Idaho Vandals

MOBILE, AL - DECEMBER 23: Members of the Georgia Southern Eagles celebrate after defeating the Bowling Green Falcons on December 23, 2015 at Ladd Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. The Georgia Southern Eagles defeated the Bowling Green Falcons 58-27. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
Getty Images

GoDaddy Bowl changes name to Dollar General Bowl


The jokes pretty much write themselves on this one.

The GoDaddy Bowl has changed its name to the Dollar General Bowl effective immediately, it was announced Wednesday.

“Having a title sponsor in today’s world is just fantastic,” bowl president Jerry Silverstein told “There are a lot of bowls out there, and for Mobile to get the recognition from a national sponsor, to want to participate in the event we have here, just leads to the national stage of what we try to produce here in Mobile.”

The new sponsor was celebrated in a very, uh, Dollar General way.

Heading into its 18th season, Dollar General Bowl will be the sixth different name and third separate title sponsor for the Mobile, Ala., based game. It was born in 1999 as the Mobile Alabama Bowl, then changed to the GMAC Mobile Alabama Bowl a year later. The name stuck as simply the GMAC Bowl from 2001-10, before the name switched to the Bowl in 2011. The “.com” was dropped before the 2014 game.

Representatives from the Sun Belt and MAC will compete in the 2016 game for the eighth consecutive season on the night of Dec. 23 (8 p.m. ET, ESPN). Georgia Southern took last year’s game by a 58-27 score over Bowling Green. The Sun Belt has claimed three of the last four Dollar General Bowls over its northern adversaries.

Pair of 2015 finalists part of Ray Guy Award watch list

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 29:  Punter Hayden Hunt #49 of the Colorado State Rams punts the ball to the Colorado Buffaloes in the Rocky Mountain Showdown at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on August 29, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The Colorado State Rams defeated the Colorado Buffaloes 31-17 to capture the Centennial Cup.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Like its foot counterpart the Groza Award, the Ray Guy Award has a decidedly familiar feel to its preseason watch list.

Among the 28 players that make up this year’s list for the punting award, named in honor of the former Southern Miss great who was the first punter ever elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, are two finalists for last year’s award — San Jose State’s Michael Carrizosa and Colorado State’s Hayden Hunt.  The winner of the 2015 Ray Guy Award was Tom Hackett of Utah.

All 10 FBS conferences and one independent (BYU) are represented, led by the SEC’s five.  The Mountain West is next with four, followed by the AAC, Big 12 and Conference USA with three apiece.

The vast majority of the watch listers are juniors or seniors, with the lone exceptions being a pair of sophomores — Oklahoma’s Austin Seibert and Kansas State’s Nick Walsh.

Three former finalists among 30 Lou Groza Award watch listers

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 29:  Daniel Carlson #38 of the Auburn Tigers kicks a field goal in the first quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the Iron Bowl at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 29, 2014 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Pound for pound, this could very well be the most decorated watch list you’ll read this offseason.

Thursday, the Lou Groza Award became the latest to release its 2016 preseason watch list, unveiling a group that’s 30 kickers strong.  And, the pedigrees of this group are unquestioned.

Included in the list are two finalists for last year’s award, Auburn junior Daniel Carlson and Memphis senior Jake Elliott, won by UCLA’s Ka’imi Fairbairn. A finalist for the 2014 award, West Virginia senior Josh Lambert, is included as well.

Additionally, 16 other kickers on the list have previously been semifinalists in various years. One of those 16, Utah senior Andy Phillips, has been a semifinalist each of the past three seasons.

And the award’s namesake?

The Award is named for National Football League Hall of Fame kicker Lou “The Toe” Groza, who played 21 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Groza won four NFL championships with Cleveland and was named NFL Player of the Year in 1954. Although an All-Pro offensive lineman as well, Groza ushered in the notion that there should be a place on an NFL roster for a kicker.

Below is the complete 2016 preseason Lou Groza Award watch list:

Matt Anderson – California
Michael Badgley – Miami (FL)
Jonathan Barnes – Louisiana Tech
Drew Brown – Nebraska
Daniel Carlson – Auburn
Trent Domingue – LSU
Jake Elliott – Memphis
Elliott Fry – South Carolina
Andrew Gantz – Cincinnati
Zane Gonzalez – Arizona State
Adam Griffith – Alabama
Ben Grogan – Oklahoma State
Clayton Hatfield – Texas Tech
Greg Huegel – Clemson
Josh Lambert – West Virginia
Cole Murphy – Syracuse
Griffin Oakes – Indiana
Andy Phillips – Utah
Bobby Puyol – UConn
Tyler Rausa – Boise State
Austin Rehkow – Idaho
Ryan Santoso – Minnesota
Aidan Schneider – Oregon
Austin Seibert – Oklahoma
Joey Slye – Virginia Tech
Nick Smith – Marshall
Cameron Van Winkle – Washington
Nick Weiler – North Carolina
Justin Yoon – Notre Dame
Brent Zuzo – Nevada

62 centers, 11 from ACC, make up Rimington Trophy watch list

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 26:  Pat Elflein #65 of the Ohio State Buckeyes  blocks against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Ohio Stadium on October 26, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Back in mid-May, the Rimington Trophy released a spring watch list consisting of 57 players.  Nearly two months later?  The updated watch list has grown.

