Wednesday, November 30, 2005
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Three of the nation's top offensive minds and three of the top defensive minds, all of whom are bowl bound and some of whom still play a role in the national title scene, make up the finalists for the prestigious Broyles Award, which for the 10th year will be presented to the nation's top assistant football coach.
The 2005 Finalists
Oregon offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Gary Crowton; Texas offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Greg Davis; Virginia Tech defensive coordinator, inside linebackers coach and special teams coach Bud Foster; Alabama defensive coordinator, assistant head coach and linebackers coach Joe Kines; Iowa defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Norm Parker; and UCLA quarterbacks coach Jim Svoboda were all named finalists on Wednesday for the prominent award.
The winner of the 2005 Broyles Award, presented by the Downtown Rotary Club, will be announced on Tuesday, January 17, at the Doubletree Hotel in Little Rock.
About the Finalists
Joe Kines, 61, is considered one of the top defensive minds in the college game, with more than 30 years of experience under his belt. And he has quickly turned the 14th-ranked Crimson Tide (9-2) into a defensive force. Kines, the former Arkansas head coach, had the nation's No. 2 defense in 2004, his second season back at 'Bama, and his current defense also ranks second nationally and first in the Southeastern Conference, allowing just 248.3 yards per game. The Tide also is second nationally and first in the SEC in scoring defense (10.7 points per game), fifth nationally and first in the SEC in passing defense (154.8 yards per game) and seventh nationally and third in the SEC in rushing defense (93.5 yards per game). Four foes have been held to three points or less by an Alabama team that went undefeated through September and October. Linebacker DeMeco Ryans is 'Bama's first All-American since 1999 and a finalist for the Nagurski Trophy and the Bednarik Award, both of which are given to the nation's top defensive player, and the Butkus Award, given to the nation's top linebacker. He's also a semifinalist for the two-year-old Lott Trophy, given to college football's top defensive impact player. Senior free safety Roman Harper is a semifinalist for the Thorpe Award, presented to the nation's top defensive back.
Gary Crowton, 48, has produced offenses that have ranked among the nation's best during his 17 years as an offensive coordinator or head coach at the collegiate and NFL levels. This year, Crowton's first at No. 8 Oregon (10-1), has been no exception. The Ducks rank seventh nationally and third in the Pacific-10 in passing offense (310.1 yards per game) and ninth nationally and fourth in the conference in scoring offense (36.4 points a game). Five times this season the Ducks have scored 40 or more points in a game, including a 56-14 victory over rival Oregon State to close out the regular season and put them in position for BCS consideration. The victory gave Oregon 10 victories for just the second time in school history. Crowton, the former BYU and Louisiana Tech head coach and Chicago Bears offensive coordinator, had a daunting task ahead of him when senior quarterback Kellen Clemens was lost for the season with a broken ankle against Arizona. Crowton turned to a two-quarterback system, with sophomores Dennis Dixon and Brady Leaf, and they have won four consecutive since Clemens was hurt, including the Arizona game and a 27-20 overtime victory over then-No. 23 California. Senior wide receiver Demetrius Williams, a second-team All-Pac-10 selection, is a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, presented to the nation's top receiver. Junior offensive lineman Enoka Lucas also is a second-team All-Pac-10 pick.
Behind 32-year coaching veteran Greg Davis, 54, who also was a Broyles Award finalist in 1999, No. 2 Texas (11-0) is on the verge of playing for the national championship in the Rose Bowl, with Colorado, a team it beat by 25 points earlier in the year, the last hurdle in the Big 12 championship game. The Big 12 South champion Longhorns boast the nation's top scoring offense (49.1 points per game) with a Heisman Trophy candidate in junior quarterback Vince Young. Davis' unit also ranks No. 2 nationally in total offense (511 yards per game) and No. 3 nationally in rushing offense (274.2 yards per game) despite losing to the NFL running back Cedric Benson, who was drafted fourth overall by the Chicago Bears. They lead the Big 12 in scoring offense, rushing offense and pass efficiency, are second in total offense, and are third in passing offense. Young also is a finalist for the Maxwell Award, presented to the nation's top offensive player, and the Davey O'Brien Award, given to the nation's top quarterback. The 'Horns quarterback is third in the nation in passing efficiency (165.0 rating) and eighth in the nation in total offense (306.3 yards per game). With Davis, the former Tulane head coach, running the offense, Texas has scored more than 50 points in a game six times this season, 60 or more three times and 40 points or more in every game but one, a 25-22 victory at Ohio State in Week 2.
