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Sports 101

College football has reached the halfway mark, so it's a good time to assess the season. Seven teams in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Top 25 poll are undefeated - Ohio State, UCLA, Kansas State, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Arkansas, and Tulane. No clear-cut leader has emerged as a favorite to win the Heisman Trophy - the award given to the best player of the year. Some of the big names who look to be top contenders: Ricky Williams (Texas), Cade McNown (UCLA), Tim Couch (Kentucky), Joe Germaine (Ohio State), and Michael Bishop (Kansas State). Below, answers to some general questions about college football.

Q: What college stadium, known as "The Big House," is the largest in college athletics?

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A: Michigan Stadium, home of the Michigan Wolverines, used to seat 102,501 people. But this year, renovations raised the capacity to 107,701. The stadium, built in 1927, originally held 72,000 fans. The stadium holds the NCAA record for the highest single-game and season attendance. Michigan has led college football in attendance for 23 consecutive seasons.

Q: What does it mean to be "redshirted"?

A: Players who are redshirted are held out of intercollegiate competition for a year. Even though they continue to attend practices and school, they are granted another year of playing eligibility. Usually applied to freshmen who would not see much playing time during their first year, it is also sometimes used when a player is injured.

Q: What is the oldest athletic conference?

A: The Big 10. In 1895 the presidents of seven Midwestern universities met to organize the conference. Indiana and Iowa were added in 1899, Chicago dropped out in 1946, and Michigan State was admitted in 1949. Penn State joined in 1990, so there are now 11 schools in the conference.

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