College Football Notebook

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 5, 2008

Associated Press
The college football notebook …JACKSON, Miss. ó Mississippi football coach Houston Nutt works fast, even when it comes to contract extensions.
Nutt turned around a moribund Ole Miss program in just a year, then came to terms on a new contract extension Friday that will keep him in Oxford until 2012 amid speculation he was a candidate for the Auburn vacancy.
Nutt signed a four-year, $7.4 million contract when he took over at Ole Miss last season after resigning at Arkansas. He made $1.7 million this season while leading the Rebels to four straight wins and an 8-4 record.
MIAMI, Okla. ó Mike Gundy was rewarded by the regents who oversee Oklahoma State on Friday with a new seven-year contract that will pay him $15.7 million.
The OSU/A&M Board of Regents, meeting at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, agreed to a contract with Gundy that will take effect Jan. 1 and run through December 2015. Gundy’s annual salary will go from about $1 million to an average of more than $2.2 million.
Gundy is 27-22 in four seasons at his alma mater. His first contract at Oklahoma State paid him $700,000 in 2005, and his current six-year contract would have taken him through 2013.
STARKVILLE, Miss. ó Athletic director Greg Byrne has started interviewing candidates to replace former Mississippi State football coach Sylvester Croom.
Speculation has centered on Boise State coach Chris Peterson, a longtime friend of Byrne. But Peterson denies interest.
KANSASLAWRENCE, Kan. ó The Kansas Jayhawks are headed to a bowl game for the second straight year, another step in their continuing campaign to become a football powerhouse.It’s the first time the Jayhawks have gone to two straight bowl games.Less than a week after rallying past No. 19 Missouri 40-37 in the regular-season finale, Kansas announced on Friday that it had been authorized to begin selling tickets to the Insight Bowl.
They’ll meet a Big Ten opponent in Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., on Dec. 31., and no longer be laughed at as the Big 12 school that never got to a bowl game in back-to-back years. Last year, they beat Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl.
GREENSBORO ó North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn is this year’s Brian Piccolo Award winner.
ACC commissioner John Swofford made the announcement Friday.
The award has been given annually since 1972 to what the ACC determines is the most courageous player in the conference. Quinn was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor as a high school senior and underwent a five-hour surgery in which a shunt was placed in his brain to ease fluid backup.
Quinn went on to finish third in voting for the league’s defensive player of the year award. He started 11 games and made 32 tackles with two sacks.
He’s the fourth North Carolina player to win the award, but the first since Danny Burmeister in 1985.
PHILADELPHIA ó The Army-Navy game has always been about celebrating the brotherhood of the military. It’s about the fight songs and chants, the salutes, and pride of playing for servicemen all around the world.
Forget bowl games and Notre Dame. Army and Navy are always the most meaningful names on each other’s schedules.
The game has meant something else this decade: Navy domination.
When President George W. Bush attends the 109th meeting between the two service academies Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field, he’ll see the latest game in a series that has never been so severely lopsided.
TROY, Ala. ó The Sun Belt Conference is joining the championship Saturday excitement.
The league doesn’t have an official title game, but Saturday night’s matchup between Troy and Arkansas State will serve exactly that purpose. The winner represents the Sun Belt in the New Orleans Bowl.