FWAA and NFF partner for fourth year on Super 16 Poll

Several of the most respected voices in college football will rank the top teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision weekly during the 2017 season.

 IRVING, Texas (Aug. 15, 2017) – The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that they will partner for the fourth consecutive year to conduct The FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll, the organizations’ weekly  major-college football poll.

The results will be released by 11:30 a.m. ET each Sunday of the 2017 regular season, and the plans include a preseason poll on Aug. 22. The first poll of the regular season will be released on Tuesday, Sept. 5, to account for the games that will be played on Labor Day. The final poll will be released Dec. 3, the day after the conference championship games.

“We are proud to continue our partnership with the FWAA on the Super 16 Poll,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “We received lots of positive feedback during the past three seasons from fans on how much they enjoyed the poll. We believe that our voters offer an extremely credible set of opinions, and we hope that the combined respect of both our organizations will continue to provide a compelling reference point for fans to follow during the season.”

The voters in the poll consist of FWAA writers and College Football Hall of Famers. The poll aims to draw on the vast knowledge of the nation’s top journalists with extensive experience covering college football in combination with some of the greatest legends to have ever played or coached the game.

“We are extremely excited to continue the Super 16 Poll and partner with the National Football Foundation,” said 2017 FWAA President David Jones, a voter in the poll. “We have had a great experience with the poll, and we look forward to extending it for another year. Our poll includes some of the most knowledgeable and objective college football minds in the country, and we believe it has developed into a compelling instrument for ranking the best teams in the country.”

The decision to conduct the poll was made by the boards of both organizations at the conclusion of the 2013 season and the end of the Bowl Championship Series, building on a relationship that stretches back to the 1940s when both groups were founded. The 2017 poll will tally the votes of 46 individuals (36 from the FWAA and 10 Hall of Famers) on a weekly basis, ranking the top 16 teams in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. Click here for an archive of previous year’s rankings.

The names and affiliations of the 2017 voters are listed below, and their individual rankings will again be made public each week during the season. The FWAA voters, all current or past writers of national stature, are selected to ensure balanced-geographical representation. The NFF voters, comprised of Hall of Fame players and coaches, also add to the diversity of perspectives, coming from different conferences and regions of the country.

2017 FWAA-NFF Super 16 Voters

Mark Anderson Las Vegas Review-Journal
Kevin Armstrong New York Daily News
Nicole Auerbach The All-American
Lee Barfknecht Omaha World-Herald
Zach Barnett FootballScoop.com
Tony Barnhart GridironNow.com
Mark Blaudschun TMG Sports
Chip Brown Scout.com/Horns Digest
Jon Finkel Beckett Media
Bryan Fischer Freelance
Pete Fiutak CollegeFootballNews.com/Campus Insiders
Matt Fortuna The All-American
Tommie Frazier 2013 College Football Hall of Fame Class – Nebraska
Teddy Greenstein Chicago Tribune
Andrew Greif The Oregonian
Mike Griffith AJC – SEC Country
Wally Hall Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Dan Harralson Saturday Down South
Tommy Hicks Freelance
Ron Higgins NoLa.com/The Times Picayune
Johnnie Johnson 2007 College Football Hall of Fame Class – Texas
Dave Jones PA Media Group
Cody Kellner Cody Kellner Points Index
Blair Kerkhoff Kansas City Star
Rachel Lenzi Land of 10
Stefanie Loh Seattle Times
Kelly Lyell Fort Collins Coloradoan
Kevin McGuire NBC Sports College Football Talk
Don McPherson 2008 College Football Hall of Fame Class – Syracuse
Chet Moeller 2010 College Football Hall of Fame Class – Navy
Matt Murschel Orlando Sentinel
Michael Payton 2015 College Football Hall of Fame Class – Marshall
Randy Peterson Des Moines Register
Bill Royce 2016 College Football Hall of Fame Class – Ashland (Ohio)
Barrett Sallee CBSSports.com
Pete Scantlebury Cox Media Group
Dan Sileo Mighty 1090 Radio
R.C. Slocum 2012 College Football Hall of Fame Class – Texas A&M coach
Phil Steele Phil Steele Publications
Patrick Stevens D1scourse.com
David Teel Newport News Daily Press
John Wagner Toledo Blade
Wesley Walls 2014 College Football Hall of Fame Class – Ole Miss
Dick Weiss Blue Star Media
Reggie Williams 2007 College Football Hall of Fame Class – Dartmouth
Scott Woerner 2016 College Football Hall of Fame Class – Georgia

