DALLAS -- Missouri's Gary Pinkel and Kansas' Mark Mangino
were among the eight finalists for the Eddie Robinson coach of the
The other finalists picked were Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer,
Air Force's Troy Calhoun, Arizona State's Dennis Erickson, Hawaii's
June Jones, Ohio State's Jim Tressel and Illinois' Ron Zook.
Pinkel and Mangino led two of the season's most surprising
In Pinkel's seventh season, Missouri (11-2) won the Big 12 North
and was a victory away from playing in the national title game when
the Tigers lost to Oklahoma in the conference championship.
The Jayhawks (11-1) set a school record for victories in
Mangino's sixth season as coach and received their first Bowl
Championship Series bid. They'll play Beamer's Virginia Tech team
in the FedEx Orange Bowl.
The Eddie Robinson Award, named after the longtime Grambling
State coach, is voted on by the Football Writers Association of
America and will be presented Jan. 4.