in passing offense (353.6 ypg). The line has provided big holes for explosive gains – running back TreVeyon Henderson is tied for third nationally in runs of 40 yards or more with six and has eight runs of 30-plus yards. Petit-Frere is the Buckeyes’ first Outland semifinalist since center Billy Price in 2017. Ohio State has four Outland winners in its past, started off by guard Jim Parker in 1956. Middle guard Jim Stillwagon (1970) and offensive tackles John Hicks (1973) and Orlando Pace (1996) have won it since.

The Outland Trophy is the third-oldest major college football award behind the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award. Created in 1946 when Dr. John Outland presented the FWAA with a financial contribution to initiate the award, the Outland Trophy has been given to the best interior lineman in college football ever since. Dr. Outland, an All-American at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1890s, eventually took up practice in Kansas City, Mo. An avid outdoorsman, Dr. Outland believed linemen did not get the credit they deserved and wanted an award to recognize them.

The Outland Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 24 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about our story.

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.

Related links:
• Preseason Watch List | Semifinalists | Finalists
• All-time Outland Trophy winners, candidates
• Download 75th Anniversary Outland Trophy logo: Primary (.jpg) | Dark background (.jpg) | Illustrator (.ai)

FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll, Week 11

Week 11: Games Played Through November 13, 2021

TEAMPOINTSFIRST-PLACE VOTESLAST WEEK’S RANK
1.Georgia (10-0)832521
2.Alabama (9-1)7512
3.Oregon (9-1)6796
4.Cincinnati (10-0)6784
5.Ohio State (9-1)6705
6.Michigan State (9-1)5338
7.Michigan (9-1)5119
8.Notre Dame (9-1)4787
9.Oklahoma State (9-1)44310
10.Ole Miss (8-2)31112
11.Oklahoma (9-1)2853
12.Baylor (8-2)283N/A
13.Wake Forest (9-1)23713
14.BYU (8-2)10714
15.UTSA (10-0)7315
16.Texas A&M (7-3)5411

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Wisconsin (43), Iowa (34), Pittsburgh (28), Houston (15), Utah (6), Coastal Carolina (6), San Diego State (6), Louisiana (3), Mississippi State (3), Arkansas (2), Purdue (1).

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

NOTES:
The top two teams remained the same in the poll with SEC powerhouses Georgia and Alabama 1-2, possibly heading to a showdown in the league’s title game in early December. Georgia claimed all 52 first-place votes for a fifth straight week.

But No. 3 Oklahoma suffered its first loss of the season at Baylor and fell all the way to No. 11.  Oregon moved up three spots, replacing the Sooners in the third spot ahead of No. 4 Cincinnati. The Bearcats were followed by Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan and Notre Dame, in that order.

Texas A&M lost at Ole Miss and fell from 11th to 16th. By virtue of its upset of the Sooners. Baylor entered the poll at No. 12. Iowa fell out of the poll despite beating Minnesota.

The SEC had four teams in the poll, followed by the Big 12  and Big Ten, which had three each. The Independents had two, and the American, Atlantic Coast, Conference USA and Pac-12  had one each.

THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE:
Charleston Southern at No. 1 Georgia
Arkansas at No. 2 Alabama
No. 3 Oregon at Utah
SMU at  No. 4 Cincinnati
No. 6 Michigan State at No. 5 Ohio State 
No. 7 Michigan at Maryland
Georgia Tech at No. 8 Notre Dame
No. 9 Oklahoma State at Texas Tech
Vanderbilt at No. 10 Ole Miss
Iowa State at No. 11 Oklahoma
No. 12 Baylor at Kansas State
No. 13 Wake Forest at Clemson
No. 14 BYU at Georgia Southern
UAB at  No. 15 UTSA
Prairie View 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. 

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.

Nebraska’s Jackson named recipient of 2021 Armed Forces Merit Award

FORT WORTH, Texas — University of Nebraska defensive linebacker and military veteran Damian Jackson has been selected as the 10th recipient of the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).

Coordinated by the staff at the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, theArmed Forces Merit Award presented by the FWAA was created in June 2012 “to honor an individual and/or a group within the realm of the sport of football.”

Brant Ringler, executive director of the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, and Heather Dinich, FWAA president, announced Jackson as the recipient Wednesday during a teleconference.  Jackson was selected from a list of 31 nominations (28 individuals and three programs) as the 2021 recipient by a nine-person committee made up of FWAA members and Bowl officials.

Damian Jackson

“Damian has distinguished himself as a collegiate football player after serving four years in the Navy,” said Ringler.  “Damian’s off-the-field involvement at Nebraska has been remarkable and we have followed his progress in Lincoln for the past three seasons since he was also a finalist for the Armed Forces Merit Award in 2019.”

Dinich added: “Jackson joins a list of remarkable individuals and programs that have been recipients of the Armed Forces Merit Award.  With so many deserving individuals and programs, it is difficult to honor only one recipient annually.”

Jackson has been a valuable producer for the Husker defense in 2021, serving as a backup linebacker for the Blackshirts after moving from the defensive line.  He played in Nebraska’s first nine games, totaling a season-high two tackles and a quarterback hurry in the win over Northwestern.

Jackson, who did not play high school football, was a Navy SEAL for four years before walking on to the Husker program in 2017.  He has played in the Huskers’ last 15 games dating back to the 2020 season.

Off the field, Jackson is a Child, Youth and Family Studies major who is on track to graduate this December and has been on the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll seven times.  He has been involved with the Nebraska Football Road Race and a Day of Service, while also participating in local hospital visits.

Earlier this fall, Jackson was featured in a remembrance video on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  He will also be featured this Saturday on ESPN’s GameDay telecast.