2017 FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll Release Schedule

Aug. 22           Preseason Rankings

Sept. 5             Week 1 Rankings

Sept. 10           Week 2 Rankings

Sept. 17           Week 3 Rankings

Sept. 24           Week 4 Rankings

Oct. 1              Week 5 Rankings

Oct. 8             Week 6 Rankings

Oct. 15            Week 7 Rankings

Oct. 22            Week 8 Rankings

Oct. 29            Week 9 Rankings

Nov. 5             Week 10 Rankings

Nov. 12           Week 11 Rankings

Nov. 19           Week 12 Rankings

Nov. 26           Week 13 Rankings

Dec. 3              Final Rankings

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Hatchell to enter CU Athletic Hall of Fame

Longtime FWAA member Steve Hatchell, the President and CEO of the National Football Foundation, will be inducted into the 2017 CU Athletic Hall of Fame in November.

 

The following is the media release from CU.

 

Steve Hatchell, president and CEO of the National Football Foundation. Photo by Melissa Macatee.

BOULDER — The 13th class that will be inducted into the University of Colorado Athletic Hall of Fame this November 10 will feature 10 Golden Buffalo legends who are representative of eight sports in the school’s history, all of whom left indeliblemarks in their CU athletic careers.

The ten, two of whom will be honored posthumously, represent those eight different sports over a period that spans from the early 1940s to early last decade, covering seven different decades in all. Included in the group are a pair of football teammates from the ‘70s; two of CU’s standout female performers basketball and volleyball in the early 1990s; the school’s first

star skier; one of CU’s first high‐profile national recruits in men’s basketball; a national cross country individual champion; a longtime coach and state golfing legend; a member of three conference champion football teams who had an outstanding and lengthy career in the pros; and a man who rose from manager of the football team to several full‐time positions in the athletic  department before really making his mark nationally as one of the top administrators in college sports.

The 2017 class will be the 13th inducted into the Hall since it was conceived in 1998, and the 10 will join 91 individuals (and the 1959 ski team as a unit) who have been enshrined to date (12 have been honored previously after their deaths). Athletic director Rick George personally notified all eight living members of the upcoming class of their impending induction, as well as the next of kin for two deceased inductees, CU’s first three‐time All‐American in any sport, skier Frank  Brown, and longtime golf coach after lettering in the sport himself in Les Fowler.

The group will officially be inducted in the Hall of Fame on Friday, Nov. 10, in a luncheon ceremony at the CU Champions Center; will be featured in the Pearl Street Stampede parade that night; and then will be introduced at halftime of the CU‐ Southern California football game on Saturday, Nov. 11, to complete the weekend.

Those to be inducted:

  • Stan Brock, Football (1976-79)
  • Chad Brown, Football (1989-92)
  • Frank Brown, Skiing (1957-59)
  • Karrie Downey, Volleyball (1991-94)
  • Les Fowler, Golf & Golf Coach (1946-76)
  • Steve Hatchell, Football/Administration (1966-75)
  • Mark Haynes, Football (1976-79)
  • Jay Humphries, Basketball (1980-84)
  • Jamillah Lang, Women’s Basketball (1990-94)
  • Jorge Torres, Cross Country & Track (1999-2003)

All three football players were high selections in the National Football League Draft, as Haynes and Brock were first  round picks in 1980 (eighth and 12th overall, respectively), while Brown was a second‐rounder and 44th overall in the ’93 draft.

Humphries, along with Inglewood (Calif.) High School teammate Vince Kelley, were perhaps the first two high profile national recruits in men’s basketball, while Lang herself was a big‐time signee out of Washington High in Kansas City, Kan.

Downey was one of the early stars on CU’s fledgling volleyball team, joining the squad in its sixth year of existence and played a major role in the program taking a major step forward. Torres, on the other hand, was a key in helping the Buffs go from perennial conference champion to winning CU’s first men’s national cross country championship in 2001.

Hatchell started as a football team manager doing what they do – laundry, sizing equipment, fixing helmets –  to being an  assistant to the athletic director, the late Eddie Crowder, and being the right‐hand man to ski coach Bill Marolt at the front end of CU’s eight straight NCAA ski titles. After a short stint as co‐sports information director, he moved on to several high profile collegiate positions with the Big 8, Metro and Southwest conferences, with a run as the Orange Bowl’s executive director sprinkled in‐between, to where he is now, the top man with the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.

Frank Brown was an All‐American in both alpine and Nordic events three straight years, while Fowler starred as a golfer in the late 1940s and took over coaching the team in 1948 through his retirement midway during the 1976‐77 athletic year.

