Monday's Chalktalk

McNeese State Football Players to the Rescue

Several McNeese State football players took immediate first aid and rescue action when a school bus overturned during a rainstorm in Lake Charles, La., last Wednesday. The MSU players were in cars and trucks en route to an indoor practice at Burton Coliseum when they came upon the scene of the accident. McNeese players helped pull youngsters from a nearby elementary school from the bus, and other MSU football team members assisted grade schoolers into a truck and took them to the coliseum where MSU trainer Jim Murphy administered first aid and comfort to the stunned children.

BCS News

The second BCS Standings of 2007, released nationally by The National Football Foundation, was released on Sunday. Ohio State remains at the No. 1 spot for the second straight week. Boston College, LSU, Arizona State and Oregon round out the top five. Previously unranked Connecticut, Alabama and Penn State grabbed the last three spots in the standings, while Tennessee (No. 21), Cincinnati (No. 23) and Texas Tech (No. 24) dropped from the rankings.

Cincinnati QB Ben Mauk is the most recent nominee for the FedEx Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award. The senior transferred to Cincinnati after graduating from Wake Forest. He is playing with three pins in the shoulder and eight attaching a steel rod to his humerus bone... The Orange Bowl Committee named Michael Saks its chief operating officer.

The Sugar Bowl is inviting football fans to post thoughts on the new Sugar Bowl Memories Forum. The memories will be a part of a new Historic New Orleans Collection exhibit entitled Classic! A Celebration of Sugar Bowl Memories at the Williams Gallery.

Dusty Gibbs was named the Rose Queen for the 2008 Tournament of Roses.

NFF News

The National Football Foundation will announce the 2007 National Scholar-Athlete Class and Draddy Finalists this Thursday, Oct. 25. Each finalists will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, and the Draddy winner will receive a $25,000 postgraduate scholarship.

Recent voting for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award reveals that 15 of the top 25 vote getters for this honor are also ranked as leading contenders in the BCS top 25 standings. The Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, the only college football award where fans play a role in the outcome, recognizes coaches who demonstrate responsibility and integrity on and off the field. One coach from each college football division will be honored and receive $50,000 to donate to charities of his choice. The winning coach's alumni association will also receive $20,000. Voting for the award can be done online at www.coachoftheyear.com.

The NFF has announced five exceptional individuals as the recipients of the 2007 NFF Chapter Leadership Awards, which annually recognize five individuals, one from each region, for their commitment, generosity and leadership at the local level.

They are Michael (Mickey) Heinecken - Northeast Region (Vermont Chapter); Christopher Kearney - Midwest Region (Chicago Metro Chapter); Bill Sprinkle - West Region (Montana Chapter); Chris Vaughan - South Region (TD Club of Houston Chapter); Ed Watto - East Region (Lehigh Valley Chapter).

The NFF is also highlighting 32 new schools that have joined Play It Smart, the NFF's highly successful program for at-risk student-athletes in underserved areas, for the 2007-08 school year. New schools were selected based on need and their commitment to the principles of the program. Several of the new schools came on board based on support received from a local organization or the local school board. In Atlanta, Ga., eight schools were added because of an annual commitment of $180,000 from the Chick-fil-A Bowl. In Dallas, Texas, the Dallas Independent School District funded academic coach positions at six of its schools.

The College Football Hall of Fame is hosting its fourth annual Community Day on Saturday, Oct. 27. The event, which is free of charge, will include giveaways, interactive activities, face painting, and a raffle for a pair of Nov. 3 Notre Dame-Duke football tickets. Football Fridays continued last weekend at the Hall of Fame, for Southern California's trip to South Bend, a special autograph session with former star OT Aaron Taylor.

The Commonwealth (Va.) Chapter of the NFF and the City of Petersburg, Va., will co-host the seventh annual East Coast Bowl on Nov. 24.

