Monday's Chalktalk

USC and Houston to Hold On- Campus Salutes

The University of Southern California and the University of Houston will hold On-Campus Salutes this weekend for their respective 2007 College Football Hall of Fame inductees, Richard Wood and Wilson Whitley.

On Saturday, Nov. 3, Richard Wood will be honored as the No. 19 Trojans face Oregon State at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. "Batman" is the only three-time All-America in the history of USC, and was a member of two USC National Championship teams, leading the Trojans to an impressive 31-3-2 record during his career. The game will be broadcast on ABC/ESPN.

Wilson Whitley, whose family will represent him during the on-field presentation on Sunday, Nov. 4 as the Cougars take on SMU, was named the Rotary Lombardi Award winner as the nation's top lineman in 1976. He also earned Southwest Conference Player of the Decade laurels for the 1970s despite only playing one year of his career in the conference. Whitley passed away in 1992. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.

NFF News

Selected as the best and the brightest from the college gridiron, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced the 2007 National Scholar-Athlete winners, who will vie as the finalists for the Draddy Trophy, presented by HealthSouth. The 15 individuals are: Alex Brink - Washington State; John Carlson - Notre Dame; Nick Clark - Texas State; Brandon Cramer - Dayton; Dennis Dixon - Oregon; Michael Eubanks - Delta State (Miss.); Dallas Griffin - Texas; Mike Klinkenborg - Iowa; J Leman - Illinois; Brandon Renkart - Rutgers; Eric Safran - Mount Union (Ohio); Paul Smith - Tulsa; Jacob Tamme - Kentucky; Jake Weller - Illinois College; and Danny Woodhead - Chadron State (Neb.).

The NFF has inked a partnership with Schutt Sports, one of the nation's leading sports equipment innovators. The relationship makes Schutt Sports the official helmet and protective gear provider for the NFF as well as an official corporate partner of the organization.

The Rhode Island Chapter held its annual golf tournament recently while drawing 124 golfers to Cranston Country Club in Cranston, R.I. The event serves as a major fundraiser for the chapter, which distributes almost $10,000 each year. Outback Steakhouse provided support again this year, and the duffers enjoyed prime rib after hitting the links.

BCS News
The third BCS Standings of 2007, released nationally by The National Football Foundation, was released on Sunday. The top seven teams - Ohio State, Boston College, LSU, Arizona State, Oregon, Oklahoma and West Virginia - remained in their same respective spots for the second straight week. Previously unranked Wisconsin (No. 21), Boise State (No. 22), Wake Forest (No. 24) and Clemson (No. 25) made way into the standings, while Kentucky (then-No. 14), South Carolina (then No. 16), Cal (then-No. 21) and Penn State (then-No. 25) dropped from the rankings.

The top five schools by all-time BCS appearance through the Oct. 28 standings are: Texas (64); Florida (63); Michigan (60); Oklahoma (55); and Virginia Tech (55). The most all-time appearances at No. 1 through yesterday's standings are: Oklahoma (18); USC (15); Ohio State (12); Florida State (7); and Miami, Fla. (7).

After last weekend's games, 36 teams are now bowl eligible, and 28 more teams are on the verge of postseason qualifications with five wins. The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl continues its extensive worldwide (via Web) and regional coverage of the "Road to the Fiesta Bowl" each Thursday from 5:05-5:30 p.m. (PDT/PST) on The Fan 1060 AM radio in Phoenix with hosts Mike Muraco, Dan Manucci and CBS Sportsline expert columnist Dennis Dodd... Kansas was named the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week after the Jayhawks' win at Texas A&M.

