Friday, September 08, 2006

No. 5 SXU Heads to No. 7 McKendree for MSFA Showdown

CHICAGO - Although it is only week two in the schedule for the No. 5 ranked Saint Xavier University football team, the biggest game of its 2006 season could take place this weekend. On Saturday, the Cougars travel to Lebanon, Ill., to face Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Midwest League rival and No. 7 ranked McKendree College (Ill.) in a showdown that not only has implications in the league standings but in the national rankings as well.

"I call McKendree the 'Buckle it up' week," said SXU head football coach Mike Feminis. "I'm anticipating this will be the usual 15-round heavyweight fight and it will probably go down to the wire. The only difference is that it's happening so early in the season. Obviously, with both of us ranked in the top eight, it also adds a little more significance at the national level."

McKendree has yet to play a game this season, while Saint Xavier opened up last Saturday with a 48-0 win over No. 30 ranked Lambuth University (Tenn.) at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago. In the previous two meetings of the two schools, both games were decided by a touchdown with the Bearcats winning the 2005 game, 21-14, and the Cougars taking the 2004 match-up, 14-7.

Last season, both teams shared the MSFA Midwest League title with a 6-1 league mark and advanced to the NAIA Championship Series. SXU was eliminated, 31-28, by No. 4 University of Sioux Falls (S.D.) in the first round on a last-second field goal, while McKendree also suffered a three-point defeat in first-round action falling to No. 10 Evangel College (Mo.), 34-31.

Contact: Rob Huizenga, Sports Information, St. Xavier University

News and Notes From Around College Football for Sept. 6, 2006

National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, Inc.

Monday’s Chalktalk

Outside the Lines of the Longhorns-Buckeyes Sept. 9 Match-up

This Saturday’s game marks the first time the nation’s top-ranked team has visited Austin since 1950 and the first time since 1996 a No. 1 and a No. 2 team have met in the regular season. It is the first time in Division I-A history the nation’s No. 1 and No. 2 teams have met this early in the regular season… Ohio State’s alumni association has rented out Texas’ basketball arena prior to the game for a pep rally featuring NFF Board Member and 1986 College Football Hall of Famer from Ohio State Archie Griffin… Lance Armstrong and actors Luke and Owen Wilson are expected to be guests in Matthew McConaughey’s stadium suite… Gene Chizik, assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Texas, recorded his 29th consecutive victory with the win against North Texas. The streak dates back to the 2003 season when he served as Auburn’s defensive coordinator… Ohio State recently released “Buckeye Heroes” cereal in local grocery stores. The cereal joined a long list of other university-licensed foods like pasta and chips… Runnin’ with the Big Dogs, a book based on the Texas-Oklahoma football rivalry and written by Mike Shropshire, was recently released… Former Ohio State walk-ons Tyler Whaley, Ryan Franzinger, Derek Harden and Trever Robinson have received scholarships… One Heartbeat II, co-written by Texas Head Football Coach Mack Brown and Bill Little, was released. The book is the second edition and includes six chapters regarding the Longhorns 2005 national championship season… Mack Brown was selected to the 50th class of the Longhorn Hall of Honor…

Harris Poll Voters List Released

Forty new faces highlight this year’s Harris Poll voters list, which was released on August 30. Included among the new voters are College Football Hall of Famers Bill Fralic (Pittsburgh, 1999) and coach Doug Dickey (Florida and Tennessee, 2003). The 114 Harris Poll voters are former players, coaches and college administrators as well as current and former media.

Along with the USA TODAY Coaches’ Poll and an average of six computer ratings, the Harris Poll is one of three key components in the BCS formula used to determine teams in the national championship game. The National Football Foundation will release the first BCS standings on Sunday, October 15.

Two-Minute Drill

The University of Iowa Department of Intercollegiate Athletics in conjunction with Riverside Theatre and Hancher Auditorium have collaborated on a play about the life of 1951 College Football Hall of Famer and Heisman Trophy winner Nile Kinnick. Kinnick, a play written and directed by Bruce Wheaton, was added to festivities surrounding the Hawkeyes’ home opener last Saturday at the newly renovated Kinnick Stadium. The play recounts events in Kinnick’s life from 1939 – the year he won the Heisman – through 1943, the year of his untimely death while serving in the Naval Air Corp Reserve…

The FWAA Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll selected the Tennessee Volunteers as the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week for the weekend of September 2... Of the 121 Division I-A football-playing schools, 119 started play last weekend… South Carolina Head Football Coach Steve Spurrier celebrated his 150th career win on Thursday in the Gamecocks’ 15-0 victory over Mississippi State. The former University of Florida head football coach was honored on Saturday along with former assistants and players prior to the Gators’ game against Southern Miss. 2006 marks the 10-year anniversary of Florida’s national championship season… Montana State quarterback Cory Carpenter, who has lived with Type I diabetes since 1994, made his first collegiate start on Saturday, defeating Colorado 19-10. The victory by the Bobcats was one of two wins by the Big Sky Conference versus I-A schools. Fellow conference member Portland State upset New Mexico. I-AA brethren Richmond also had a big win for I-AA, beating Duke… Former University of Tennessee standouts Marcus Nash and Lee North were honorary captains as the Vols beat California… Oklahoma wore new Nike jerseys on Saturday. No names are on the backs… Nebraska set an all-time attendance record of 85,181 as they defeated Louisiana Tech for the school’s 21st consecutive season-opening victory. Nebraska also surpassed 200 rushing yards for the first time in 14 games… Texas also set an all-time attendance record as 85,123 watched the Longhorns beat North Texas…

