Rimington Award releases ’11 watch list

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Given annually to the nation’s best and most interior of interior offensive lineman, the Rimington Trophy is one of the most prestigious honors a player at the Div. 1-A level can place in his trophy cabinet.

And, as the season is officially set to start in less than four months — memo to 2011 season: for the love of God, get here soon please — the Rimington has released its preseason watch list of centers to… ummm… watch.

The Rimington Trophy is named in honor of former Nebraska center Dave Rimington, and has been handed out annually since 2000.  Last year’s winner was TCU’s Jake Kirkpatrick.

All told, and remembering that there are 120 starting Div. 1-A centers, a whopping total of 42 players have been named to the Rimington’s initial watch list.  For your viewing pleasure, here they are, in all of their nearly four-dozen glory:

Chris Anzevino, Kent State
Eloy Atkinson, UTEP
Mario Benavides, Louisville
Philip Blake, Baylor
Ben Bojicic, Bowling Green
Colin Boss, Middle Tennessee State
Mike Brewster, Ohio State
Terence Brown, BYU
Ben Burkett, Northwestern
Thomas Byrd, Boise State
Mike Caputo, Nebraska
Nick Carlson, Wyoming
Tom Castilaw, Wyoming
Braxton Cave, Notre Dame
Trent Dupy, Tulsa
Dillon Farrell, New Mexico
James Ferentz, Iowa
Dalton Freeman, Clemson
Kevin Galeher, Western Michigan
Grant Garner, Oklahoma State
Garth Gerhart, Arizona State
Jeremiah Hatch, Kansas
A.J. Hawkins, Ole Miss
Cam Holland, North Carolina
Tyler Horn, Miami (Fla.)
Grant Johnson, Oregon State
T.J. Johnson, South Carolina
Ben Jones, Georgia
Peter Konz, Wisconsin
Tyler Larsen, Utah State
P.J. Lonergan, LSU
Joe Madsen, West Virginia
Kai Maiava, UCLA
Blaine McJunkin, SMU
David Molk, Michigan
Brian Moore, Duke
Weston Richburg, Colorado State
Darion Smith, UAB
Matt Smith, Kentucky
Travis Swanson, Arkansas
William Vlachos, Alabama
Scott Wedige, Northern Illinois

Iowa struggling to sellout game vs. Penn State

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The Iowa Hawkeyes are about to host a top-four team at Kinnick Stadium this Saturday night, and it seems there is slightly more trouble trying to sell out the game than anticipated. According to Mark Emmert of the Des Moines Register and Iowa City Press-Citizen (and not the NCAA president by the same name), Iowa still had 4,000 tickets for this week’s game against No. 4 Penn State sitting in the box office as of earlier today.

Price concerns for the game coupled with a delay in knowing the kickoff time apparently had some influence on the unexpected ticket availability this close to the game.

Schools are becoming more and more commonly known for having higher-priced tickets for the more marquee games on their home schedule, and Iowa is no exception. Iowa has tiered ticket pricing for their home games, and Penn State being the defending conference champion with a decent traveling fanbase made this week’s matchup an ideal fit for being priced in the higher tier. Later this year, Iowa’s home game against Ohio State will also be priced at $95. $95, for some, is not worth the effort to go to a game and tailgate all day. It may be fine for a good number of fans, but it’s not for everybody.

Having to wait to know what time a game will kickoff can be a nuisance for those football fans who like to plan ahead. And while a primetime game may be great for exposure, it can be a cumbersome chore for some fans who would much rather stay home and not have to deal with a late-night drive home.

So if you are looking to get a ticket to the game this weekend in Iowa City, you may have a good chance to pick up a ticket.

Indiana will wear uniforms honoring the late Terry Hoeppner this weekend

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This weekend when Indiana takes the field, the Hoosiers will be honoring former head coach Terry Hoeppner. To do that on the 10th anniversary of the former coach’s passing, Indiana’s uniforms will have a slight modification to the numbering. Rather than a traditional white block numbering on the front and back, Indiana’s uniform numbers will feature a pattern mimicking Hep’s Rock, which was introduced to the program by the former head coach and remains a fixture within the program.

Hoeppner passed away at the age of 59 in the summer of June 2007. Hoeppner had planned to step away from coaching to focus on a battle with brain cancer that summer, but he fell victim to the disease on June 19, 2007. Though he may have only coached for Indiana for two seasons, his impact on the program was noticeable in helping the program build a foundation. The Hoosiers won four and five games in the two seasons coached by Hoeppner, but the 2007 team carried on his mission to “Play 13” by advancing to the Insight Bowl (now known as the Cactus Bowl). Members of the 2007 bowl team (Indiana lost to Oklahoma State in that bowl game) will be in Bloomington to celebrate the life of Hoeppner, who remains an inspiration for the program to this day.

Houston expects WR D’Eriq King to be available for Texas Tech game

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As Houston prepares for a game that could quickly become a shootout of sorts with Texas Tech, the Cougars could have one more wide receiver good to go this weekend. D’Eriq King is expected to make his season debut for the Cougars this week after missing the past two games coming off an offseason knee injury.

Houston head coach Major Applewhite announced on the radio he feels his young wide receiver option is finally ready to get back at it, and it could come at no better time.

As a freshman in 2016, King caught 20 passes in 10 games for 228 yards and a touchdown. King was expected to be a contributor to the offense this season. Having a healthy receiver is going to be key against a Texas Tech offense that will not shy away from the pass.

Derrius Guice ‘very questionable’ for LSU vs. Syracuse

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LSU could very well be without its most potent offensive weapon when it looks to bounce back from an embarrassing Week 3 loss.

Late in the third quarter of Saturday’s 37-7 loss to Mississippi State, Derrius Guice sustained an injury to his left knee.  The star running back hasn’t practiced at all this week, even as Ed Orgeron downplayed the severity of the injury.

On the SEC teleconference Wednesday, however, the head coach acknowledged that it could be much worse than he’d been letting on, so much so that the Guice could miss the Week 4 game against Syracuse.

“I don’t know if Derrius is going to play,” Orgeron said. “He didn’t dress out yesterday in pads. He’s very questionable right now.”

Through three games, Guice leads the Tigers with 300 yards rushing and is tied for tops on the team with four rushing touchdowns.  His rushing yards are currently fourth in the SEC; last season, his 1,387 yards were tops in the conference.

Should Guice be unable to go, Darrel Williams (28-159-4) would likely be next in line to shoulder the running-game load.