Two-Minute Drill

The San Diego State-BYU contest last Saturday was postponed due to the wildfires in the San Diego area. It will now be played on Dec. 1... Oregon State and Stanford fans contributed to Red Cross and relief funds for wildfire victims in Southern California at special donation tables in and around Reiser Stadium last Saturday... The 4th Annual National College Football Day will be celebrated nationally this Saturday, Nov. 3. Please visit www.NationalCollegeFootballDay.com for more information... Navy and Maryland have agreed to play again in 2010 in Baltimore... New Mexico and UTEP have extended their series through 2016... Last Saturday, the Nevada- Idaho contest celebrated Military Appreciation Day at Mackay Stadium in Reno. Discounted tickets were sold to all active and retired military personnel, and special pregame ceremonies honored U.S. service personnel... NC State and UAB have been added to the Black Coaches and Administrators' commended report cards' listings for fairness in interview practices before they hired head football coaches in 2007... Texas head coach Mack Brown celebrated his 100th win for the Longhorns in a victory over Big 12 rival Nebraska last Saturday... The Rutgers-USF bout on Oct. 18 had the sixth- highest Nielsen rating of any show on cable television from Oct. 15-21... Former NFL head coaches Dick Vermeil (San Jose State grad, former head coach at UCLA) and Mike White (former head coach at California and Illinois) have been selected to coach in the East-West Shrine All-Star Classic on Jan. 19, 2008 in Houston... Weber State beat Portland State 73-68, to set an NCAA all- division record for most points in a game... Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree grabbed his 99th reception of the season last weekend, setting an NCAA season record for receptions by a freshman and a Tech record for receptions in a season.

Navy dedicated the $21.6 million privately funded Thornton D. and Elizabeth S. Hooper Brigade Sports Complex over the weekend... Miami (Fla.) is promoting a massive farewell celebration for its games in the Orange Bowl with student-athlete reunions, nostalgic game programs and other festivities for the UM-Virginia game on Nov. 10... Kansas has sold out its Saturday game at Memorial Stadium against Nebraska as well as the Nov. 24 clash with Missouri at Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium... Washington opened its UW Legends Center last Saturday adjacent to Husky Stadium with mementoes, rings, trophies, and the history of Husky football on display... Purdue has upgraded its stadium scoreboard and video messaging with a new Daktronics system.

Dr. Bill Proctor has been selected as interim director of athletics at Florida State, effective Jan. 1, 2008... Northern Illinois AD Dr. Jim Phillips has been named to the Division I-A Directors of Athletics Executive Committee.

Wisconsin will retired the number (33) of all- time FBS rushing leader Ron Dayne during ceremonies at its Nov. 10 tussle with Michigan... The NCAA has named longtime commissioner, athletics administrator and 2001 NFF Distinguished American Award winner Dr. James Frank as recipient of the prestigious Gerald Ford Award... Amherst (Mass.) dedicated the Professor James E. Ostendarp Bronze Plaque Memorial on campus to honor the school's winningest all-time football coach... Fifteen quarterfinalists have been selected for the 2007 Lott Trophy, named after standout defender 2002 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Ronnie Lott and based on character and on-field performance... Texas A&M hosted numerous patriotic activities around last week's contest with Kansas. On Friday, 41st U.S. President George W. Bush presented U.S. Defense Secretary and former Texas A&M president Dr. Robert M. Gates the 2007 George Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service. Aggies' linebacker Mark Dodge was presented the Pat Tillman Patriot Award, presented to college athletes who have military service, by the Military Order of the Purple Heart... North Texas honored its 1977 team that finished 10-1 under College Football Hall of Fame coach Hayden Fry during its homecoming festivities last weekend.

The Football Writers Association of America has established voting timelines for its major 2007 awards. Final nominations will be received for the FWAA All-America team will be received through early November, and the association's All- America committee will vote on the defense on Nov. 11 and offense on Nov. 18 along with finalists for the Outland and Bronko Nagurski Trophies. The All-America committee also will determine the finalists for the 2007 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award and balloting will begin in early December. The Robinson Award will be announced on Jan. 4, 2008, in New Orleans at an event presented by the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. The FWAA Freshman All-America team will be release from New Orleans shortly before the BCS Championship Game.

Bob Packard, 64, longtime head coach at Baldwin-Wallace (Ohio), died last Monday in Berea, Ohio. Packard was head coach at B-W for 21 years 1981-2001 after succeeding Dr. Lee Tressel, father of current Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel.

Key NFF Dates

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


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