Chucky Mullins’ No. 38 joined Archie Manning’s No. 18 as the only numbers retired by Ole Miss, during a September 2 ceremony before the Rebels’ game with Memphis. Mullins, who was paralyzed during the 1989 Vanderbilt game, died in 1991… Three military veterans made the Florida State team as walk-ons this year. Thirty-three year-old running back Eric James spent eight years in the Army and Navy, and 23-year-old tight end Josh Johnson served four years in the Army. Jeremy Franklin, a 26-year-old Navy vet, will play special teams and back-up linebacker for the Seminoles… New University at Buffalo Head Football Coach Turner Gill led his team to a 9-3 victory over Temple on Saturday, marking the first time since1997 the Bulls opened the season with a win after becoming a Division I program… Notre Dame’s Sam Young was the first freshmen offensive lineman to start a season opener for the Irish in 34 years… The Rutgers-North Carolina game caused some friendly banter in New Jersey state politics between State Sen. Raymond Lesniak, a Rutgers alum, and Jamel Holley, chief of staff for Assemblyman Neil Cohen and brother of North Carolina wide receiver Jesse Holley… Navy was held to just six passing yards in their win versus East Carolina…Virginia Tech blocked a kick for the 110th time in 228 games under head coach Frank Beamer in its victory over Northeastern… Former Hawkeyes John Niland and Reggie Roby were inducted into the University of Iowa’s National Varsity Club Hall of Fame…

Virginia Tech Head Football Coach Frank Beamer has targeted three areas of concern on his team and will give his players hefty punishments for violations regarding missed classes, failure to meet the team’s uniform policy and unsportsmanlike conduct on the field… Ohio University announced its “Stand Up and Cheer Friday” campaign, which urges Bobcat spirit on campus and in the community throughout the year… Twenty members of the Purdue football team answered phones during the 41st annual Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon… Georgia Coach Mark Richt has implemented an initiative that breaks the Bulldogs in to “Scholar Dog Teams”, excusing one of groups each week from agility drills as a reward for their success in the classroom… Indiana has instituted “Hoosier Fridays”, which encourages fans to wear Hoosier merchandise and participating businesses offer discounts… Fifty of the nation’s most talented running backs comprised the list of the 2006 Doak Walker Award candidates. The award, annually given to the nation’s best running back, will be presented to the winner on December 7 during The Home Depot College Football Awards airing on ESPN…

McNeese State will begin transmitting games via the internet at…CSTV Networks, Inc. and SONIC will present Mission: SEC Football Presented By SONIC this fall, covering all 12 SEC campuses and 17 total games. The trip will take an inside look at the SEC football culture and will culminate on Dec. 2 at the SEC Championship game in Atlanta… Pat Summeral and Pat Haden will handle broadcast duties for FOX’s coverage of this year’s AT&T Cotton Bowl… CSTV struck a three-year partnership with Division II and will air three games live throughout the season… Fox Sports Net aired a one-hour documentary on Louisiana State’s 2005 football season. Eye of the Storm is narrated by actor John Goodman… The NFL Network will carry a college highlight show on Saturdays as well as four bowl games this season…

University of Kansas Football Coach Mark Mangino signed a new contract through 2010… University of Louisiana – Monroe Head Football Coach Charlie Weatherbie agreed in principal to a contract extension through the 2009 season… Tulane Head Football Coach Chris Scelfo awarded scholarships to six former walk-ons… Birmingham-Southern (Ala.) is moving from Division I to Division III and will add football in 2007… Nike will become the official provider of apparel and equipment for all Kansas State athletic teams…The Naval Academy Athletics Association has sold a record 20,206 season tickets this year, breaking its previous record by nearly 3,000 tickets. Single-game tickets for the Navy-Notre Dame game on Oct. 28 are already sold out… Southern Illinois season ticket sales have reached an all-time high, selling near 2,100 season tickets this year. Season ticket sales have quadrupled since head football coach Jerry Kill took the helm in 2001… Georgia and Oregon will play each other during the 2015 and 2016 seasons…

Pioneer Electronics has renewed its sponsorship agreement with the Las Vegas Bowl… DePlechin Children’s Center, a children’s social and mental health service provider in Houston, will be the official charitable beneficiary of the inaugural Texas Bowl… The Hula Bowl has selected West Virginia’s Rich Rodriguez and Houston’s Art Briles as head coaches for the Jan. 14, 2007, all-star game… LifeLock, an ID theft prevention company, has partnered with CoSIDA to provide everyone associated with the organization a service to protect valuable personal information…

Northwestern will rename the driveway leading to Ryan Field “Walker Way” in memory of their late coach Randy Walker who passed away suddenly on June 29 at the age of 52… Baylor’s Floyd Casey Stadium unveiled it heritage display, which exhibits life-sized banner of 26 Baylor football greats, including College Football Hall of Famers Lawrence Elkins, Thomas Everett, Bill Glass, James Ray Smith, Mike Singletary and coach Grant Teaff… Old National Bank earmarked $200,000 for Southern Illinois’ new football stadium, which is set to break ground in 2008… Stanford will play seven road games this year, the highest number played in all six BCS power conferences…

Former two-time decathlon Olympic champion and U.S. Congressman Bob Mathias died Saturday at 75. Mathias played fullback for Stanford during their Rose Bowl appearance in 1952… Lance Preston, a four-year Florida International letterwinner, died September 4 in a tragic motorcycle accident near his home in Ft. Lauderdale at the age of 23…

Editors’ Notes

Chalktalk will return to its regularly scheduled Monday release on September 11.

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