Two-Minute Drill

Washington State has broken its school record for combined season tickets and sports passes admissions for 2007 football with 25,526... The overflow crowd of 23,287 for Eastern New Mexico at West Texas A&M is an all-time Division II on-campus record... Central Michigan and Georgia have slated a game for the 2008 season... Rutgers drew a Rutgers Stadium record crowd of 44,267 for its upset triumph over USF last Thursday on ESPN... Connecticut's football unit and Student- Athletes Advisory Committee are holding the school's annual winter clothing drive for local shelters during the UConn-USF encounter Saturday... Arkansas fans are voting online to determine which Halloween costumes ace RBs Darren McFadden and Felix Jones (averaging just under 250 rushing yards each outing between them) will wear to class and practice on Oct. 31. Donations will be made to the Boys and Girls Clubs as a result of the online contest... Coach Craig Bohl's North Dakota State team, a transitional FCS member, beat its second FBS team (Central Michigan and Minnesota) in as many tries last weekend... Missouri held its historic 97th Homecoming celebration last weekend - believed to the most Homecomings celebrated by FBS members... Colorado may retire current live buffalo mascot Ralphie IV as early as the regular-season finale against Nebraska on Nov. 23. Ralphie V is waiting in the wings... Three Marine brothers celebrated a special Homecoming for Navy last week against Wake Forest. The youngest, Matt Wimsatt (future Marine officer), is a senior linebacker for the 2007 Midshipmen. 2000 Navy co-captain Brad Wimsatt, an AV-8B Harrier pilot, was part of a pregame flyover. The third brother, Andrew Wimsatt, will be watching from the stands after playing football at NC State, enlisting in the Marines and now serving as a Cobra attack helicopter pilot... Florida State safety Myron Rolle was a special media correspondent for the Jim Rome Show on ESPN Radio last Friday... Nebraska named Dr. Tom Osborne (1999 College Football Hall of Fame coach) interim athletics director... In the largest single gift to Minnesota athletics, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is donating $10 million for the Gophers' new $288 million football stadium. The community will get naming and landscaping rights to the stadium's main plaza... Wisconsin-Superior and Texas-San Antonio have agreed to terms with The Team Collegiate Services Division for revenue generation and UTSA's football feasibility study... The Rotary Lombardi Trophy designated its 12 semifinalists at the award's annual kickoff dinner in Houston last week.

2006 NFF Co-Gold Medal recipients coaches Bobby Bowden (370-113-4) of Florida State and Penn State's Joe Paterno (369- 123-3) are headed for another late-season statistical showdown for all-time wins' leadership among FBS mentors. They are currently No.1 and No.2 in FBS career annals... Kentucky head coach Rich Brooks joins football star Willie West as inductees into the University of Oregon Athletics Hall of Fame on Nov. 2-3... Central Michigan recently dedicated the Dick Enberg Academic Center in honor of its Emmy Award- winning broadcaster alumnus and the official spokesperson for the ESPN the Magazine CoSIDA Academic All-America Teams and Academic Hall of Fame... Brigham Young formally placed TE Chad Lewis into the school's Athletics Hall of Fame last Friday... Purdue's 12th annual Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame class sported Darrel "Pete" Brewster, Felix Mackiewicz and Ned Maloney. They were introduced at halftime of the Purdue- Iowa contest... Missouri's 2007 Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame group includes football great Conrad Goode, who joined his father Conrad Hitcher in the MUIAHOF... Southeastern Louisiana honored football's Mac Faul and trainer Doc Goodwin in last week's Athletics Hall of Fame festivities... Newest members of the University of Chicago Sports Hall of Fame are gridmen College Football Hall of Fame member RB Clarence Herschberger and WR-KR Derrick Brooms... Amherst dedicated the Professor James E. Ostendarp Bronze Plaque Memorial on campus to honor the school's winningest all-time football coach... Wyoming football equipment room volunteer and student Mark Bock is one of the recipients of the Admiral Land Award and Trophy - traditionally presented at homecoming in recognition of the top student-athlete or student in the promotion of UW athletics.

ESPN.com has signed an agreement with the college-related site TheBigSpur.com at South Carolina for content sharing and cross-promotion with the two independent Web sites. It will feature ESPN.com- based analyses and college player ratings... The NFL Network studio crew - Rich Eisen, Deion Sanders and Marshall Faulk - served as NBC's studio hosts during last Saturday's Notre Dame-USC game.

The nomination deadline for the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America football team is 6 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time, on Tues., Oct. 23. All nominations must be done online through the CoSIDA Web site at www.cosida.com.

The 16th annual Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl sold out last Wednesday for the third consecutive year... Active duty military personnel receive free admission to the 2007 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Ft. Worth, Texas, and military veterans have a 50 percent discount on the $40 admissions.

Texas University Interscholastic League, which oversees high school athletics in Texas, will launch the first mandatory high school statewide drug testing program by Oct. 31 (or earlier). UIL officials noted that the UIL Medical Advisory Committee was prepared to implement the largest and most comprehensive steroids program ever undertaken in athletics. Subjects and testing pool will come from random selection of 30 percent of Texas' 1,246 public high schools and will involve 400-plus schools in the initial 2007-08 academic year for football and all sports.

Each Thursday, The National Football Foundation will post a viewers guide for all televised match-ups featuring all Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) schools.

Hunter Jackson, 82, longtime college and professional football official and active for years in the NFF Tri-Cities (Tenn.) Chapter, died on Oct. 14... Max McGee, 75, MVP of the first Super Bowl in 1967 for the Green Bay Packers and a star end at Tulane in the 1950s, died in Minneapolis on Oct. 21.

Key NFF Dates

Oct. 25: Draddy Trophy Finalists and National Scholar-Athlete Award Winners Announcement
Dec. 4: The NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf=Astoria
Jan. 2, 2008: National College Football Hall of Fame Salute at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Jan. 8, 2008: Presentation of the MacArthur Trophy to BCS National Champion

- NFF -


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