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NFF CHALKTALK – Nov. 10, 2015, Presented by
Latest news & notes from the world of college football for the week of Nov. 10.
Published: 11/10/2015 5:05:00 PM

(Pictured: 2015 NFF National Scholar-Athlete and Montana defensive end Derek Crittenden is officially one step closer to becoming a Rhodes Scholar after receiving an invitation to participate in the District 14 interview process in Seattle on Nov. 20-21.)

Athletics Directors Molded on the Gridiron

The NFF continues with its campaign showcasing all of the nation’s athletics directors who have played football and how their experiences helped prepare them for leadership roles on our nation’s college campuses. The campaign captures the unique stories of each athletics director, and the stories are appearing throughout the season on Last week’s profiles included Arkansas Athletics Director and Chairman of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee Jeff Long, who played at Ohio Wesleyan, and Kennesaw State Athletics Director Vaughn Williams, who played at UMass. Check out all of the athletics director profiles on

This Week on

The NFF continues to promote, the organization’s newest addition to its campaign to highlight the good in the game and the lifelong benefits to those who play it. Recent headlines on the site include:

·         UMass QB Frohnapfel Named NFF National Scholar-Athlete

·         William V. Campbell Trophy Finalist: Taveze Calhoun Seizes Leadership ‘Blessing’

·         Despite Life-Altering Accident, Hall Finds a Home in Abilene

·         Tommie: The Heart of the Vernon Vikings

Click here to sign up to receive the eNewsletter from The site focuses 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.

FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll – Week 10

Clemson took over the top spot in the FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll as four teams received first place votes in Week 10 of the season. Ohio State, Alabama, Baylor and Notre Dame round out the top five in the poll, in which voters rank the top 16 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Click here to view the FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll Rankings for Week 10.

Click here to view the individual rankings of every voter in the FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll.

Click here
 for notes on Week 10 of the FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll.

The results of the poll will be released every Sunday of the 2015 season and the individual votes of all members will also be made public. The final poll will be released Dec. 6. The pollsters consist of FWAA writers, College Football Hall of Famers, NFF Board Members and highly regarded collegiate administrators who were selected to create a balanced-geographical perspective as well as a diversity of viewpoints from the different roles associated with the game.


The Louisiana-Lafayette football team visited the College Football Hall of Fame over the weekend while in town to play Georgia State.

The Hall of Fame celebrated its mascot Fumbles’ birthday on Saturday, Nov. 7, with cake, music and goody bags for kids.


Kids and Pros will host its Locker Room Chat fundraiser on Nov. 17 at the College Football Hall of Fame. The event will feature three former quarterbacks: 2004 NFF National Scholar-Athlete David Greene (Georgia), College Football Hall of Famer Joe Hamilton (Georgia Tech) and former Iowa State Cyclone and Atlanta Falcon Dave Archer. The fundraiser benefits Kids and Pros, a local nonprofit that hosts free youth football camps for kids ages 7 to 13. College Football Hall of Fame kicker Kevin Butler (Georgia) will be the emcee.


The College Football Hall of Fame opened its doors Aug. 23, 2014, in the heart of Atlanta’s sports, entertainment and tourism district. Adjacent to the Georgia World Congress Center and Centennial Olympic Park, the new Hall provides visitors with a highly immersive, interactive and engaging experience using a blend of historic college football artifacts and state-of-the-art, interactive multimedia exhibits. To plan your visit and purchase tickets, visit


The Denver Business Journal profiled the efforts of NFF Vice Chairwoman and President of Personal Investing at Fidelity Investments Kathy Murphy on helping women plan for their futures.

NFF Board Member, 2013 NFF Toner Award recipient and Oklahoma athletics director Joe Castiglione was one of 15 people elected to the State of Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. He will officially be enshrined on Nov. 15 in Columbia, Mo.

will introduce College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock, who is being inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, during the induction ceremony on Nov. 19 at the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel & Convention Center.

NFF Board Member and Under Armour Chairman & CEO Kevin Plank is giving $16 million to his high school alma mater, St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C.

