DALLAS (FWAA) – The FWAA All-America Committee has arrived at
a list of six finalists for the association's Eddie Robinson Coach
of the Year Award.
The six coaches – Texas' Mack Brown, USC's Pete Carroll, UCLA's
Karl Dorrell, Central Florida's George O'Leary, Penn State's
Joe Paterno, and
Notre Dame's Charlie Weis – will be on the online ballot, which goes
out to all FWAA members this week.
The FWAA membership's final vote will be revealed at halftime of the Tostitos
Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2 on ABC Television.
The FWAA has honored a major college coach with its Coach of the Year
Award since 1957. Among the six finalists, there is one previous
winner – Paterno.
The FWAA coaching award is named after Robinson, a coaching legend
at Grambling State University for 55 years. He has more Division I victories
(408) than any other coach.
The winner of the FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award also
will be honored at his campus before a football game next fall.
Here's a capsule look at the FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year
• Mack Brown has Texas poised to win its first national title in more
than three decades. The Longhorns have the second longest winning streak
(19 games) in college football behind USC and won Brown's first conference
title this year. The Longhorns (12-0) will be going for their second straight
Rose Bowl victory after beating Michigan last season in Pasadena
• Pete Carroll has led USC to another Pac-10 championship and has a
shot at a third straight national title. The unbeaten and No. 1-ranked
Trojans will meet No. 2 Texas in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 4 for the national
championship. Carroll is an Eddie finalist for the third straight season
and his USC team (12-0) has won 34 straight games. This is the third straight
season Carroll has been a finalist for the award.
• Karl Dorrell's UCLA team is 9-2 and has lost only to Arizona and
USC this season. The explosive Bruins had a penchant for falling behind
and making great comebacks to win. A year ago UCLA finished 6-6.
• George O'Leary has posted the biggest turnaround in major college
football this season in Orlando. A year ago, Central Florida was winless
(0-11), but this season the Knights have an 8-4 record and nearly won
Conference USA, but lost to Tulsa in the league's title game.
• Joe Paterno rallied the Nittany Lions from the depths of 4-7 (2004)
to a 2005 Big Ten title tie with Ohio State. It was Penn State's first
league title in 11 years. Paterno has won three previous FWAA Coach of
the Year Awards (1978, '82, '86). Only Paterno and Woody Hayes (1957,
'68, '75) have won as many as three FWAA Coach of the Year Awards.
• Charlie Weis turned around Notre Dame in astonishing fashion after
leaving the coaching staff of the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots.
He took basically the talent of a year ago (6-6), installed his offensive
system, and fashioned a 9-2 record which landed the Fighting Irish in
the Fiesta Bowl.
For more information about the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award,
go to www.footballwriters.com.
• Eddie Robinson Coach of the
Year Award official site (eddierobinsonsward.com)
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