DALLAS (FWAA) – The 2020 college football
season was unprecedented in the modern era with the effects of COVID-19
disrupting the schedule and forcing sports information departments
to alter the ways they conducted business. In an effort to reflect
the trying situations, the Football Writers Association
of America is honoring departments and individuals who
stood out in their performances in getting the job done and others
who were nominated by FWAA media members for strong access.
2020 Super 11: Appalachian State, Boston
Clemson, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas State, Kentucky,
Nebraska, North Carolina, Penn State, West Virginia
Special Merit: San José State,
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, Rose Bowl Game
Coach of the Year: Tom Allen, Indiana
Four first-time recipients – Boston College, North Carolina,
Penn State and West Virginia – are included in the 12th
Annual Super 11 Awards, which the FWAA gives out annually
to the best performing sports information departments in the NCAA
Football Bowl Subdivision.
The FWAA is also issuing Special Merit Awards to the media information
staffs of the Cotton and Rose bowls for their efforts in hosting
the Rose Bowl Game in Arlington, Texas, when it had to be moved
from Pasadena because of health restrictions in California.
Likewise, San José State receives a Merit Award. The Spartans'
winding road to a banner season included scheduling summer conditioning
and preseason workouts around the impacts of climate change, unhealthy
air quality index readings and the Northern California wildfires;
training 325 miles away from home less than three weeks before the
start of the abbreviated season; and providing media services as
a host SID in football facilities without spectators at home in
San José and in Nevada at Las Vegas' Sam Boyd Stadium based on local,
county and state COVID-19 protocols.
In addition, for the third straight year the FWAA presented a
Super 11 Coach of the Year Award. The 2020 recipient is Indiana's
Tom Allen, who granted outstanding access to his program. The Indiana
sports information department was also named to the Super 11.
As for the other 10 schools, Penn State was an early leader in
virtual access via Zoom calls and continued throughout the season.
Similarly, Appalachian State, Boston College, Clemson, Colorado,
Kansas State, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina and West Virginia
were strong in access to players and coaches.
Colorado's staff was particularly helpful in helping CoSIDA lay
down guidelines for press boxes in 2020 as well as making its FWAA
Freshman Coach of the Year Karl Dorrell available. Clemson was lauded
for its handling of Trevor Lawrence's campaign for social justice
as well as general transparency on other issues involving the football
"This (2020) was a different kind of year, obviously,"
FWAA Executive Director Steve Richardson said. "We tried to
honor schools who went the extra mile in player and coach access
remotely in most cases or to help writers in a scrambled season."
Clemson and Colorado each won for an eighth time. It was Clemson's
sixth straight award and Colorado's seventh award in eight seasons.
FWAA members who covered college football during the 2020 season
provided input. The FWAA's Press Operations Survey of writers also
In January 2009, the FWAA began the Super 11 Awards. The concept
has been supported and endorsed by the College Sports Information
Directors of America (CoSIDA), many of whom are members of the FWAA.
The FWAA has now awarded Super 11 to 74 different schools in the
12 years of the program.
The Football Writers Association of America,
a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than
1,300 men and women across North America who cover college football
for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters
and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that
involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day
operations, major awards, a national poll and its annual All-America
teams. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs,
contact Executive Director Steve Richardson at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-870-6516.
Super 11 Awards (including
complete selection criteria)