The Fifth Down

Results from the Best Writing Contest announced

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Three former winners and two newcomers took top honors in the 18th annual Football Writers Association of America Best Writing Contest presented by

In this issue of The Fifth Down:
Griffin: The conscience of college football
Winners of 18th annual Best Writing Contest announced
Complete list of contest winners
Alabama tops preseason poll
FWAA accepting Meece Scholarship nominations
2010-11 FWAA awards calendar
Frequently Asked Questions about the FWAA

Brett McMurphy of AOL FanHouse (Loose Deadline), Steve Wieberg of USA TODAY (Enterprise), and Bud Withers of the Seattle Times (Game Story) are previous first-place winners.

McMurphy, who also won in 2008 for Loose Deadline, captured the category again with his reporting on the firing of South Florida coach Jim Leavitt. Wieberg, the Features category winner in 2009, took first for his story on athletic budgets. And Withers, the 2008 Column winner, won in Game Story for an account of the Oregon-Oregon State contest.

Joe Rexrode of the Lansing State Journal captured first place in Features with a story on former Michigan State player John Shinsky's orphanage. John F. Silver of the Manchester (Conn.) Journal Inquirer won the column competition with a piece on Connecticut player Jasper Howard's tragic death.

McMurphy also took second in the Enterprise category and received an honorable mention in Game Story. Withers picked up an honorable mention in Column. A former winner, Jason King of Yahoo! Sports, registered thirds in Loose Deadline and Column and an honorable mention in Enterprise.

All places in the contest will be recognized at the FWAA's Annual Awards Breakfast on Jan. 10, 2011 at the BCS Championship Game Media Hotel in the Phoenix area. Places 1-3 receive certificates and cash prizes, and honorable mentions get certificates. First-place winners in each category also will receive commemorative footballs from The Big Game.


Bert McGrane Award nominees: Mark Blaudshun (
Volney Meece Scholarship nominees: Dave Sittler (
Website, National Team of the Week: Ted Gangi (
Membership Directory: Charlie Fiss, Goodyear Cotton Bowl (
Ethics/Press Relations Committee: Kirk Bohls (
College Football Playoff Liaison: Gina Lehe, College Football Playoff (
Eddie Robinson Award: Steve Richardson (
Fifth Down Blog/FWAA Best Writing Contest: Ken Stephens (
Bronko Nagurski Trophy: John Rocco, Charlotte Touchdown Club (
Outland Trophy, All-America Team: Steve Richardson (
Super 16 Poll: Phil Marwill, National Football Foundation (
Orange Bowl/FWAA Courage Award: Matt Fortuna (
Freshman All-America Team: Mike Griffith (

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