2015 College Football Hall of Fame electee Zach Thomas (Texas Tech) and Hall of Famer Bennie Blades (Miami [Fla.]) are among those who will be inducted into the State of Florida Sports Hall of Fame on Nov. 17 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla. Former University of Minnesota quarterback and NFL coach Tony Dungy and late Miami (Fla.) radio broadcaster Sonny Hirsch will also be inducted.

2015 College Football Hall of Fame electee coach Jim Tressel (Youngstown State, Ohio State) will be one of the featured speakers at the North Central Workforce Alliance of Ohio’s Workforce Summit on Nov. 19 at Ashland University (Ohio).

College Football Hall of Famer Jimbo Covert had his No. 75 jersey retired by Pittsburgh during halftime of the Panthers’ game against Notre Dame.

Syracuse will unveil statues of College Football Hall of Fame coach Ben Schwartzwalder and Hall of Fame players Jim Brown, Ernie Davis and Floyd Little outside the Ensley Athletic Center in Plaza 44 during a ceremony on Nov. 14 the morning before the Orange take on Clemson. Little will be on hand for the ceremony.

College Football Hall of Fame coach Mike Bellotti will be inducted into the State of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame on Nov. 19. Former Oregon State football player Elmer Kolberg and the 2001 Fiesta Bowl champion Oregon State team will also be inducted.

College Football Hall of Famer Fritz Pollard (Brown) broke the Yale Bowl’s racial barrier 100 years ago, becoming the first black player to play in the stadium in 1915.

College Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson (TCU) has been elected to the San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame, and he will have his number retired by the team during halftime during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 22.

My All American
will debut in theaters on Nov. 13. The film, penned by the writer of Rudy and Hoosiers, shares the inspirational true story of University of Texas football legend Freddie Steinmark, an underdog who played a critical role on College Football Hall of Fame coach Darrell Royal’s 1969 National Championship team as he battled cancer. Click here to view the trailer. To this day, the Longhorns pay tribute to his legacy by touching the scoreboard named in his honor at Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium as they take the field. The scoreboard at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium was rededicated on Nov. 7 as part of a year of celebration in Steinmark and his family’s honor. Groups wishing to book theaters for opening day events or soon after can go to:

College Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson (TCU) will be honored for his work in the community at the 2015 Bobby Bragan Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award Gala on Nov. 12 at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas.

2015 NFF Gold Medal recipient and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is the honoree of A Conversation With a Living Legend®, benefiting The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, on Dec. 1 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail
profiled 1981 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Oliver Luck (West Virginia) as he approaches his one year anniversary as the vice president of regulatory affairs at the NCAA.

2015 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class Updates

2015 NFF National Scholar-Athletes and Campbell Trophy finalists E.K. Binns (Navy), Jacoby Boren (Ohio State), Jake Brendel (UCLA), Derek Crittenden (Montana), Ty Darlington (Oklahoma), Spencer Drango (Baylor), Jordan Italiano (Kent State), Hank Spencer (Mount Union [Ohio]) and Jason Vander Laan (Ferris State [Mich.]) were announced as members of the 2015 CoSIDA Academic All-District Football Teams.

Offensive guard E.K. Binns helped Navy outrush Memphis 374-133 in the Midshipmen’s 45-20 upset of the undefeated Tigers. The Midshipmen have moved to 7-1 overall and remained tied with Houston atop the American Athletic Conference West Division with a 5-0 conference record. Navy will host SMU this Saturday 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network.

Center Jacoby Boren led Ohio State to a 28-14 victory over Minnesota. The No. 2 Buckeyes remain undefeated and will play at Illinois on Saturday at Noon ET on ABC.

UCLA center Jake Brendel was named a finalist for the Sixth Annual Pop Warner College Football Award. Brendel helped the Bruins outgain Oregon State 674-246 in a 41-0 shutout win. UCLA will host Washington State on Saturday at 10:45 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Defensive back Taveze Calhoun and Mississippi State defeated Missouri 31-13. The Bulldogs will host Alabama on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS.

