Monday, January 16, 2017


College Football Week 21 – Stanford-Rice in Sydney, Aug. 26, 2017

Memories, light the corners of my mind

 
“Misty colored memories
Of the way we were”
 
Time flies, especially during college football season. It seems like it was only yesterday when Tim Tebow announced he was trying out for major league baseball and the Big 12 Conference announced it was looking into expansion. 
 
Tennessee fans were all giddy and excited about the start of a new football season. Vols fans acted like the opening game against Appalachian State was going to be the biggest game in Tennessee football history.
 
Baylor was about to start its season without Art Briles, while Hugh Freeze and Ole Miss were about to start their season, facing 14 major rules violations.
 
Well, the New York Mets signed Tebow and sent him to their fall camp in Arizona. His performance was so bad that Fox Sports said, “It’s time to end the Tim Tebow baseball experiment.” After batting .156, Tebow got a brutal assessment from baseball scouts – “Awful.” “Stinks.” “Ugly,” they said. But in spite of it all, Tebow is going to spring training with the New York Mets. Stay tuned!
 
I guess you could say Tebow fared better with his expansion than the Big 12 did with theirs. After inviting every school in the country, including Arkansas State, to apply, the Big 12 announced that 10 schools were finalists. And after putting those schools through tryouts with videos and verbal presentations, the Big 12 ultimately said, “We’re not going to expand.” So what was that all about?
 
Meanwhile, in Knoxville, the Appalachian State-Tennessee game turned out to be one of the Vols biggest games. It almost turned out to be one of Tennessee’s biggest losses. Appalachian State led the Vols 13-3 at the half and 13-6 at the end of three. The game ultimately went into overtime before Tennessee could subdue Appalachian State, 20-13.
 
Baylor got off to a great start without Art Briles. Under interim coach Jim Grobe, the Bears jumped out to a 6-0 start on the season. Then disaster struck, as Baylor lost its next six games. The Bears bounced back with an impressive 31-12 win over Boise State in their bowl game. Briles, on the other hand, never bounced back. At the end of the season, he applied for some of the head coach openings and was turned down by all. More recently, Gus Malzahn refused to interview Briles for the offensive coordinator opening at Auburn.
 
Meanwhile in Oxford, Ole Miss and Hugh Freeze are still waiting for the NCAA to hand down a decision. All the while, the wait appears to be having a negative effect on
Ole Miss’ recruiting. Stay tuned!
 
“Scattered pictures
Of the smiles we left behind”
 
Yes, back in August, California and Hawaii got the season started a week early in Sydney, Australia. The Golden Bears beat the Rainbow Warriors, 51-31. But little did Cal coach Sonny Dykes know at the time that he would be fired at the end of the season.
 
The following week, Steve Sarkisian joined the Alabama coaching staff, as an offensive consultant.
 
In Week 2, Louisville beat Syracuse, 62-28. The Cardinals racked up 845 total yards in the game. Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson was responsible for 610 of those yards – passing for 411 and rushing for 199. It was stats like these early in the season against weaker competition that made Jackson the front-runner for the Heisman Trophy. So much so, that in spite of weak stats and poor performances against stronger competition at the end of the season, Jackson still won the Heisman Trophy.  
 
Week 4, LSU fired Les Miles. In what was labeled the “Hot Seat Bowl” between LSU and Auburn, the Auburn Tigers beat the LSU Tigers, 18-13. The game had a controversial ending, because it appeared that LSU beat Auburn 19-18 on the final play of the game. But after a review, it was determined that LSU did not get the ball snapped before the clock expired. Miles was fired after the game.  
 
Week 5 (late September/early October), Swamp Mama and I had a great week in Nebraska, visiting with friends Dave and Sue Brolhorst and also Rory and Randi Zink. Along with Dave and Sue, and thanks to Rory, we attended the Illinois-Nebraska football game. The Huskers won, 31-16.
 
I got to check off two things on my bucket list during the trip. Going to a Nebraska football game in Lincoln was one. The other was visiting the Big Red Meat Wagon tailgate site before the game. I managed to lay back on the gurney and get my vodka IV. Thank you Dan Kleinbeck, Mike and Rick.   
 
That was the same weekend that Clemson beat Louisville, 42-36, and Tennessee beat Georgia, 34-31, on a 43-yard Hail Mary pass as the game clock expired.
 
