Voters for new college football poll announced by FWAA and NFF

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This upcoming college football season will see two brand new polls introduced to go alongside the traditional polls used by the Associated Press and the coaches. The only one that will truly matter will be the weekly poll released by the College Football Playoff selection committee later in the season, because that will likely give fans an idea of whre things are heading for the playoff. This offseason also saw a new poll announced by the National Football Foundation and the Football Writers Association of America, the Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll. Now we know who will be casting votes for this brand new power poll.

Today the FWAA and NFF released a list of the voters, ranging from various local and national media outlets, board members and the College Football Hall of Fame.

“We have assembled a group of highly knowledgeable voters who will collectively provide an objective and credible view of the top college football teams each week,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell in a released statement. “We are extremely pleased to partner with the FWAA on the launch of the Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll, which will provide a compelling reference point for fans to follow during the college football season.”

If you are wondering just who will be voting, wait no more. Here is the list of voters, as provided by the NFF and FWAA;

  • Mark Anderson*, Las Vegas Review-Journal
  • Chris Ault, College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2002
  • Lee Barfknecht*, Omaha World-Herald
  • Tony Barnhart*, SEC Network
  • David Barron*, Houston Chronicle
  • Mark Blaudschun*, AJerseyGuy.com
  • Murry Bowden, College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2003 and NFF Vice Chairman
  • Gil Brandt*, NFL.com
  • Chuck Carlton*, The Dallas Morning News
  • Gene Corrigan, NFF Board Member
  • Brian Davis*, Austin American-Statesman
  • Gene DeFilippo, NFF Board Member
  • Dennis Dodd*, CBSSports.com
  • Bob Epling, NFF Board Member
  • Jack Ford, CBS 60 Minutes Sports Correspondent and NFF Board Member
  • Teddy Greenstein*, Chicago Tribune
  • Andrew Greif*, The Oregonian
  • Mike Griffith*, MLive.com
  • Wally Hall*, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
  • Matt Hayes*, The Sporting News
  • Tommy Hicks*, AL.com
  • Ron Higgins*, NoLa.com/The Times Picayune
  • Dave Jones*, PA Media Group
  • Ryan Kartje*, Orange County Register
  • Blair Kerkhoff*, Kansas City Star
  • Jack Lengyel, NFF Board Member
  • Kelly Lyell*, Fort Collins Coloradoan
  • Don McPherson, College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2008
  • Matthew Murschel*, Orlando Sentinel
  • Chuck Neinas, NFF Board Member
  • Randy Peterson*, Des Moines Register
  • Jeff Shain*, PrimeSportsNetwork.com
  • Phil Steele*, Phil Steele Publications
  • Patrick Stevens*, Syracuse.com
  • Barry Switzer, College Football Hall of Famer Class of 2001
  • David Teel*, Newport News Daily Press
  • John Wagner*, Toledo Blade
  • Dick Weiss*, Blue Star Media
  • Rod West, NFF Board Member
  • Reggie Williams, College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2007
  • Bud Withers*, Seattle Times

*FWAA Member

Alabama QB Jalen Hurts uses photo of Clemson celebrating title win as motivational phone background

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Nick Saban said last week that the loss to Clemson in the the national championship game earlier this year is one that he’ll never get over, although he didn’t go so far as to compare it to a death in the family. One playing member of Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide team is taking to steps to ensure that he never forgets, either.

Jalen Hurts was the Tide’s talented true freshman starting quarterback who helped lead ‘Bama into the title game and, with a 30-yard touchdown run with just over two minutes left, gave his team a 31-28 lead. That lead was short-lived, however, as Deshaun Watson led his Tigers on an epic 88-yard drive that was capped by his two-yard touchdown pass with just one tick left on the clock for the 35-31 win.

The stunning last-second loss is something that Hurts makes a conscious effort to remind himself of daily as the rising sophomore, as the background on his smartphone, has a picture of Clemson players celebrating their win.

“We’re obviously all on our phones all the time,” Hurts said according to al.com after this past weekend’s spring game. “Every time I unlock it, it’s kind of a reminder. It kind of humbles me and keeps me motivated. …

“It’s not a grudge at all. It’s just something that keeps it on the back of your shoulder like, yeah, it’s still there. Remember why you’re doing it because at the end of the day, the goal for this team is to win the national championship.

Father of former Florida State WR Travis Rudolph killed in accidental shooting

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The father of Florida State wide receiver Travis Rudolph was killed Friday in an accidental shooting, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on Monday.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, Darryl Rudolph was working on repairs inside a West Palm Beach, Fla., when a gun accidentally fired in an adjacent room, hitting him in the back/neck area. He was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 55 years old.

The younger Rudolph was Florida State’s leading receiver over the past two seasons before becoming an early-entrant into this week’s NFL Draft. He gained viral notoriety after a photo snapped of him sitting at lunch with an autistic elementary school student hit Facebook.

“When I used to coach and help other kids with football, basketball and sports, Travis was small but he used to pay attention to what I was doing,” the elder Rudolph said in an interview with ESPN last year. “I told them get your education. You can be the best athlete in the world, but without an education, you’re not going very far. That’s what Travis followed through on.”

LSU QB Danny Etling undergoes back surgery

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LSU quarterback Danny Etling has undergone surgery to relieve back pain, the program announced Monday.

“Danny had a minor back procedure this morning and everything went alright,” head coach Ed Orgeron said in a statement (and not in an Arrested Development way).

Etling has played through back pain for months, according to Ross Dellenger from The Advocate, and this procedure should remove that pain.

In a possibly related story, Etling went 4-of-11 for 53 yards in LSU’s spring game.

A transfer from Purdue, Etling appeared in 11 games for the Tigers last season, completing 160-of-269 passes (59.5 percent) for 2,123 yards (7.9 yards per attempt) with 11 touchdowns against five interceptions.

Etling’s recovery from Monday’s procedure is expected to be a short one.

Willie Taggart defends Oregon’s offseason workouts in interview

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Things got off to a rocky start for new Oregon head coach Willie Taggart. Among the issues Taggart was forced to deal with soon after accepting the job of head coach at Oregon was players falling ill during and after offseason workouts.

Three Ducks were hospitalized in January to treat symptoms of rhabdomyolysis, a product of overworking leading to soft tissue and possible kidney damage. Oregon suspended strength and conditioning coach Irele Oderinde following the hospital treatments to players, and questions about his certification were thrust under a microscope. Despite the unfortunate situation in Eugene, Taggart has defended his program’s workout routine in an interview with Stewart Mandel of FOXSports.com.

“We know we didn’t do anything to try to hurt our kids. We’d done [the same program] everywhere we’ve been and never had a problem,” Taggart explained in the interview. “I think our guys just overworked themselves and didn’t hydrate. … They were trying to impress the new coaches.”

It seems Taggart has been trying to raise the bar at Oregon and find a way to make his new players tougher overall. That is a common strategy for a new coach in a new program, so Taggart’s mission is not unique in that sense.

Maybe it was just a tough physical transition in the approach to workouts after years of Chip Kelly and Mark Helfrich running the show. Will this all pay off in the end? Taggart sure hopes so.