College Football Notebook

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Associated Press
The college football notebook …
GREENSBORO ó Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins is the Atlantic Coast Conferenceís offensive and overall rookie of the year and Virginiaís Mike London is its coach of the year.
The league on Tuesday also named Wake Forest cornerback Merrill Noel as its defensive rookie of the year.
Watkins set league records for freshmen with 72 receptions, 1,073 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns, and provided the Tigersí productive offense with its top big-play threat.
London had 31 votes to win the top coaching award, with Virginia Techís Frank Beamer receiving 12 votes and Clemsonís Dabo Swinney receiving two.
In Londonís second season, the Cavaliers contended for the Coastal Division title until the final week and enter their bowl game with an 8-4 record ó a reversal of their 4-8 finish in 2010. He became the ninth Virginia coach to win the award ó the most among ACC schools ó and first since Al Groh did it in 2007.
CLEMSON, S.C. ó Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said his No. 21 Tigers proved they can handle adversity. It was success they had a problem with the past month.
The Tigers (9-3) were one of college football’s surprise stories the first two months of the season as they followed their first losing season in 12 years with an 8-0 start in 2011. It was a run Clemson couldn’t sustain, though, losing three of its past four to finish the regular season.
“I think we did a poor job of handling success,” Swinney said Tuesday.
Clemson needs to get back on track in a hurry as the Tigers prepare to play for the Atlantic Coast Conference championship against No. 5 Virginia Tech (11-1) on Saturday night in Charlotte.
CHAPEL HILL ó As Bubba Cunningham settles in as North Carolina’s new athletic director, his predecessor ó Dick Baddour ó seems content to fade into the background with some lower-profile work.
Yet Cunningham said he wants to keep Baddour “engaged” as he takes over, with one of his first tasks to choose a permanent football coach. Baddour, who plans to teach among other work at the university in the coming months, said he’s ready to assist when asked as the 28-sport department transitions to a new boss for the first time in 14 years.
“I’m not worried about the institution or an adjustment period,” Baddour said. “Bubba will do things his way. He should. Sometimes it’s just good for an organization to have a change and to think about things in a different way. And that’s an asset he brings. That’s not a liability.”
GAINESVILLE, Fla. ó Florida safety Josh Shaw and defensive end Lynden Trail are transferring, the latest players to leave the program during coach Will Muschamp’s first season.
With Shaw and Trail gone, the Gators have lost 11 players since Muschamp took over in January.