The next week, Hurricane Matthew disrupted the football scene in Florida. Instead of going to the LSU-Florida game in Gainesville, Swamp Mama and I evacuated to Punta Gorda, while Bootsie and Rockledge Gator evacuated to Georgia. The LSU-Florida game was postponed.
 
That was the same weekend that Tennessee, after its incredible win over Georgia the week before, lost to Texas A&M in two overtimes, 45-38.
 
Week 7, halfway through the season, Clemson barely escaped defeat, beating NC State, 24-17 in overtime. As time expired at the end of regulation, NC State missed a 37-yard field goal that would have given the Wolfpack a 23-17 upset win over Clemson.
 
In other news that weekend, Purdue fired Darrell Hazel.
 
The following week, Penn State knocked off Ohio State, 24-21, handing the Buckeyes their one and only loss during the regular season. In the game, the Buckeyes led the Nittany Lions 21-7 early in the fourth quarter.
 
As much as I hate Saturday weddings during college football season, Swamp Mama and I flew to Houston for a wedding during Week 9. But I must admit I had a good time. We had lunch with my ole friend from work, Terry Conner and we had dinner with my cousins (who are twins) Florence Rutherford and Frances Jones.
 
The wedding took place on the same afternoon as the Florida-Georgia football game. Those of us who flew in from Florida for the wedding all had our cell phones out, following the Florida-Georgia game during the service. None of us had guilty consciences as we had permission from the groom’s mother. The Gators beat the Dawgs, 24-10.
 
On the same weekend, Clemson beat Florida State, 37-34.
 
Two weeks later, Bootsie, Rockledge Gator, Swamp Mama and I celebrated our 25th anniversary of attending Florida football games together. We were in Gainesville for the South Carolina-Florida game – the return of Will Mustake to The Swamp. Florida won 20-3. Our thrill of the game was watching Eddie Pineiro kick a 54-yard field goal for the Gators.
 
Week 12 Charlie Strong was fired after Texas lost to Kansas, 24-21 in overtime. It was the Longhorns’ first loss to Kansas since 1938. Meanwhile, in the game that was postponed from October 8, Florida beat LSU (in Baton Rouge), 16-10. Florida’s defense provided a spectacular goal-line stand for four plays at the end of the game.
 
Michigan State failed on a two-point conversion attempt and ultimately lost to Ohio State, 17-16. Knoxville News-Sentinel columnist John Adams wrote that the SEC should trade Missouri to the Big 12 for West Virginia. 
 
The same weekend, USC handed Washington its first and only loss (until the playoffs). The Trojans beat the Huskies 26-13. Also, losing its only game of the season was Clemson. The eventual national champions lost to Pitt, 43-42. Iowa knocked off Michigan, 14-13, on a 33-yard field goal as time expired.
 
Week 13 and Swamp Mama and I entertained 11 people for dinner. Yes, it was Thanksgiving Week and I cooked the turkey. I’m not being facetious. But in Columbus, Ohio, Jim Harbaugh was a turkey. Harbaugh blamed the officials for Michigan’s 30-27 double overtime loss to Ohio State. Yes, the officiating was atrocious, but Wolverines’ quarterback Wilton Speight lost the game for Michigan.
 
Alabama and Western Michigan became the only two FBS teams to finish the regular season undefeated. The Crimson Tide beat Auburn, 30-12, and the Broncos beat Toledo, 55-35. Kentucky knocked off Louisville, 41-38, and out west, Colorado won the Pac-12 South Division, beating Utah, 27-22.
 
Week 14 was championship week, but winning the Big Ten was meaningless this season. Penn State won the Big Ten, beating Wisconsin, 38-31 in the title game. However, in the final College Football Playoff Poll, Ohio State, not Penn State, was chosen for the four-team playoff. The other three were Alabama, Clemson and Washington. The Nittany Lions finished 5th in the poll.
 
Oregon fired Mark Helfrich, Indiana fired Kevin Wilson and Cincinnati dumped Tommy Tuberville.
 
The next week Army beat Navy for the first time in 14 years. The Cadets beat the Middies, 21-17. In New York, Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson was named the winner of the Heisman Trophy. Jackson beat out Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson in the voting.
 
Week 16, LSU made interim coach Ed Orgeron the full-time coach, and Texas hired Tom Herman.   
 
