When the Heisman Trophy finalists meet in New York tomorrow night for the award presentation, it should be a friendly affair - even though Alabama and running back Mark Ingram will clash with Texas and quarterback Colt McCoy for the BCS championship in about a month.
The last time Ndamukong Suh hung out with McCoy, the Nebraska defensive tackle was tossing the quarterback all over the field at Cowboys Stadium in the Big Twelve Conference title game in Dallas.
While quarterback Tim Tebow cried in the final seconds of Florida's loss in the Southeastern Conference title game, Ingram rubbed it in by doing a mock Gator Chomp.
Ingram, McCoy, Suh, Tebow, and Stanford running back Toby Gerhart are the Heisman finalists, but "there's no slam-dunk candidate," Chris Huston, the creator of HeismanPundit.com, told the Dallas Morning News.
Ingram's 1,542 rushing yards would be the fewest for a Heisman-winning running back since Archie Griffin won his second consecutive Heisman in 1975 with 1,450 yards, Huston said.
Gerhart, who leads the nation in touchdowns and is second in rushing average, ranked second in both projections. Though he has been most consistent, he plays for an 8-4 team.
McCoy, last year's gracious runner-up, is a senior for the unbeaten Longhorns, even if he and Texas squeaked by Nebraska after a rough Saturday night in Arlington. He's also the winningest quarterback in major college football.
Suh made a surge with his dominating performance in the Big Twelve title game.
Tebow, the 2007 winner who finished third last season even though he had the most first-place votes, will be back in New York for a record third time. Huston, though, predicts there will never be another two-time winner.
Paterno clan happy. Penn State coach Joe Paterno said his family is excited about the Nittany Lions' New Year's Day game against Louisiana State (9-3) in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla.
"I have 17 grandkids, and the oldest one is 14," Paterno said. "For the last two weeks, they've all been asking me, 'Are we going to Orlando? We want to go to Orlando!' "
Penn State (10-2) and LSU will meet for the first time since the Nittany Lions won the 1974 Orange Bowl, 16-9, to go 12-0.
Kiffin not "aware." Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin said yesterday he was not "aware" of any recruiting violations committed by himself, his assistants, or support staff regarding the university's student ambassador program.
Tennessee confirmed Wednesday that the NCAA is looking into the activities of members of the university's Orange Pride group.
Several of the group's "ambassadors" traveled nearly 200 miles to a high school football game, where three players are being recruited by the Vols.
Akron hires Ianello. Rob Ianello, 44, a Notre Dame assistant coach and the Fighting Irish's recruiting coordinator, was introduced as Akron's new head coach. He replaces J.D. Brookhart, who was fired after Akron went 3-9 this season.
Rowan duo honored. Rowan linebacker Andrew Yezzi and defensive end Matt Hoffman were honored Wednesday at the Touchdown Club of Southern New Jersey's awards banquet.
Yezzi, a Delsea High product, was given the Rowan player of the year award. Hoffman (Burlington Township High) was honored as the person of the year.