Tro­phy makes rounds, be­gin­ning in Min­nesota

USA TODAY US Edition - - SPORTS - Erick Smith

One of the most fa­mous tro­phies in col­lege foot­ball could be mak­ing a stop near you dur­ing the 2017 sea­son.

The Amway Coaches Poll Tro­phy will criss­cross the coun­try dur­ing the sea­son. The tro­phy with its fa­mous crys­tal foot­ball is awarded in con­junc­tion with the Amer­i­can Foot­ball Coaches As­so­ci­a­tion ev­ery year to the win­ner of the Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off.

The kick­off of the tour starts Thurs­day in Min­nesota. The tro­phy is be­ing ac­com­pa­nied by USA TO­DAY Sports as­sis­tant man­ag­ing ed­i­tor Thomas O’Toole, who, as a side gig, also serves as a Danc­ing with the Stars an­a­lyst.

The Golden Go­phers are host­ing Buf­falo in the home opener for new coach P.J. Fleck.

One day be­fore the game, the tro­phy ap­peared at the Min­neso- ta State Fair. Dar­rell Thomp­son, Min­nesota’s all-time lead­ing rusher and cur­rent ra­dio an­a­lyst for the team’s broad­casts, will be on hand for an event at TCF Bank Sta­dium be­fore the game.

“It’s a tremen­dous honor for my­self and the state of Min­nesota and the Univer­sity of Min­nesota foot­ball pro­gram,” Thomp­son said of host­ing the tro­phy. “There’s kind of been a new, in­fused en­ergy around the coach. It’s great to be rec­og­nized to have the tro­phy here for the opener.”

There will also be a stop Satur- day in Los An­ge­les for South­ern Cal­i­for­nia’s game against Western Michi­gan.

For­mer Tro­jans coach John Robin­son, who won a na­tional ti­tle at the school in 1978, will make two ap­pear­ances with the tro­phy — Fri­day at an Amway Busi­ness Cen­ter event and Satur­day be­fore the game at the USC fan fest.

There are six other sched­uled stops through Oc­to­ber. More will be added in the weeks lead­ing up to the an­nounce­ment of the play­off pair­ings on Dec. 3.

KIM KLE­MENT, USA TO­DAY SPORTS The Amway Coaches Poll Tro­phy is al­ways a wel­come sight.

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