One week later, Christmas was near. A former Wake Forest player and assistant coach was caught passing playbooks and game plans to the Demon Deacons’ opponents – an activity that had been going on for two or three seasons. Meanwhile, the coaching vacancies were filling up. Oregon hired Willie Taggart, South Florida hired Charlie Strong, Baylor hired Matt Rhule, Florida Atlantic hired Lane Kiffin and Cincinnati hired Luke Fickell. It seems like everybody got hired but Les Miles and Art Briles.
 
The first five bowl games were played. Most notable among the games – San Diego State beat Houston, 34-10 in the Las Vegas Bowl.   
 
The next week, Swamp Mama and I made the trek to Florida’s panhandle for Christmas with Princess Gator, Bama Gator, Gator Gabe and Gator Babe.
 
The day after Christmas, Connecticut fired Bob Diaco. A day later, Carrie Fisher died.
 
Twenty more bowl games were played. Most notable – Wake Forest beat Temple, 34-26, in the Military Bowl, and Minnesota surprised Washington State, 17-12, in the Holiday Bowl.
 
Debbie Reynolds died.
 
Week 18, New Year’s Week, and the best of the bowl games by far were the Rose Bowl and the Orange Bowl. In the Rose, Penn State rallied to take a late lead over USC, only to have the Trojans rally in the fourth quarter and win the game on a 46-yard field as time expired. USC beat Penn State in a thriller, 52-49.
 
In the Orange Bowl, it was similar to the Rose. Michigan rallied in the fourth quarter to take a 30-27 lead over Florida State. Then in a frantic final two minutes, Florida State retook the lead and beat the Wolverines in a thriller, 33-32. In a thriller before the game, Florida State’s Renegade, the horse, fell down and Chief Osceola fell off Renegade.
 
In the semifinal games of the College Football Playoff, Alabama beat Washington, 24-7, in the Peach Bowl, and Clemson beat Ohio State, 31-0, in the Fiesta Bowl.
 
Connecticut hired Randy Edsall.  Nick Saban fired his offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, just seven days before the national championship game. Most notable among some of the other bowl games – Kansas State beat Texas A&M, 33-28, in the Texas Bowl, Virginia Tech beat Arkansas, 35-24, in the Belk Bowl, Oklahoma State beat Colorado, 38-8, in the Alamo Bowl and Oklahoma beat Auburn, 35-19, in the Sugar Bowl.
 
The following week, the season came to an end when Clemson won the national championship, beating Alabama for the title, 35-31. It was a thriller.
 
“If we had a chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we? Could we?”
 
Minnesota fired Tracy Claeys and hired P.J. Fleck, while California fired Sonny Dykes.
 
A few days after the national championship game, California hired Justin Wilcox to be the Golden Bears new coach. Wilcox was the defensive coordinator at Wisconsin. Meanwhile, Western Michigan replaced P.J. Fleck with Tim Lester. Lester, a former WMU quarterback, was the quarterbacks coach at Purdue.
 
And Les Miles was snubbed yet again. Maybe ole Les should just open a stand on a street in Baton Rouge and sell po’ boy sandwiches. Or maybe he and Art could start a consulting firm, calling it Briles with Miles, or perhaps Miles with Briles.
 
Mississippi State and Louisville executed an end of the season trade, if you will. The Cardinals’ defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is the new DC at Miss State, while the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon is the new DC at Louisville. That was convenient.
 
Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee left the Tigers’ program to become the OC at Connecticut. Nebraska coach Mike Riley fired his defensive coordinator Mark Banker and hired former Connecticut coach Bob Diaco as Banker’s replacement.
 
So with the coaching carousel all wrapped up, 21 schools will begin the 2017 season with new head coaches.  
 
“Memories, may be beautiful and yet
What’s to painful to remember
We simply choose to forget”
 
That brings up the question: What coaches will enter the 2017 season on the hot seat? As I see it, nine coaches from the Power 5 conferences will begin 2017 on the proverbial hot seat.
 
Four of those coaches reside in none other than the SEC. They are Butch Jones of Tennessee (9-4 in 2016, 30-21 overall in 4 years with the Vols), Gus Malzahn of Auburn (8-5 in 2016, 35-18 in 4 years with the Tigers), Kevin Sumlin of Texas A&M (8-5 in 2016, 44-21 in 5 years with the Aggies) and Bret Bielema of Arkansas (7-6 in 2016, 25-26 in 4 years with the Razorbacks).
 