All inductees were nominated by their peers in the Alumni C‐Club or by members of the selection committee; 27  semifinalists emerged from over 60 names originally submitted over the last three years. There are now 101 members (plus the ’59 ski team, CU’s first national champions) in the CU Athletic HOF since its inception in 1998. An athlete must be at least 10 years removed from his or her CU career and retired from professional sports (teams) to be considered for induction.

With an induction every year instead of on a biennial basis as was the case for the first 16 years of the Hall, CU has been able to get more of those who are deserving of the recognition honored in a shorter time span with larger induction classes over the last four years.

 

Rice honors former Owl Matt Sign of NFF

Matt Sign, FWAA Board member from the National Football Foundation where he is the chief operating officer, was honored this past week at the Rice Spring Game. He is a former standout Rice football player.

For Immediate Release

Chuck Pool

cpool@rice.edu

713-348-5775

Cobb and Sign Selected as 2017 Honor Jerseys

Two mainstays of the current Rice football team will take to the field for the annual Blue-Gray spring game in new numbers as they honor a pair of standout teammates from the past as part of the Rice Owls Honor Jersey program.

Running back Samuel Stewart will switch to 45 this year to honor 1991 Doak Walker Award winner Trevor Cobb, while defensive tackle Preston Gordon wear 99 to honor Cobb’s teammate and two-time All –SWC noseguard Matt Sign.   

Cobb became the first Owl to win one of college football’s major individual awards when he received the 1991 Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back.  Cobb was a consensus All-American in 1991 and went on to be named the 1992 Southwest Conference Offensive Player of the Year.  He completed his  career ranked second on the SWC rushing list with 4,948 yards, which ranked eighth on the NCAA career list at that time and now ranks 22nd in NCAA history.

He became the first Owl to rush for over 1,000 yards in three seasons and holds the top three season totals in school history, capped by his 1,692 yards in 1991 during his run to the Doak Walker Award.  In addition to his yardage total, Cobb holds Rice season and career marks for rushing attempts (306/1,091), and all-purpose yards (6,512) in addition to the career mark for rushing touchdowns (38).

Despite his 5-10, 220 pound frame, Sign was a dominant defensive force during his career at Rice.  He led Rice linemen in tackles in each of his four seasons and he ranks fifth on the Rice career chart with 36 tackles for loss and sixth with 14 sacks. He won the Lipscomb Award in 1989 as the Outstanding Freshman and shared the first “Bloody Joe” Davis Award in 1991.

After starting his professional career with Florida Citrus Sports (FCS) which produced the Champs Sports Bowl and the Gridiron Classic College All-Star Game, Sign was named the Chief Operating Officer of the National Football Foundation in 2005.

The Honor Jersey program began in 2012, when Rice head coach David Bailiff first honored past notable Rice football players by having current member of the team who play the same position change numbers.  King Hill and O.J. Brigance were honored the first year.  In 2013, the Owls honored the first three African-American players at Rice (Rodrigo Barnes, Stahle Vincent and Mike Tyler) along with Bucky Allshouse, who was their recruiting host.   In 2014, Larry Izzo, N.D. Kalu and Richard Chapman were honored while in 2015; Jeff Rose and Dr. Leland Winston saw players change to their numbers. Last year, Ray Alborn, Donald Bowers and David Houser were honored.

Kickoff for the annual game to wrap up spring football drills is set for 8:00 p.m. Friday at Rice Stadium.

NFF publishes book on Mean Joe Greene by FWAA member Jon Finkel

The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today the first book, “Mean” Joe Greene: Built By Football, in its Football Matters’ “Built By Football” series. The book, which will be available April 3, can be preordered by clicking here.

“We are extremely excited about this new series, which will take an inside look at the marquee members of the College Football Hall of Fame,” said Steve Hatchell, NFF president & CEO. “The road to becoming a Hall of Famer produces so many amazing stories of those who overcame adversity and persevered. We knew that we needed to do more to capture these stories. We are extremely grateful to Hall of Famer Joe Greene and author Jon Finkel for their efforts on launching this series.”

“Mean” Joe Greene’s memoir is a master class in determination, domination and perseverance. For the first time ever, the College and Pro football hall of famer gives readers an unflinching look at his rise from high school bully-victim and bench warmer to University of North Texas legend and Pittsburgh Steelers icon. Many years before he would anchor the most-feared, most-successful defense the NFL had ever seen, Joe Greene was just a big, timid kid from Temple, Texas, struggling to find his confidence as a teenager being raised by a single mother.

“When I got to North Texas I was rough around the edges as a man and as a player,” said Joe Greene. “College helped polish me up a bit and then when I got to Pittsburgh my teammates helped me to continue to smooth things out. I’m a better person because of the men who coached me and the men I played with. I learned from them. I’d like to take this opportunity to pass along that knowledge.”

