DALLAS (FWAA) – The Oklahoma Sooners, winners of the 2000 Grantland
Rice Trophy, are the preseason favorite in the initial Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll as voted
by the 16 pollsters of the Football Writers Association of America. Oklahoma is among four Big 12
teams in the Super 16, three of which are ranked in the Top 6.
The poll makes its debut this season and will resume in the regular season on Mon., Sept.
30 and each subsequent Monday through December 9. Following the conclusion of the Bowl Championship
Series, a final poll, to be released on Saturday, Jan. 4 in Tempe, Ariz., will be used to determine
the 2002 Grantland Rice Trophy winner. The FWAA has presented its national championship trophy,
named in honor of the legendary sportswriter, each year since 1954. This season, however, marks the
first time a season-long poll will be concurrent with the award.
Each of the 16 voters, representing four regions, not only will cast a ballot each week,
but give a brief synopsis of his or her ballot. For the first time, a college football poll
is making each of its pollsters' ballots public, along with the weekly synopsis.
here to see how and why each pollster voted
Following is the complete preseason Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll:
[1st Place Votes]
||Aug. 30 at Tulsa
||Miami (Fla.) 
||Aug. 31 vs. Florida A&M
||Aug. 31 vs. North Texas
||Florida State 
||Aug. 24 vs. Iowa State (K.C.)
||Aug. 31 vs. Wyoming
||Aug. 31 vs. Colorado St.
||Aug. 31 vs. Nevada (Seattle)
||Aug. 31 vs. UAB
||Aug. 31 vs. Clemson
||Aug. 31 at No. 13 Michigan
||Aug. 24 vs. Arizona State
||Aug. 24 vs. Texas Tech
||Aug. 31 vs. No. 10
||Aug. 31 vs. Mississippi State
||Aug. 31 vs. Eastern Michigan
||Sept. 1 at Virginia Tech
|Also receiving votes: Louisville 30, Marshall 17, Virginia Tech 15, Oregon State 13, Maryland 8, USC 3, UCLA 2, Boston College 1, N.C. State 1, South Carolina 1, Texas A&M 1, Utah 1, Wisconsin 1.
|First-place votes: Oklahoma (6: Mark Blaudschun, Dennis
Dodd, Herb Gould, Vahe Gregorian, Ron Higgins, Lenn Robbins);
Miami (4: Stewart Mandel, Bob Moran, Darryl Richards, Joe Schad);
Texas (4: Shelly Anderson, Gregg Doyel, Ted Miller, Keith Whitmire);
Florida State (1: Randy Holtz); Tennessee (1: Jay Posner).
|By conference: Big 12 (4), SEC (4), Big Ten (3);
Pac-10 (3); ACC (1); Big East (1).
Oklahoma received six first-place votes on its way to its preseason No. 1 ranking.
Miami, which won its fourth Grantland Rice Trophy during the 2001 season, garnered four
first-place votes and is ranked second in the preseason poll. Texas, Florida State and
Tennessee – the only three other schools to earn first-place votes – complete
the top five.
|"We know how closely the football writers follow
our game so we're flattered to be picked No. 1 in their poll."
– Bob Stoops,
OU Head Coach
"There are two tiers this season," said pollster Mark Blaudschun of the Boston Globe.
"The Top 5 is one tier, with any of those five teams capable of winning the national championship."
Blaudschun, one of four voters in the East, was among those who selected Oklahoma as his preseason
Oklahoma returns 15 starters from an 11-2 team of a year ago that lost out on a chance to play for the
Big 12 title and perhaps the national title by losing at home to in-state rival Oklahoma State in
the season's final week. Miami quarterback Ken Dorsey is back, but a rebuilt offensive line and
a brand new defensive secondary playing against a tough schedule make the Hurricanes' return to
the top a challenge.
"I like Oklahoma's defense, its record vs. top-10 teams under Bob Stoops and I like the way its
schedule sets up." said Herb Gould of the Chicago Sun-Times, one of four Midwest pollsters. West
pollster Bob Moran of the East Valley Tribune argues, "The king is alive! Miami is one of the few
programs that sustains key personnel losses and rolls on." Moran joined three others in choosing Miami
to defend its national title.
Texas brings talent, depth and speed, but an unproven record in big games. Quarterback Chris Simms
has plenty of weapons, including sophomore talkback Cedric Benson and wideouts Roy Williams and B.J.
"Texas has the best combo of offensive skill position players in the country, and some hard hitters
on defense." said Keith Whitmire of The Dallas Morning News. "The only reason not to rank the 'Horns
number one is their past disappointments." Whitmire is among four pollsters to tab Texas as the preseason
Florida State is coming off a four-loss season, but has Chris Rix back under center trying to prove
that last season was an aberration.
"Bobby Bowden and the boys are determined to make sure people around the country understand the
Seminoles haven't fallen off the college football map," said Randy Holtz of the Rocky Mountain News
in Denver. Holtz, a voter in the West region, was the lone pollster to pick Florida State as his
Tennessee, winner of the 1998 Grantland Rice Trophy, returns Casey Clausen under center from last
season season's 11-2 team. Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune likes the Vols' chances to
win another title.
"Picking the top five teams wasn't difficult; putting them in order was," said Posner. "I went with
Tennessee and Oklahoma as the likely Fiesta Bowl participants because their toughest games are at
home, and I picked the Vols No. 1 because of their edge at quarterback."
Rounding out the Top 10 are Colorado, Washington State, Florida, Georgia and Washington.
No. 6 Colorado is the only team outside the Top 5 to appear on each of the 16 ballots.
Six other schools appear on 15 of the 16 ballots: Washington State, Florida, Georgia,
Washington, Nebraska, Ohio State.
Nebraska, Ohio State, Michigan, Oregon, Michigan State and LSU are the remaining teams
in the preseason poll.
In addition to the weekly ranking, the FWAA will name a national Division I-A Team of the
Week during the course of the season, which will also be voted on by the Grantland Rice
pollsters. The Team of the Week selections will begin on Mon., Sept. 2.
Both the Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll and the FWAA Team of the Week will be released through
the FWAA's official website, www.footballwriters.com, part of www.sportswriters.net.
For further information contact Steve Richardson, Executive Director of the FWAA
(972-713-6198, email@example.com) or Ted Gangi, FWAA webmaster (214-823-7992,
• FWAA to debut Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll
• Grantland Rice Trophy
• Grantland Rice Trophy winners
FWAA/GRANTLAND RICE SUPER 16 POLLSTERS
The Commercial Appeal
Rocky Mountain News
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
East Valley Tribune
New York Post
The Dallas Morning News
San Diego Union-Tribune