Now at most schools only Bielema, of those four, would be in trouble. The other three – Jones, Malzahn and Sumlin – would be praised as good coaches. But not in the SEC and especially not at Tennessee, Auburn and Texas A&M. The expectations are higher. Unless Jones, Malzahn, Sumlin and Bielema have outstanding – I mean outstanding – seasons in 2017, they will be ousted. Not even Jennifer can save Bret this time.
 
The Pac-12 has three coaches who will definitely be on the hot seat as the 2017 season begins. They are Todd Graham of Arizona State (5-7 in 2016, 39-26 in 5 years with the Sun Devils), Jim Mora of UCLA (4-8 in 2016, 41-24 in 5 years with the Bruins) and Rich Rodriguez (3-9 in 2016, 36-29 in five years with the Wildcats).
 
To save their jobs, all Graham, Mora and Rodriguez need to do in 2017 in have a winning record and get to a bowl game. They don’t need to have outstanding seasons.
 
In the Big 12, only one coach is in trouble. That would be Kliff Kingsbury of Texas Tech (5-7 in 2016, 24-26 in 5 years with the Red Raiders). Like the three Pac-12 coaches, all Kingsbury needs to do in 2016 is have a winning record and get to a bowl. That would be enough to save his job. Anything less is curtains.
 
None of the ACC or Big Ten coaches should be on the hot seat when the 2017 season begins. But the lone Power 5 Independent coach is in trouble. That would be Brian Kelly of Notre Dame (4-8 in 2016, 59-31 in 7 years with the Irish). Kelly needs to win big in 2017.
 
Among the Group of 5 conferences, nine coaches will enter the 2017 season on the hot seat.
 
Four of them reside in Conference USA. They are Brad Lambert of Charlotte (4-8 in 2016, 16-30 in 4 years with the 49ers), Doc Holliday of Marshall (3-9 in 2016, 53-37 in 7 years with the Herd), Sean Kugler of UTEP (4-8 in 2016, 18-31 in 4 years with the Miners) and David Bailiff of Rice (3-9 in 2016, 56-69 in 10 years with the Owls). Those four just need to have winning seasons in 2017.
 
Three coaches from the Mid-American Conference will be on the hot seat as the 2017 season begins. They are Terry Bowden of Akron (5-7, 24-37 in 5 years with the Zips), Paul Haynes of Kent State (3-9 in 2016, 12-35 in 4 years with the Golden Flashes) and Rod Carey of Northern Illinois (5-7, 36-19 in 4 years with the Huskies). The three of them just need winning seasons in 2017. 
 
Only one coach in the Mountain West Conference is sitting on a hot seat. He is Matt Wells of Utah State (3-9 in 2016, 28-25 in 4 years with the Aggies). Wells needs to be a winner in 2017.
 
No coach in the Sun Belt Conference appears to be on the hot seat in 2017. But a Group of 5 Independent coach is in trouble. He would be Mark Whipple of Massachusetts (2-10 in 2016, 57-54 in 9 years with the Minutemen).
 
And speaking of the conferences, there will be only one change in the membership of the FBS leagues next season. Coastal Carolina steps up to the FBS level, joining the Sun Belt Conference as a full-fledged member. The addition of Coastal Carolina will make the Sun Belt a 12-team league in 2017.
 
As mentioned earlier, the Big 12 did not expand in 2016, however as a 10-team league, the Big 12 will have a championship game next season. Stay tuned!
 
Keep an eye on three elements of the game during the off-season – targeting, kickoffs and time.  Watching the games on television this past season, you probably noticed that many of the game commentators and analysts complained about the targeting rule. Whenever targeting was called, most seemed to think it wasn’t targeting – whether it was or wasn’t. And most of the commentators outright said that the targeting rule should be eliminated.
 
“Can it be that it was all so simple then?
Or has time rewritten every line?”
 
I’m not sure that I agree with them, in fact I probably don’t. And I’m not sure how most coaches feel about the matter. But it will be interesting to see if the NCAA football rules committee makes any changes to the targeting rule during the off season.
 
Supposedly, many injuries occur on kickoffs. To help reduce the number of injuries, kickoffs were changed from the 30 to the 35-yard line five years ago. And a touchback on kickoffs placed the ball on the 25-yard line – a change from the 20-yard line. This change was made to reduce the number of runbacks on kickoffs.
 
This past season, in Ivy League games, the teams kicked off from the 40-yard line to help further reduce the number of runbacks. I have not seen the results, but I suspect it did. Anyway, this is an area where coaches are concerned and the rules committee could make another change during the off-season.
 
