DAPHNE, Ala. – As the 2016-17 college football season kicks into high gear after three weeks of high profile matchups, the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Year Award series is in full swing.
The first three weeks of action saw the Texas Longhorns upset Notre Dame 50-47 in double overtime to earn the season’s first Game of the Week honor. In the second week voters selected another double overtime game which saw the Arkansas Razorbacks top the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs 41-38. For the third week, voters selected North Dakota State’s 23-21 upset win against the Iowa Hawkeyes as the Game of the Week.
For the eleventh consecutive year, the Academy is conducting its College Football Game of the Year Award, which was developed in 2005 to pay tribute to a team whose efforts in a college football game exemplify the principles of high athletic endeavor, complete dedication to victory, and unified team effort.
A blue ribbon panel of 17 members consisting of former college football coaches and athletic directors and including Academy faculty selects the weekly winner of the Academy’s College Football Game of the Week Award by ballot. The committee is chaired by former U.S. Naval Academy athletic director Jack Lengyel. At the conclusion of the college football season, the panel selects the Academy’s College Football Game of the Year.
The College Football Game of the Year Award is part of the Academy’s Awards of Sport series, a function of the American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA), which was established as “a tribute to the artist and the athlete.”
Committee members are former University of Georgia head football coach and Athletic Director Vince Dooley; former National Football Foundation CEO Robert Casciola; former Temple University and Alabama State University head football coach Ron Dickerson; former Ohio State University Athletic Director James Jones; Managing Editor of the American Football Monthly Rex Lardner; former University of Washington Athletic Director Mike Lude; former University of California Athletic Director Dave Maggard; sport artist Daniel Moore; former Marshall University head football coach Bob Pruett; former Air Force Academy Athletic Director Randy Spetman; former Arizona State University Athletic Director Dick Tamburo; former University of Notre Dame Associate Athletic Director Roger Valdiserri; former Athletic Director at U.S. Military Academy Al Vanderbush; and former Oklahoma State University and Washington State University Athletic Director Dr. Richard Young.
United States Sports Academy in-house committee members are Chair of Sports Coaching Dr. Bret Simmermacher and Director of Doctoral Studies Dr. Fred Cromartie.
Each year at the conclusion of the college football season Moore, the ASAMA 2005 Sport Artist of the Year, is commissioned by the Academy to render a painting depicting a memorable and pivotal moment to commemorate the selected College Football Game of the Year. In addition, the Academy contributes $5,000 to the winning university’s scholarship fund.
Following the 2015-16 season Moore created a painting titled “FINISH!” to commemorate Alabama’s 45-40 win against Clemson in the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship. The painting depicts former Alabama running back Kenyan Drake’s memorable dive into the end zone to complete a 95-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter that gave the team its final lead in the victory.
Past winners of the Academy’s Game of the Year Award include Rutgers University in 2006, Appalachian State University in 2007, Texas Tech University in 2008, the University of Alabama in 2009 and 2011, Texas A&M University in 2012, Auburn University in 2010 and 2013, Ohio State University in 2014 and the University of Alabama in 2015.
Fans are encouraged to follow the Academy’s Game of the Year process and compare their selected games of the week to the committee’s selection.
The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission Sports University created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call (251) 626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.