Originally created 11/22/06

Coach's life celebrated



ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Mich-igan football greats from Desmond Howard to Dan Dierdorf passed through the tunnel and onto the field at Michigan Stadium. Many slapped the "GO BLUE" banner as they did when they played for Bo Schembechler's Wolverines.

The band pounded out the school's famous fight song, The Victors, and the national anthem preceded the afternoon event.

It was just like a football Saturday in Ann Arbor, except this time it was a Tuesday. And in this case, those in the stands at the Big House were mourning Schembechler, not cheering him.

Fans, family, players and university officials paid tribute to the famed coach during A Celebration of Bo's Life. Speakers sat on a podium set up on the sideline that Schembechler roamed years ago.

"His integrity was larger than this stadium, and it shaped all that he was," university president Mary Sue Coleman said.

Schembechler died Friday at 77, ending a long battle with heart disease and diabetes, the day before his beloved Wolverines were beaten by rival Ohio State 42-39.

Schembechler coached at Michigan from 1969-89, ending his career with 194 wins at what is college football's winningest program.

ALABAMA: University of Ala-bama trustees are waiting for recommendations from school president Robert Witt and athletics director Mal Moore on coach Mike Shula's future with the Crimson Tide.

No announcement is expected through the Thanksgiving weekend.

Trustee John McMahon, in the Virgin Islands to watch the Alabama basketball team play in the Paradise Jam final, said there has been "no board meeting, no committee meeting and no private discussion on this."

Alabama wrapped up a 6-6 regular season with a 22-15 loss to Auburn on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium, dropping Shula's record against the Tigers to 0-4 - the only Tide coach to ever lose four in a row to Auburn.

Shula's overall record in four seasons is 26-23, but this season the program fell back from its 10-2 mark in 2005.

PENN STATE: The Nittany Lions are headed to the Outback Bowl, going to bowl games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 1998 and '99 campaigns.

Penn State (8-4, 5-3 Big Ten) accepted the bid to the Jan. 1 game in Tampa, Fla., where it will be play a still-to-be-determined opponent from the Southeastern Conference.Penn State beat Florida State in last season's Orange Bowl.

OKLAHOMA: Coach Bob Stoops thinks star tailback Adrian Peter-son will play again this season for the Sooners.

Stoops has ruled out Peter-son's return for the 13th-ranked Sooners' game Saturday at Oklahoma State (6-5, 3-4 Big 12), but he believes the 2004 Heisman Trophy runner-up could play in a bowl game.

DOAK WALKER AWARD: Mike Hart of Michigan, Darren McFadden of Arkansas and Steve Slaton of West Virginia were named finalists for the Doak Walker Award, which honors the nation's top running back.

The winner will be announced Dec. 7, and the award will be presented Feb. 15 at a Dallas banquet.

Hart, a junior from Syracuse, N.Y., has rushed for 1,515 yards and 14 touchdowns this season. He ranks fourth nationally in rushing yards.

McFadden, a sophomore from Little Rock, Ark., leads the Southeastern Conference with 1,303 yards rushing and has 15 touchdowns.

Slaton, a sophomore from Levittown, Pa., has rushed for 1,578 yards and scored 16 touchdowns. He leads the nation averaging 187 all-purpose yards per game and is tied for the national lead in rushing yards per game with 157.8 per contest.

JIM THORPE AWARD: Michigan's Leon Hall, Florida's Reggie Nelson and Texas' Aaron Ross were selected as finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to college football's top defensive back.

The winner will be announced Dec. 7, and the award will be presented Feb. 12 at an Oklahoma City banquet.

Ross leads the trio with five interceptions and gives the Longhorns a chance to win the award for the second consecutive year. Texas' Michael Huff earned the honor last season.

Nelson has four interceptions, including a 70-yard return for a touchdown against Alabama, and Hall has three picks.