Football Writers Association of America August 27, 2004
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Gangi
214-823-7992
Trojans the pick to repeat national title
USC TOPS 2004 PRESEASON
GRANTLAND RICE SUPER 16 POLL

DALLAS (FWAA) The Southern California Trojans are No. 1 in the FWAA's preseason Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll. USC, which won the Grantland Rice Trophy after a 12-1 season a year ago, is picked to become the first repeat champion since Nebraska turned the trick in 1994-95. In the 50-year history of the Grantland Rice Trophy, only four schools have won back-to-back FWAA national titles. USC has won five previous FWAA national titles, but never in consecutive seasons.

The Grantland
Rice Trophy

The Trojans, who edged out Oklahoma for the top spot by a mere three poll points, received eight first-place votes on their way to the No. 1 ranking. Oklahoma, the preseason favorite a year ago, got four first-place votes to earn the No. 2 spot. SEC schools Georgia and LSU each nabbed a pair of the remaining top votes to rank third and fourth, respectively.

The Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll, introduced prior to the 2002 season, ranks the nation's top 16 Division I-A football teams. A regionally-balanced group of 16 selectors votes in the poll. The pollsters also select a National Team of the Week, which will be announced each Monday during the regular season, beginning on Sept. 6. The Grantland Rice poll, also released each Monday, does not resume until Oct. 11.

In addition, the 16 voters representing four regions, will cast a ballot each week and give a brief synopsis of their ballot. Unlike other college football polls, the FWAA makes each of its pollster's ballot public, along with the weekly synopsis.

Rounding out the preseason top 10 are Florida State, Texas, Miami, Ohio State and Florida. The expanded ACC and SEC lead all conferences with four teams in the Super 16. Three teams from the Big Ten and Big 12 are also in the poll. The remaining teams in the initial poll are California, West Virginia, Kansas State, Virginia, Clemson, Iowa and Tennessee.

Click here to see how and why each pollster voted

The complete preseason poll is as follows:

2004 FWAA GRANTLAND RICE SUPER 16 POLL (PRESEASON)
Rank School [1st] W-L Pts Pvs Opening Game
1. USC [8] 12-1 242 1 8/28 vs. Virginia Tech
2. Oklahoma [4] 12-2 239 3 9/4 vs. Bowling Green
3. Georgia [2] 11-3 223 6 9/4 vs. Georgia Southern
4. LSU [2] 13-1 199 2 9/4 vs. Oregon State
5. Florida State 10-3 190 10 9/6 at No. 8 Miami
6. Texas 10-3 166 13 9/4 vs. North Texas
7. Michigan 10-3 153 7 9/4 vs. Miami (Ohio)
8. Miami 11-2 150 5 9/6 vs. No. 5 Florida State
9. Ohio State 11-2 98 4 9/4 vs. Cincinnati
10. Florida 8-5 75 - 9/4 vs. Middle Tennessee
11. California 8-6 71 - 9/4 at Air Force
12. West Virginia 8-5 70 - 9/4 vs. East Carolina
13. Kansas State 11-4 63 12 9/4 vs. Western Kentucky
14. Virginia 8-5 54 - 9/4 at Temple
15. Clemson 9-4 38 - 9/4 vs. Wake Forest
t16. Iowa 10-3 21 8 9/4 vs. Kent State
t16. Tennessee 10-3 21 16 9/5 vs. UNLV
Records and previous rankings are from the 2003 season
First-place votes: USC 8 (Blaudschun, Coyle, Davis, Fiutak, Miller, Meisler, Richards, Shain); Oklahoma 4 (Higgins, Mandel, Moran, Robbins); Georgia 2 (Burchette, Dodd); LSU 2 (Griffith, Henson).
Also receiving votes: Utah 18, Auburn 16, Missouri 13, Maryland 11, Minnesota 9, N.C. State 8, Oregon 7, Wisconsin 7, Oklahoma State 4, Louisville 3, Oregon State 3, Fresno State 2, Nebraska 1, Purdue 1.
By conference: ACC 4, SEC 4, Big Ten 3, Big 12 3, Pac-10 2, Big East 1.

The FWAA has presented the Grantland Rice Trophy, named in honor of the legendary sportswriter, to college football's national champion each year since 1954. This is the third season that a season-long poll will be concurrent with the award.

For further information contact Steve Richardson, Executive Director of the FWAA (972-713-6198, tiger@sportswriters.net) or Ted Gangi, FWAA webmaster (214-823-7992, webmaster@sportswriters.net).

2004 FWAA/GRANTLAND RICE SUPER 16 POLLSTERS
EAST SOUTH MIDWEST WEST
Mark Blaudschun
Boston Globe
Mike Griffith
Knoxville News-Sentinel
Brian Davis
The Dallas Morning News
Steve Henson
Los Angeles Times
Jordan Burchette
CSTV | Maxim Online
Ron Higgins
The Commercial Appeal
Dennis Dodd
CBS SportsLine
Natalie Meisler
Denver Post
Frank Coyle
MSNBC | draftinsiders.com
Stewart Mandel
si.com
Pete Fiutak
College Football News
Ted Miller
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Lenn Robbins
New York Post
Jeff Shain
Miami Herald
Darryl Richards
Freelance
Bob Moran
East Valley Tribune