In his compelling, eye-opening autobiography, Greene takes readers on an unprecedented tour of his life, exploring the people who influenced him and the events that shaped him: from humiliating high school embarrassments to the grit and guts that led to four Super Bowl titles as a player.

Better known by his nickname “Mean Joe” Greene, Charles Edward Joseph Greene acquired his moniker as a reference to his school’s nickname, the University of North Texas Mean Green (then known as North Texas State). During his three seasons in Denton, the 6-4, 270-pound defensive tackle led the Mean Green to a 23-5-1 record. In his 29 games, the team held the opposition to 2,507 yards gained on 1,276 rushes. A per carry average of less than two yards per attempt. His collegiate coach, Rod Rust, said of the 1968 consensus All-America, “There are two factors behind Joe’s success. First, he has the ability to make the big defensive play and turn the tempo of a game around. Second, he has the speed to be an excellent pursuit player.”

A top prospect in the 1969 NFL Draft, Greene was selected fourth overall by the Steelers, and he would go on to become part of the “Steel Curtain” defense that won four Super Bowls in six years. He made 10 Pro Bowl appearances, and he twice earned NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors. He played 13 seasons in the NFL from 1969-81, appearing in 181 games. In 1979, he was named NFL Man of the Year.

After his playing career, Greene spent 16 years as an assistant coach before becoming a special assistant for player personnel with the franchise. During his time in player personnel, the franchise would claim two more Super Bowls, giving Greene a total of six rings. Both North Texas and the Steelers have retired his No. 75. He earned induction into the University of North Texas Hall of Fame in 1981, the College Football Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.

Jon Finkel, the co-author with Greene on the book, has written numerous books, which have been endorsed by everyone from Oscar-winner Spike Lee and NFL Hall of Famer Kurt Warner, to Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones and ArtofManliness.com founder Brett McKay. He has published with legends who have won a combined 14 Super Bowl titles, 25 NBA Championships, 4 NBA Slam Dunk contests and a Heisman Trophy. Visit www.jonfinkel.com for the latest news, book and social media information. He can be reached at: info@jonfinkel.com

INTERVIEW & BOOK REQUESTS: Scott Bedgood, media@footballmatters.org

ABOUT THE BOOK: Football Matters Publishing, Release Date, April 3rd 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9986273-0-4

Advance Praise for the Book

Mel Blount, NFL Hall of Famer

“I had the honor of playing with Joe Greene and sharing those great Steeler Super Bowl victories with him. I am convinced that none of them would have happened without Joe and his leadership. He was a great leader on the field and in the locker room. His desire to win and positive attitude were contagious. Because of his physical play he was known as “Mean” Joe Greene, but those of us who truly know Joe Greene know that he is a better person than he was a player and that’s saying a lot.”

Jon Kolb, 4x Super Bowl Champion

“I believe that my friend Mr. Joe Greene may be one of the “deepest” people that I’ve ever met. I sometimes get angry when people only refer to him as “Mean” Joe because they miss the complexity of the man. To view Joe as only a great football player is to miss the biggest part of a great man. I am glad he has agreed to do this book, as it comes at a time when real heroes are desperately needed.”

Franco Harris, Pro Football Hall of Famer

“By the time I was drafted by the Steelers, it was clear that Joe was the cornerstone of our team. With him in place, they drafted players to fit this new system and mentality. The results are now legendary, as we won four Super Bowls and the Steelers became the new standard of professional football. Yes, Joe was the spark that ignited it all, and as time passes, his role continues to shine brighter and brighter. There is no question in my mind that “Mean” Joe Greene is the greatest Steeler of all time!”

Dan Rooney, Owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, former US Ambassador

“Joe has been a good father to his three children, a good husband, and it has been wonderful to have Joe as a representative of the Steelers in all the ways he was involved with the team. He was still a young man when we became the team of the decade in the 70s. He had many achievements, playing in Super Bowls, Pro Bowls, and all the best recognitions. He was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987. However, he was not interested in the accolades. He was focused on being the best.”

About FootballMatters.org

FootballMatters.org, launched in 2014, is an initiative of the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF). The site is the NFF’s home for telling stories that promote amateur football and highlight the good in the game. Through social round-ups, behind-the-scenes captains videos, exclusive interviews with Hall of Famers, and features that include I’m A Football Player, Football Moms and Leaders Beyond the Field, FootballMatters.org showcases the many areas of life that football impacts. Visit www.FootballMatters.org.