Montana defensive end Derek Crittenden is officially one step closer to becoming a Rhodes Scholar after receiving an invitation to participate in the District 14 interview process in Seattle on Nov. 20-21. Crittenden had five tackles, 0.5 sacks and two tackles for loss in the Grizzlies’ 33-27 win over Idaho State. Montana will host Eastern Washington in its last home game of the season on Saturday at 3:05 p.m. ET on Root Sports.

Oklahoma center Ty Darlington was named one of eight semifinalists for the Wuerffel Trophy. Named after College Football Hall of Famer and 1996 Campbell Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel, the trophy is awarded annually to the FBS player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement. Darlington and the Sooners offense outgained Iowa State 684-374 in a 52-16 victory. No. 12 Oklahoma will play at No. 4 Baylor on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Nevada linebacker Jordan Dobrich was selected as a nominee for the 2015 Burlsworth Trophy, which is given to the most outstanding football player in America who began his career as a walk-on. He led Wolf Pack with eight tackles in their 30-16 win over Fresno State. Nevada will play its last home game of the season on Saturday against San Jose State at 4 p.m. ET on the Mountain West Network.

Baylor offensive tackle Spencer Drango was named one of eight semifinalists for the Wuerffel Trophy and one of 12 semifinalists for the Rotary Lombardi Award. Drango helped freshman quarterback Jarrett Stidham amass 419 passing yards and three touchdowns in a 31-24 victory in Stidham’s first-ever start. No. 4 Baylor will host No. 12 Oklahoma on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Quarterback Blake Frohnapfel completed 19 passes for 173 yards in UMass’ loss to Akron. The Minutemen will play at Eastern Michigan on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN3.

Safety Jordan Italiano had three tackles in Kent State’s loss to Buffalo on Thursday, Nov. 5. The Golden Flashes have a quick turn around this week and will play at Ohio tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

Linebacker Hank Spencer had four tackles as Mount Union (Ohio) shutout Baldwin Wallace (Ohio) 42-0 to remain perfect at 9-0. Spencer and the Purple Raiders defense, who are allowing just 3.4 points per game, posted their sixth shutout in nine games this season and held Baldwin Wallace, the conference’s No. 2 ranked offense, to 148 yards. The victory was No. 1 ranked Mount Union’s 102nd straight regular season win and 91st straight home win. The Purple Raiders have won at least a share of their 24th straight and 27th overall Ohio Athletic Conference football title, and they can win the conference title outright on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. ET at No. 15 ranked John Carroll (Ohio) in the regular season finale. The game will be streamed on John Carroll’s website at

Ferris State (Mich.) quarterback Jason Vander Laan threw for 197 yards and one touchdown while rushing for 175 yards and four touchdowns as the Bulldogs beat Northern Michigan to remain a perfect 9-0. He officially broke an all-time NCAA Division II record for most career rushing touchdowns by a quarterback, moving him past former record holder Shawn Graves’ career-best 72 rushing scores. Ferris State moved up to the No. 2 national ranking, and it can claim a share of the GLIAC title if it can win its season finale against Walsh (Ohio) on Saturday at Noon ET.  

NFF Program Updates

The NFF Scholar-Athlete of the Day, presented by Fidelity Investments, is a daily segment honoring the semifinalists for the 2015 William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments. Today’s honoree is 2015 NFF National Scholar-Athlete and Campbell Trophy finalist Jordan Italiano, a safety at Kent State who maintains a 3.98 GPA in biochemistry.

“This Week in College Football History,” which takes a look back at some of college football's landmark moments over the last 147 years, is posted each Friday on the NFF website. Click here to check out the games for Nov. 9-15.

Each week during the season, the NFF produces a comprehensive television schedule for all Division I games complete with date, time, teams and on-air talent listings. Email to receive the listing via email or visit

Presented by

As part of the NFF Little Rock Touchdown Club/Arkansas Chapter’s 2015 Speaker Series, former Arkansas linebacker Tony Bua will be the guest speaker next Monday, Nov. 16, at the Embassy Suites in West Little Rock.

