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College Football Notebook: App. State picked to repeat

Associated Press
The college football notebook …
SPARTANBURG, S.C. ó The Southern Conference’s football coaches have picked Appalachian State to win its fifth-consecutive conference championship.
Appalachian received 8-of-9 first-place votes. The Mountaineers are followed by Wofford, Elon, Furman, Georgia Southern (which received the other first-place vote), The Citadel and Samford (which tied for sixth), Western Carolina and Chattanooga.
ASU is looking to become just the second program in the SoCon’s 77-year football history to win as many as five championships in a row.
In addition to the poll, the the preseason all-conference teams were announced and ASU was the most-represented squad with 16 players, including eight first-team honorees, including preseason Offensive Player of the Year, quarterback Armanti Edwards.
– GREENSBORO ó N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien still doesn’t know whether linebacker Nate Irving will play this season following a June car wreck.
O’Brien said Monday that Irving remains out indefinitely while recovering from a broken left leg, a collapsed lung and a separated shoulder from the June 28 accident.
– GREENSBORO ó Bobby Bowden is approaching his 80th birthday, and he’s asking for quite the present.
He hopes to hang on to the 14 victories the NCAA wants to remove due to an academic cheating scandal.
“I’m still thinking they’ll come to their senses,” the Florida State coach said.
The 79-year-old Bowden continued to express his desire to remain in a chase with Penn State’s Joe Paterno to become the winningest coach in major college football. Bowden enters his 34th season in Tallahassee with 382 career wins ó one fewer than Paterno.
“They’re just going to kill a good dadgum competition if they take those games away,” Bowden said.
– CHICAGO ó Some tweaking to the Bowl Championship Series rules gives greater access to the Rose Bowl to teams outside the six conferences with automatic BCS bids ó such as Utah.
“Under certain circumstances, they can play their way into the Rose Bowl, which hasn’t been true in the past,” Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said Monday at Big Ten media day. “That’s additional access. Standards have been, I think, lightened to access the BCS.”
The Big Ten and Pacific-10 champions are contractually bound to play in the Rose Bowl unless one of those teams qualifies for the national championship game.
Starting with the 2010 season and running through the 2013 season, the first time the Rose Bowl loses one of its conference champions and a team from one of the non-automatic qualifying leagues earns a BCS bid, the Rose Bowl must take that team.
– CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. ó The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is including food with season ticket purchases this year.
Under the $49 “Mocs Meal Deal,” purchasers get one general admission season ticket and one voucher for food at each of Chattanooga’s five home games.
The voucher is redeemable for one hot dog, one small bag of chips and one small soft drink at each game.
The university said in a news release Monday this is a $33 savings off the regular price. The special offer ends Aug. 31.
– SALT LAKE CITY ó Carolina Panthers offensive lineman Jordan Gross is donating $500,000 to Utah’s football program.
Gross was an All-American for the Utes in 2002 and started in 37 straight games in his college career.
Gross says he and his wife, Dana, are both graduates of Utah and wanted to make the donation, which will create a scholarship created in the couple’s name. The other half of the donation will go to Utah’s football enhancement fund.
Gross was a first-round draft pick by the Panthers in 2003. He made the Pro Bowl for the first time last season and was voted first-team All-Pro

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