 

 

Maisel gets place in NFF’s Bert McGrane display 2

 

Ivan Maisel, the 2016 Bert McGrane Winner, recently was presented the plate with his name on it to be placed in the Bert McGrane Award display which is housed at the National Football Foundation offices in Irving, Texas. Maisel, the 1995 FWAA President, was presented a larger commemorative plaque last January at the FWAA Annual Awards Breakfast. He will be featured in a story in the NFF Banquet Program in December. Each year the FWAA honors a member in recognition of contributions to the association and college football in the name of the former FWAA Executive Director. The honoree is also recognized in the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. (Photo Courtesy of NFF)

Ivan Maisel, the 2016 Bert McGrane Winner, recently was presented the plate with his name on it to be placed in the Bert McGrane Award display which is housed at the National Football Foundation offices in Irving, Texas. Maisel, the 1995 FWAA President, was presented a larger commemorative plaque last January at the FWAA Annual Awards Breakfast. He will be featured in a story in the NFF Banquet Program in December. Each year the FWAA honors a member in recognition of contributions to the association and college football in the name of the former FWAA Executive Director. The honoree is also recognized in the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. (Photo Courtesy of NFF)

National Football Foundation details rule changes for 2016 season

As the 2016 season draws near, the National Football Foundation has partnered with Rogers Redding, the national coordinator of College Football Officiating, to generate awareness for rule changes in college football.

Changes for the upcoming season involve:

  • Blocking Below the Waist
  • Input From a Medical Observer
  • Low Hits on the Passer
  • Outcome of a Suspended Game
  • Scrimmage Kick Formation
  • Sliding Ball Carrier: Defenseless Player
  • Starting the Clock Near the End of a Half
  • Targeting: An Expanded Role for Instant Replay
  • Tripping the Ball Carrier
  • TV Access Inside the Limit Lines
  • Unsportsmanlike Conduct by a Coach
  • Use of Technology for Coaching
  • Experimental Rule:  Collaboration in Instant Replay

Click here to see a release from the NFF providing detail about each of these rule changes.

National Football Foundation seeks freelance writers for FootballMatters.org

Call for Football Writing Talent: FootballMatters.org

The National Football Foundation’s flagship media property, FootballMatters.org, is looking to expand its writing staff for the upcoming 2016 college football season.

Created by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, FootballMatters.org is an online destination dedicated to promoting the power of amateur football through exclusive features, columns, interviews, videos, special reports and series’, as well as breaking news, award announcements and original Hall of Fame content.

FootballMattersNEW1

The mission of FootballMatters.org is to focus on the stories that evoke the qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, competitive zeal, character building and the drive for academic excellence that exemplifies many of the young men who play football and the families who support them.

Writers for FootballMatters.org will produce stories from all levels of college and high school football. You will be comfortable interviewing everyone from head coaches and athletic directors of the largest college programs on down to football moms at the small high schools. Our goal is to combine compelling writing, storytelling and interviewing with engaging topics that promote the good in the game of football.

Writers are expected to pitch 2-3 stories a week, as well as have an interest in covering one of the prime feature wells.

Ideal candidates will have extensive knowledge of amateur football, have a strong list of bylines, be very active on social media and be comfortable meeting deadlines. Recent college graduates with school paper experience are encouraged to apply.

This is a paid, freelance position.

Writers interested please send a cover letter, resume and links to relevant samples to: info@footballmatters.org.

 

Photo gallery: FWAA Past Presidents Dinner

Ten former presidents of the FWAA attended the annual Past Presidents Dinner on Jan. 8, 2016, at the Paradise Valley County Club outside Phoenix, Ariz.

The dinner was sponsored by the National Football Foundation and the American Sports Network.

Ohio State is pre-season No. 1 in FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll

ffaw_redesignDefending national champion Ohio State leads all teams by a large margin to claim the top spot in the Super 16 preseason poll released by the Football Writers Association of America and the National Football Foundation.

The Buckeyes were the top selection on 38 of the 40 ballots cast by the voters.

The Big 12 have two teams in the Top 16, with TCU and Baylor occupying the second and fourth spots in the poll, respectively. TCU received one first-place vote.

Alabama, the team the Buckeyes defeated in one of the two 2014 College Football Playoff Semifinals, is third in the poll, sandwiched in between the two Big 12 schools. The Crimson Tide received the other first-place vote.

Oregon, which lost to Ohio State in the national title game last season, is fifth in the initial poll.

The SEC leads all leagues with five teams in the poll, followed by the Pac-12 with four. The ACC, Big 12 and Big Ten have two teams each. Independent Notre Dame has the other vote.

Click here to see the entire poll.