When it comes to defense, there's none better than the one Bud Foster, 46, has put together at No. 5 Virginia Tech (10-1), and as a result, Foster is a Broyles Award finalist for the third time. He also was a finalist in 1999 and 2001. The Hokies, who will play their oldest out-of-state rival, Florida State, for the Atlantic Coast Conference championship, rank first nationally in total defense (236.7 yards per game), scoring defense (10.6 points per game) and passing defense (142.1 yards per game). The Coastal Division champions also rank No. 9 nationally in rushing defense (94.5 yards per game), have posted two shutouts this season and have held six opponents to 10 points or fewer. Foster's unit is first in the ACC in total defense, scoring defense, pass defense, rushing defense and second in pass efficiency defense. And the Hokies defense has been a pretty good offense. Tech has scored six touchdowns on returns (4 interceptions, 1 fumble return, 1 blocked field goal return). The 144 first downs allowed by Tech's defense are the fewest by an ACC team. Senior defensive back Jimmy Williams is a semifinalist for the Thorpe Award, given to the nation's top defensive back, and is a first-team All-ACC selection along with defensive lineman Darryl Tapp. Defensive tackle Jonathan Lewis and linebacker Vince Hall earned second-team All-ACC honors.
Norm Parker, 64, also a Broyles Award finalist in 2004, and No. 25 Iowa (7-4) are bowl bound for the fifth consecutive season with a hard-hitting defense that shut down the nation's top running game to end the season and two senior linebackers who are among the nation's best. The Hawkeyes closed the season with an upset of then-No. 19 Wisconsin, 20-10, and a 52-28 rout of Minnesota, holding the nation's best rushing offense to 129 yards. Despite losing four defensive linemen from the 2004 team, the Hawkeyes rank 21st nationally and third in the Big Ten in scoring defense (19.0 points a game) and 27th nationally and third in the Big Ten in rushing defense (122.1 yards per game). They have the conference's best red zone defense and allowed 376.8 yards per game, fourth-best in the conference. Senior linebacker Chad Greenway was a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award, given to the nation's top defensive player. Greenway also is a first-team All-Big Ten selection, along with sophomore defensive end Kenny Iwebema and senior defensive back Jovon Johnson. Senior linebacker Abdul Hodge was a second-team All-Big Ten pick. Greenway and Hodge are tied for the team lead in tackles with 112 each.
No. 11 UCLA (9-1), with Jim Svoboda, 45, directing its record-breaking quarterback, is the only thing standing between rival Southern California and the national championship game in the Rose Bowl. With a victory over USC, the Bruins could clinch a share of the Pacific-10 title with USC and Oregon. They will be leaning on Svoboda's quarterback, senior Drew Olson, to provide that upset. Olson, a second-team All-Pac-10 selection, leads the nation and the Pac-10 in passing efficiency (172.5) and is a finalist for the Unitas Award, given to the nation's top senior quarterback. He was a semifinalist for the Davey O'Brien Award, given to the nation's top quarterback. Olson shattered the school record for touchdown passes with 30 this season. He broke the mark of 25 set by Cade McNown in 1998. Olson leads the nation in touchdown passes per game (3.0) and is tied for second overall with 30 touchdown passes. He also leads the nation in interception percentage (0.93) and points responsible for (18.60). Olson's efficiency rating of 301.26 for the Arizona State game was the second-highest in NCAA Division I-A history for quarterbacks between 25 and 49 pass attempts.
About the Broyles Award
The Broyles Award is named in honor of longtime University of Arkansas Athletic Director Frank Broyles, who developed a reputation during a stellar coaching career of producing top-notch assistants. Former Broyles assistant coaches have combined to win almost 15 percent of all Super Bowl titles, four national collegiate championships, more than 40 conference titles and more than 2,000 games. More than 25 Broyles assistants went on to become head coaches at the college or professional level, including Doug Dickey, Joe Gibbs, Hayden Frye, Jimmy Johnson, Johnny Majors, Jackie Sherrill and Barry Switzer.
Each NCAA Division I head coach may nominate one of his assistants for the Broyles Award. Every assistant that is nominated, but not selected as a finalist, receives a personalized wall plaque recognizing his efforts. The finalists are chosen by an eight-man panel that may be the most prestigious of any awards panel, representing four national championships, more than 1,300 victories, 59 conference titles, 112 bowl game appearances and nine national head coach of the year honors. The panelists are:
Arkansas Athletic Director and former Coach Frank Broyles
Former Michigan Coach Bo Schembechler
Former Georgia Coach Vince Dooley
Former Washington Coach Don James
Former Syracuse Coach Dick MacPherson
Former Baylor Coach Grant Teaff
Former Brigham Young Coach LaVell Edwards
Former Iowa Coach Hayden Fry
Previous Broyles Award winners are: Florida State defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews (1996); Michigan defensive coordinator Jim Herrmann (1997); Tennessee offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe (1998); former Georgia Tech offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen (1999), now coach at Maryland; former Oklahoma offensive coordinator Mark Mangino (2000), now the coach at Kansas; Miami defensive coordinator Randy Shannon (2001); former Southern California offensive coordinator Norm Chow (2002), now offensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans; former Georgia defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder (2003), now linebackers coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars; and former Auburn defensive coordinator Gene Chizik (2005), now co-defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Texas.
The Broyles Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association. The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of major collegiate football awards. The purpose of the NCFAA is to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of college football's various awards. The NCFAA also encourages professionalism and the highest standards possible for the administration of college football awards and the selection of their winners.