And finally, are college games taking too long? The average game this past season was 3 hours and 24 minutes. The national championship game between Clemson and Alabama took 4 hours and 8 minutes.
 
I say, “Well, duh!” What do you expect with the increasing number of commercials, the length of the commercials and the increasing number of timeouts for the commercials? Add to this the increasing number of on-field injuries during the game, not to mention the number of times the game is stopped to review a call.
 
But some people think the quarters should be reduced from 15 minutes to 12 minutes, even 10 minutes. Balderdash! That would ruin the game. Maybe if the players would stop targeting, that would make for less injuries and less calls being reviewed. There has to be a solution without altering the length of the quarters.
 
Maybe they should just let the clock run during injuries and add stoppage time at the end of the game like they do in soccer. No, just kidding.
 
Some things may change between now and the start of the 2017 season. However, one thing that apparently won’t change according to the forecasters is the Top 10 teams from 2016 to 2017.
 
The “Way Too Early” polls for 2017 are out. Here’s the consensus Top 10 from 14 of those polls – legitimate ones: (1) Alabama, (2) Florida State, (3) Ohio State, (4) USC, (5) Penn State, (6) Clemson, (7) Oklahoma, (8) Washington, (9) Michigan, and (10) Oklahoma State.
 
Do you realize that is pretty much the same Top 10, in a different order, from this past season? Missing from the 2017 list is Wisconsin, but replacing the Badgers is Oklahoma State. And the Cowboys finished 11th this season. Looks like a monopoly to me. Stay tuned!
 
If these polls are correct, then we are going to start off with a bang next season. Opening weekend (September 2), Alabama plays Florida State in the new Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
 
In some other interesting games on opening weekend, West Virginia and Virginia Tech meet at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, and Florida plays Michigan at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Both of those games are on September 2. Then on Labor Day night (September 4), Tennessee meets Georgia Tech in Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
 
Week 2 this past season was dull, but Week 2 in 2017 will be just as exciting as Week 1. On September 9, Oklahoma plays Ohio State in Columbus, Auburn plays at Clemson, Georgia meets Notre Dame in South Bend, Nebraska plays Oregon in Eugene and Pitt tangles with Penn State in University Park.
 
“So it’s the laughter
we will remember
Whenever we remember
The way we were”
 
Well, that was a quick review of the past season and a brief peek into next season. With that in mind, remember the Moody Blues’ song “Go Now?” I think I better go now, go now, go now. Before you see me cry.
 
It was good, as always, to hear from Bob Darden, Garry Morris, Jan Fields, Leland Wells, Ken Burger and Tim Muth last week. Thank you for the kind comments.
 
Until August, I gotta go now.
 
Touchdown Tom
January 16, 2017
 
 
Quotes of the Week
 
“The guy that called us a fraud? Ask Alabama if we’re a fraud. Was the name Colin Cowherd? I don’t know him, never met him. Ask Ohio State if we’re a fraud. Ask Oklahoma if we’re a fraud. The only fraud is that guy, because he didn’t do his homework,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney.
 
“I owe him (Dabo Swinney) and my audience honesty. And I honestly thought for two months Clemson was a very average team. But I do owe them honesty and honestly I was wrong. But I don’t apologize for strong opinions and what I said at the time I strongly believed,” Colin Cowherd, responding to Dabo Swinney.
 
“If they had been kicking my butt up there every year, those people would have been clapping,” Steve Spurrier, on the Clemson fans booing him during the pre-game ceremonies at the national championship game in Tampa.
 
 
Quote from the Past
 
“The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it,” Lou Holtz.
 
 
And finally, notables from the football nation who left us during this past football season included Bill Dooley, 82 (former North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest coach); John Saunders, 61 (ESPN and ABC sports host and commentator); Bill Lenkaitis, 70 (Penn State and New England Patriots lineman); Dee Dowis, 48 (Air Force quarterback); Cary Blanchard, 47 (former NFL place-kicker), and Quentin Groves, 32 (Auburn football player).
 
Also, Dennis Byrd, 50 (New York Jets defensive lineman); John Hicks, 65 (Ohio State and New York Giants football player); Bob Gain, 87 (Cleveland Browns defensive lineman); Rashaan Salaam, 42 (former Colorado running back and Heisman Trophy winner); Dave Edwards, 76 (former Auburn and Dallas Cowboys player); James Elrod, 62 (Oklahoma football player), and LaVell Edwards, 86 (former BYU football coach).
 