The Touchdown Club of Atlanta-NFF Chapter held a luncheon yesterday at 103 West in Atlanta featuring former Cleveland Browns General Manager Phil Savage as the guest speaker.

The NFF St. Louis/Tom Lombardo Chapter will host a luncheon Nov. 18 featuring current ESPN St. Louis radio broadcasters Randy Karraker and D’Marco Farr, a former University of Washington and Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams defensive tackle, at Lombardo’s Restaurant–Airport location.


College Football Playoff

Fans can start making plans to be a part of the 2016 College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship in Glendale, Ariz., which will take place Jan. 11, through Playoff Premium’s variety of packages at various price ranges and seating locations. Click here for more information…  The CFP announced that Atlanta, Santa Clara/Bay Area and New Orleans will host the CFP National Championships in 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively…


According to the NCAA’s recently released Graduation Success Rates, FBS players graduated at a 75-percent rate, the same as the class that entered in 2007. Those who play in the FCS increased their GSR by 4 points, from 72 percent to 76 percent. The top five FBS programs in GSR are Stanford (99), Northwestern (97), Rice (95), Duke (94) and Notre Dame (93)…

New Football Schools

Texas Wesleyan University President Frederick Slabach held a listening session Thursday afternoon about the possibility of the university adding football. If preparations move quickly, Texas Wesleyan could field a football team as early as the fall of 2016, with NCAA games beginning the following year…


Utah State announced its 2016 non-conference schedule, which includes road games at USC and at BYU…


IMG released its audio montage for Week 10 of the season, featuring dramatic calls by its team of announcers from around the country…

Bowl Games

The American Sports Network and Campus Insiders are teaming up to broadcast the inaugural NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl on Tuesday, Dec. 29…


Paul Kowalczyk
has been appointed interim athletics director at Illinois…

Awards and Honors

CoSIDA announced its 2015 Academic All-District Football Teams… Former football players Larry Allen (Sonoma State [Calif.]), Ken Gray (Howard Payne [Texas]) and Jacob Green (Texas A&M) and former Arkansas player and Wyoming, Texas and Purdue head football coach Fred Akers were announced as members of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2016…


Nebraska played in front of the 346th consecutive sellout at Memorial Stadium with a season-high 90,094 fans on hand… Navy is ranked in the Top 25 for the first time since the end of the 2004 season when the Midshipmen finished 24th after a 10-2 season… Ohio State’s victory over Minnesota represented coach Urban Meyer’s 47th win in his 50th game as the Buckeyes’ coach, the third-highest win total by a coach in his first 50 games at an FBS school…


Northwestern will break ground on the next step in its new Lakefront Athletics and Recreation Complex on Nov. 13. Northwestern recently received a new leadership gift of $23 million from University trustees Kimberly K. Querrey and Louis A. Simpson for the project… Clemson celebrated the groundbreaking of a new football complex Nov. 6. Construction of the new complex will begin in December with a targeted opening date of February 2017… North Dakota celebrated the grand opening of its High Performance Center, which features a full-length football field and will eventually include coaches offices and locker rooms, a state-of-the-art strength and conditioning area, a student-athlete academic center, and sports medicine space…

Donations and Partnerships

UAB has announced the formation of the UAB Athletics Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization that will support the UAB athletics department in its quest for excellence in all programs… New West Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Surgery has extended its partnership with the Nebraska-Kearney athletics as part of a new five-year agreement valued at more than $1 million in financial support and service…

Community Service

The jersey worn by running back Leonard Fournette in LSU’s 45-24 win over South Carolina on Oct. 10 was auctioned off for $101,000, all of which will go to aid the flood victims in South Carolina… Division II schools, led by the Division II Student Athlete Advisory Committee, raised more than $605,000 for Make-A-Wish during the 2014-15 academic year - the first time the division has surpassed $600,000… Notre Dame has begun a partnership with the Veteran Tickets Foundation that will provide complimentary tickets to Irish athletic events to former and active United States servicemen and women and their families…

