College football notebook

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 9, 2006

Associated Press

The college notebook …

Tonight in the Division II semifinals, Bloomsburg will be at Northwest Missouri State, and Delta State will play at Grand Valley State.

The Grand Valley-Delta State contest will be aired by ESPN2 at 7 p.m.

It will give former West Rowan star J.D. Davis a chance to get some national attention. He is an assistant with Delta State, along with former Catawba line coach Mike Bloomgren.

Davis and Delta State are going up against the juggernaut that defeated Catawba in the national semifinals a few years ago. Grand Valley has the longest winning streak in all of college football (26 straight victories).

“If you get a chance check out the game,” Davis wrote in an e-mail to the Post. “It should be dandy.”

ALABAMA WAITS

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Wallace Gilberry finds some solace by pointing to Alabama’s tradition, always a favorite pastime around these parts.

Only he’s thinking of coaching changes, not championships.

“The guys that were here before us, they went through four,” said Gilberry, a junior defensive end. “Compared to those guys, this is nothing.”

Well, there is that.

Still, the Crimson Tide players are gearing up for the Independence Bowl without a head coach or any idea when they’ll get one.

They practiced Saturday after a week off — three weeks after their last regular-season game and one day after West Virginia’s Rich Rodriguez turned down the job.

But at least for a few hours the Tide could focus on blocking, tackling and the upcoming game against Oklahoma State in the Dec. 28 bowl.

“I’ve been so proud of them,” said Joe Kines, the defensive coordinator and interim head coach.

But they can’t answer that lingering question: Who’s the coach?

Some of the players said they’d like for Kines to get consideration for the job, though he said Alabama officials haven’t approached him about that. The folksy 61-year-old has more pressing priorities: His players’ exams and coming up with a game plan to stop Oklahoma State.

“And I haven’t bought my wife anything for Christmas,” he said. “I’ve got too much to worry about than that.”

ARIZONA STATE

PHOENIX — Dennis Erickson has accepted the head coaching job at Arizona State, Idaho athletic director Rob Spear said Saturday night.

The 59-year-old Erickson spent one season at Idaho in his second stint at the school, going 4-8. He led Miami to two national titles, also has been a head coach at Wyoming, Washington State and Oregon State and coached Seattle and San Francisco in the NFL.

Erickson has a 149-64-1 record in 18 seasons as a college coach. At Oregon State, he took over a program that had an NCAA Division

I-record 28 straight losing seasons. His first team in Corvallis went 7-5 and an Oahu Bowl appearance. His second Beavers’ team routed Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl to cap an 11-1 season.

UAB’S BROWN MOVES

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — Watson Brown, the coach who oversaw UAB’s move to Division I-A during 12 seasons but suffered through a disappointing 3-9 year, resigned and was introduced as the coach at Tennessee Tech hours later Saturday.

The 45-year-old Brown is a Cookeville native.

“The time is right, and this is a great opportunity to make a quick move and really improve the Golden Eagle football program to the point where we can win conference championships and make a run at a national championship,” Brown said.

“We want to win immediately.”

DIVISION III

ALLIANCE, Ohio — Nate Kmic ran for a career-high 371 yards and three touchdowns to lead defending champion Mount Union to a 26-14 victory over St. John Fisher in the NCAA Division III semifinals Saturday.

The Purple Raiders (14-0), seeking their ninth national title in 14 years, will face Wisconsin-Whitewater next Saturday in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl in Salem, Va., in a rematch of the 2005 championship game.

Mount Union beat Whitwater 35-28 last year in the title game.

Wis.-Whitewater 44, Wesley 7

WHITEWATER, Wis. — Justin Jacobs threw five touchdown passes — three to Derek Stanley — for Wisconsin-Whitewater

(14-0).

NAIA

In the NAIA championship, St. Francis of Indiana will face Sioux Falls next Saturday in Hardin County, Tenn. They advanced last week.

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