Touchdown Tom
 
 
P.S.
 
Not exactly college football related, but in mid-January as college football fans were about to put the lid on another great season and shift their attention to college basketball, the number one song in the country…
 
…75 years ago this week in 1942 was “Chattanooga Choo Choo” by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra
 
…70 years ago this week in 1947 was “The Old Lamplighter” by Sammy Kaye and His Orchestra
 
…65 years ago this week in 1952 was “Cry” by Johnnie Ray and The Four Lads
 
…60 years ago this week in 1957 was “Singing the Blues” by Guy Mitchell
 
…55 years ago this week in 1962 was “The Twist” by Chubby Checker
 
…50 years ago this week in 1967 was “I’m a Believer” by The Monkees
 
…45 years ago this week in 1972 was “American Pie” by Don McLean
 
…40 years ago this week in 1977 was “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” by Leo Sayer
 
…35 years ago this week in 1982 was “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)” by Daryl Hall & John Oates
 
…30 years ago this week in 1987 was “Shake You Down” by Gregory Abbott
 
…25 years ago this week in 1992 was “All 4 Love” by Color Me Badd
 
 
Not exactly college football related, but notables from other sports who left us during this past football season included Ed Temple, 89 (women’s track coach); Arnold Palmer, 87 (golfer); Fred Slaughter, 74 (UCLA basketball player); Ralph Branca, 90 (Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher); Harry Flournoy, 72 (member of the 1966 Texas Western basketball team); Craig Sager, 65 (television sportscaster), and Milt Schmidt, 98 (Boston Bruins player and coach).
 
 
Not exactly college football related, but notables from the entertainment world who passed away during the 2016 football season included Glenn Yarbrough, 86 (singer/songwriter); Arthur Hiller, 92 (movie director); Jack Riley, 80 (character actor);
Steven Hill, 94 (actor); Gene Wilder, 83 (actor); Fred Hellerman, 89 (singer, guitarist and songwriter); Hugh O’Brian, 91 (Wyatt Earp on television); John D. Loudermilk, 82 (singer/songwriter), and Jean Shepard, 82 (country music singer).
 
Also, Joan Marie Johnson, 72 (member of the Dixie Cups); Don Ciccone, 70 (singer/songwriter); Eddie Applegate, 81 (actor); Rod Temperton, 66 (songwriter/musician); Bobby Vee, 73 (singer); Tammy Grimes, 82 (singer and actress); Curly Putman, 85 (songwriter); Kay Starr, 94 (singer); Leonard Cohen, 82 (poet, novelist and songwriter); Robert Vaughn, 83 (actor);  Leon Russell, 74 (songwriter and musician), and Holly Dunn, 59 (country singer/songwriter).
 
Also, Al Caiola, 96 (guitarist); Florence Henderson, 82 (singer/actress); Ron Glass, 71 (character actor); Van Williams, 82 (actor); Greg Lake, 69 (of Emerson, Lake and Palmer); Alan Thicke, 69 (singer, songwriter and actor); Bernard Fox, 89 (TV character actor); Zsa Zsa Gabor, 99 (actress); Fran Jeffries, 79 (singer and dancer); George Michael, 53 (singer); Carrie Fisher, 60 (actress/author); Debbie Reynolds, 84 (actress/entertainer); William Christopher, 84 (Father Mulcahy on “M*A*S*H”), and Buddy Greco, 90 (singer).
 
 
Not exactly college football related, but well-known folks from other walks of life who passed away during the 2016 football season included Edward Albee, 88 (playwright);
William P. Kinsella, 81 (author of “Shoeless Joe”); Shimon Peres, 93 (former prime minister of Israel), and Tom Hayden, 76 (civil rights/anti-war activist and lawmaker).
 
Also, Janet Reno, 78 (U.S. attorney general); Gwen Ifill, 61 (journalist); Melvin Laird, 94 (former Secretary of Defense); Fidel Castro, 90 (Cuban leader); Grant Tinker, 90, (CEO of NBC); John Glenn, 95 (astronaut and U.S. Senator); Ken Hechler, 102 (former U.S. Congressman from West Virginia); William Peter Blatty, 89 (author of “The Exorcist”), and Anthony Armstrong-Jones, 86 (photographer and former husband of Princess Margaret).
 
Peace!