More News of Interest

The New York Times
highlighted how the success of Alabama’s football program over the past decade has become a powerful engine for the university’s economic and academic growth… The New York Times also highlighted the tradition of announcing the scores for Slippery Rock (Pa.) football games during Michigan home games… Harvard Magazine profiled head coach Tim Murphy in a story titled “Murphy Time: Harvard's greatest football coach—and one of the best anywhere”… Voting is open for the American Sports Network’s ASN Super Poll 50, allowing fans to rank the 50 greatest athletes from ASN-affiliated schools to have played in the Super Bowl…


Former ESPN executive Chuck Gerber, who was a key contributor in the creation of ESPNU, the SEC Network and the College Football Awards, passed away Nov. 6. He was 71… Bobby Hedrick, Elon’s all-time rushing leader who led the team to its first NAIA national championship passed away Nov. 1. He was 57… Former UCLA First Team All-America defensive end Fred McNeill passed away Nov. 3. He was 63… Former Auburn offensive tackle and defensive end Chuck Hurston passed away Nov. 3. He was 72… Former Marquette halfback Ronald Drzewiecki passed away Nov. 4. He was 82… Mississippi State freshman defensive lineman Keith Joseph Jr. and his father Keith Joseph Sr., a former linebacker for the Bulldogs, both passed away in a car crash on Nov. 6. They were 18 and 44, respectively. The Bulldogs will wear a helmet decal honoring the Josephs with the letters “MJ”…


Each year, the National Football Foundation invites universities, colleges, conferences and bowl games from across the country to provide support for the NFF programs through its Institutional Academic Membership Program. The program allows the NFF to greatly enhance the power of football's collective voice while actively building a stronger national platform for the game with community leaders, educators and the media. The program is open to all football-playing institutions and conferences at every level of college football and all bowl games, and it reached new levels of support last year. Email Ron Dilatush at to learn about the benefits and how your institution can become a member in 2015. Click here for the 2015 Institutional Academic Members.

Launched in 2008, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association provides a powerful vehicle for past honorees to remain in the vanguard of the NFF’s present efforts. For more information on the program or to enroll for 2015, please email Ron Dilatush at Click here for more information and to see the members of the 2015 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association.

The NFF relies, in part, on the support of individuals to fulfill our mission of Building Leaders Through Football. The NFF accepts gifts in a variety of forms. In addition to one-time cash gifts, which can be put to use immediately, pledges also allow donors to make more substantial commitments over a longer period of time in support of our programs. Stock and other property which can be easily liquidated are also options when considering a gift. By making a gift of appreciated stock or property, one may reduce or avoid capital gains. Gifts to the National Football Foundation are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Join us! For more information about how you can support the NFF, call 972-556-1000 or click here.


Dec. 7, 2015 – Presentation of the Asa S. Bushnell Cup to the Ivy League Football Players of the Year at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New  York City

Dec. 8, 2015
 – NFF Annual Awards Press Conference at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City

Dec. 8, 2015
– NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon, presented by Under Armour, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City

Dec. 8, 2015
– 58th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City

Dec. 8, 2015
– 26th presentation of the William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments and prominently displayed at the NYAC, to the nation's top football scholar-athlete at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City

Dec. 8, 2015
– Induction of the 2015 College Football Hall of Fame Class at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City

Dec. 31, 2015
– The 11th Annual NFF National Hall of Fame Salute at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl – Atlanta

Jan. 7, 2015
– Leadership Hall of Fame Induction Dinner – Phoenix

Jan. 8, 2016
– Announcement of the 2016 College Football Hall of Fame Class – Scottsdale, Ariz.

Jan. 11, 2016
–College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship at University of Phoenix Stadium – Glendale, Ariz. 


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The NFF would like to thank NFF correspondent Bo Carter for his contributions to this report.

NFF Chalktalk items are welcome, and should be submitted to

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