Continuing the Great Watch List Dump of 2016, the the folks charged with overseeing the Rimington released a watch list that, now, contains a total of 62 players.  The Rimington Trophy, named in honor of former Nebraska standout Dave Rimington, is presented annually to the top center in the nation and is determined by the consensus All-American center pick from three existing All-America teams — Walter Camp. Sporting News and FWAA.

None of the trio of finalists for the 2015 award, won by Alabama’s Ryan Kelly, are included on this year’s initial watch list as all three have since moved on with expired eligibility.

Of the 62 centers, 29 are listed as seniors and three as graduate students.  Of the rest, 18 are classified as juniors and 12 as sophomores.

There are 14 teams in the ACC; a full 11 of them have a center named to the preseason watch list, the most of any single conference.  Next up are the Big Ten and SEC with 8, followed by the Big 12 (seven) and Group of Five leagues the AAC and Mountain West with seven each as well.  The Pac-12 has the fewest of any Power Five league with three centers named.

Below is the complete 2016 Rimington Trophy preseason watch list:

AAC (7)
Deyshawn Bond, Cincinnati
Evan Brown, SMU
Ryan Crozier, UConn
Drew Kyser, Memphis
Brendan McGowan, Temple
Chandler Miller, Tulsa
Will Noble, Houston

ACC (11)
Jon Baker, Boston College
Freddie Burden, Georgia Tech
Lucas Crowley, North Carolina
Alec Eberle, Florida State
Jason Emerich, Syracuse
Eric Gallo, Virginia Tech
Jay Guillermo, Clemson
Nicholas Linder, Miami
Jackson Matteo, Virginia
Alex Officer, Pittsburgh
Joe Scelfo, North Carolina State

BIG 12 (7)
Jonathan Alvarez, Oklahoma
Kyle Fuller, Baylor
Brad Lundblade, Oklahoma State
Tony Morales, Texas Tech
Tyler Orlosky, West Virginia
Dalton Risner, Kansas State
Austin Schlottmann, TCU

Brian Allen, Michigan State
Mason Cole, Michigan
Michael Dieter, Wisconsin
Pat Elflien, Ohio State
Brendan Moore, Maryland
Joe Spencer, Illinois
Dylan Utter, Nebraska
Sean Welsch, Iowa

Nick Clark, Old Dominion
Dillon Deboer, FAU
Max Halpin, Western Kentucky
Michael Montero, FIU
Daniel Stephens, Middle Tennessee State
Cameron Tom, Southern Miss

Tim McAuliffe, Bowling Green
James O’Hagan, Buffalo

Jake Bennett, Colorado State
Asotui Eli, Hawaii
Arthur Flores, San Diego State
Nathan Goltry, Nevada
Will Kreitler, UNLV
Austin Stephens, Utah State

PAC-12 (3)
Toa Lobendahn, USC
Coleman Shelton, Washington
Riley Sorenson, Washington State

SEC (8)
Jamaal Clayborn, Mississippi State
Robert Conyers, Ole Miss
Alan Knott, South Carolina
Brandon Kublanow, Georgia
Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
Ethan Pocic, LSU
Coleman Thomas, Tennessee
Jon Toth, Kentucky

Andy Kwon, Georgia Southern
Steve Matlock, Idaho
Gabe Mobley, Georgia State
Devin Mondie, Arkansas State

2015 finalist Jordan Leggett of Clemson among 45 TEs on Mackey Award watch list

CLEMSON, SC - NOVEMBER 7: Jordan Leggett #16 of the Clemson Tigers is tackled by Lamarcus Brutus #42 of the Florida State Seminoles during their game at Memorial Stadium on November 7, 2015 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Tyler Smith/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Hey, at least this one is somewhat selective.

Continuing the preseason watch list dump is the John Mackey Award, given annually to the nation’s top tight end and named in honor of the former Syracuse standout and NFL Hall of Famer.  This year, a total of 45 tight ends appear on the award’s initial watch list.

Headlining this year’s preseason list is Clemson’s Jordan Leggett, a finalist for last year’s honor.  Arkansas’ Hunter Henry was the recipient of the 2015 Mackey, which has been given out annually since 2000.

All 10 FBS conferences as well as one independent (Notre Dame) are represented, led by the SEC’s seven.  The Big Ten is next with six, followed by the ACC and MAC with five apiece and four each from Conference USA, the Mountain West, the Pac-12 and the Sun Belt.  The spread-happy Big 12, with two, has the fewest of not only the Power Five conferences but any league, period.

More than half (27) of the watch listers are seniors, with juniors making up 13 of the 45.  The remaining five players are sophomores.

Below is the complete 2016 Mackey Award watch list:

2016 Mackey Award watch list