Nov. 24, 2006

ATLANTA — Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith led the top-ranked Buckeyes to a 42-39 win over No. 2 Michigan last weekend, and fans have rewarded him for his performance. Smith has been selected as the week twelve Cingular All-America Player of the Week, the only major college football award chosen exclusively by college football fans.

Smith completed 29 of 41 passes for 316 yards and four touchdowns as the Buckeyes clinched the Big Ten title and a berth in the BCS National Championship game. Smith capped an impressive regular season during which he threw for 2,507 yards and 30 touchdowns passes and compiled a quarterback rating of 168.

Smith received 74% of the votes to claim the award over West Virginia quarterback Pat White (18%), Boston College linebacker Jolonn Dunbar (8%) and Arizona running back Chris Henry (3%). Each player was nominated for this week’s award by a panel of ESPN college football analysts based on their outstanding performances last weekend.

The Cingular All America Player of the Week winner’s list in 2006 includes Rutgers running back Ray Rice, Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn, Michigan wide receiver Mario Manningham, Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson, Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge, Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, Brigham Young quarterback John Beck, Arkansas running back Darren McFadden and Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman.

Fans can register to vote for the Cingular All-America Player of the Week throughout the season by text messaging “VOTE” to “87654” on their wireless phone, with the nominees being revealed each Sunday on the 9 a.m. ESPN SportsCenter and on the Web at Fans have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the following Wednesday to submit their votes. The winner will then be announced during ESPN’s Thursday night college football game. Fans can vote as many times as they like, with each vote counting as one entry into a sweepstakes to win a trip to the 2007 BCS National Championship game. Cingular customers can visit Cingular’s NCAA Football page on MEdiaNet on their wireless handset to view video highlights of each week’s candidates, retrieve photos, check scoreboards, track their favorite teams, and download school ringtones.

In December, four finalists for the Cingular All-America Player of the Year award will be announced during a one-hour special on ABC Sports. Fans will then get a chance to say who the best player in the nation is by voting for the Cingular All-America Player of the Year up until the Bowl Championship Series. The selection process will culminate during the BCS National Championship game on FOX when the Cingular All-America Player of the Year will be presented.

Last year, Texas quarterback Vince Young was crowned as the Cingular All-America Player of the Year, beating out Southern California teammates Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart and Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn. Young was the second Longhorn to claim the award, after running back Cedric Benson won the inaugural honor in 2004.