“It is an honor to have Damian be a part of our football team and a representative of Nebraska Football, said head coach Scott Frost.  “Damian has brought accountability, leadership and toughness to our team and helped instill those same qualities in his teammates. His incredible drive and tenacity have allowed him to become a contributor to our football team despite not playing high school football.  His impact on our program, combined with his service and sacrifice for our country make him a worthy recipient of the Armed Forces Merit Award.”

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.

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.

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 400 hours of live programming, reaches 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.

Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA, http://www.sportswriters.net) 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.

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FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll, Week 10

Week 10: games played through Nov. 6, 2021

TEAMPOINTSFIRST-PLACE VOTESLAST WEEK’S RANK
1.Georgia (9-0)832521
2.Alabama (8-1)731 2
3.Oklahoma (9-0)681 4
4.Cincinnati (9-0)659 3
5.Ohio State (8-1)640 6
6.Oregon (8-1)634 7
7.Notre Dame (8-1)463 8
8.Michigan State (8-1)440 5
9.Michigan (8-1)427 10
10.Oklahoma State (8-1)398 11
11.Texas A&M (7-2)353 12
12.Ole Miss (7-2)204 15
13.Wake Forest (8-1)168 9
14.BYU (8-2)104 N/A
15.UTSA (9-0)80 16
16.Iowa (7-2)44 N/A

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Baylor (39), Auburn (35), Houston (25), NC State (22), Wisconsin (22), Pittsburgh (21), Purdue (15), Coastal Carolina (10), Utah (7), Penn State (6), Louisiana (4), Arkansas (4), SMU (3), San Diego State (1).

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

NOTES:
This week’s Super16 Poll marks the 100th edition, all-time, generated by the FWAA and NFF.

For the fourth straight week, Georgia was a unanimous No. 1, followed by Alabama, Oklahoma and Cincinnati, in that order. The Bearcats dropped a spot after struggling to defeat Tulsa and were replaced at No. 3 by the idle Oklahoma Sooners.

Previously undefeated Michigan State lost at Purdue and dropped three spots to No. 8. Another undefeated team, Wake Forest, lost at North Carolina and fell  four spots to No. 13. Baylor and Auburn both lost road games and dropped out of the poll and were replaced by BYU and Iowa.

The Big Ten and SEC led all conferences with four teams each. The Big 12 and Independents had two teams each in the poll. The American, ACC, Conference USA and Pac-12 had one each. 

THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE:
No. 1 Georgia at Tennessee
New Mexico State at No. 2 Alabama
No. 3 Oklahoma at Baylor
No. 4 Cincinnati at USF (Friday)
Purdue at No. 5 Ohio State
Washington State at No. 6 Oregon
 No. 7 Notre Dame at Virginia
Maryland at No. 8 Michigan State
No. 9 Michigan at Penn State
TCU at No. 10 Oklahoma State
No. 11 Texas A&M at No. 12 Ole Miss
North Carolina State at No 13 Wake Forest
No. 14 BYU is idle
Southern Mississippi at No.15 UTSA
Minnesota at No. 16 Iowa

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 9

Week 9: games played through October 30, 2021

TEAMPOINTSFIRST-PLACE VOTESLAST WEEK’S RANK
1.Georgia (8-0)832521
2.Alabama (7-1)725 2
3.Cincinnati (8-0)695 3
4.Oklahoma (9-0)670 4
5.Michigan State (8-0)630 7
6.Ohio State (7-1)612 5
7.Oregon (7-1)530 8
8.Notre Dame (7-1)416 11
9.Wake Forest (8-0)392 12
10.Michigan (7-1)376 6
11.Oklahoma State (7-1)292 14
12.Texas A&M (6-2)246 15
13.Baylor (7-1)223 N/A
14.Auburn (6-2)217 N/A
15.Ole Miss (6-2)85 9
16.UTSA (8-0)27 N/A

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: BYU (24), Iowa (23), Houston (16), Kentucky (13), Penn State (10), Coastal Carolina (6), San Diego State (3), Wisconsin (3), Appalachian State (1), Utah (1), Louisiana (1), SMU (1), NC State (1), Arkansas (1).

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

NOTES:
Georgia remained atop the poll with all 52 first-place votes for a third straight week, following a dominant 34-7 victory over Florida and clinching the SEC East Division title. Assured a spot in the SEC Championship game, the Bulldogs could face a showdown with No. 2 Alabama in Atlanta in early December.

Kentucky’s loss at Mississippi State enabled Georgia to clinch the SEC East, while the Wildcats dropped out of the poll along with Pittsburgh (a loser to Miami [FL]) and Iowa (a loser to Wisconsin).

Baylor, Auburn and UTSA entered the poll for the first time this season. It is UTSA’s first appearance in its history.

The top four teams remained the same as a week ago. Michigan State moved up to No. 5 after its dramatic victory over Michigan. The Wolverines fell four spots to No. 10 after losing to their archrival. Ole Miss dropped six spots to No. 15 after losing at Auburn.

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

THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE:
Missouri at No. 1 Georgia
LSU at  No. 2 Alabama
Tulsa at No. 3 Cincinnati
Oklahoma is idle
No. 5 Michigan State at Purdue
No. 6 Ohio State at Nebraska
No. 7 Oregon at Washington
Navy at No. 8 Notre Dame
No. 9 Wake Forest at North Carolina
Indiana at No. 10 Michigan
No. 11 Oklahoma State at West Virginia
No. 14 Auburn at No. 12 Texas A&M
No. 13 Baylor at TCU
Liberty at No. 15 Ole Miss
No. 16 UTSA at UTEP

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 8

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

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

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.