Sept. 4: Rutgers Sept. 11: Fresno State Sept. 18: Auburn Sept. 25: Navy Oct. 2: Northwestern Oct. 9: Army Oct. 16: Wisconsin Oct. 23: Mississippi State Oct. 30: North Carolina Nov. 6: Notre Dame Nov. 13: Michigan State Nov. 20: Utah Nov. 27: Syracuse
Football Writers Association of America Sept. 27, 2004
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Gangi
214-823-7992
Midshipmen off to best start since '79
NAVY IS FEDEX ORANGE BOWL
NATIONAL TEAM OF THE WEEK

DALLAS (FWAA) With a 29-26 comeback win over Vanderbilt that gave them their first 4-0 start since 1979, the Navy Midshipmen are the FedEx Orange Bowl National Team of the Week, as selected by the pollsters of the FWAA's Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll for games of the weekend of Sept. 25.

FedEx Orange Bowl

Trailing 19-14, Navy scored 15 unanswered points in the second half to secure its fourth straight win. The last time the Midshipmen won their first four games was 25 years ago, when they started the season 6-0.

Quarterback Aaron Polanco threw for a career-high 176 yards and ran for 84, including a 22-yard touchdown in the win.

Other FedEx Orange Bowl National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Sept. 25 included:

N.C. State (2-1): The Wolfpack opened ACC play with a 17-16 over conference newcomer Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.

Notre Dame (3-1): The Irish extended their winning streak to three games with a 38-3 win over Washington.

SMU (1-3): The Mustangs snapped the nation's second-longest losing streak at 15 games win a convincing 36-13 win over San Jose State.

Texas Tech (3-1): The Red Raiders rallied from a 30-5 deficit late in the first half to edge Kansas, 31-30, in Lawrence.

USC (4-0): Trailing at Stanford at halftime, 28-17, the Trojans come back to register a 31-28 win and remain unbeaten.

Wyoming (2-1): The Cowboys improved to 2-1, their best start in five seasons, with a 37-32 win over Ole Miss.

The FWAA has named a national team of the week since the 2002 season. This is the first season that the award has been sponsored by the FedEx Orange Bowl.

The 16 pollsters of the Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll decide the weekly honor. Each Monday during the 2004 college football season, the FWAA will name the FedEx Orange Bowl National Team of the Week through Nov. 29. This season, FedEx Orange Bowl will match the two top-ranked teams in the final BCS standings. It will be played at Miami's Pro Player Stadium on Jan. 4, 2005.

The Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll will resume this season on Oct. 11. The top-ranked team in the final poll will be awarded the Grantland Rice Trophy as the FWAA's national champion. The FWAA has awarded the trophy each season since 1954. USC is the defending FWAA national champion and is ranked No. 1 in the initial 2004 poll.

For more information on the FedEx Orange Bowl National Team of the Week, go to www.footballwriters.com or www.orangebowl.org.

2004 FedEx Orange Bowl National Teams of the Week
Weekend of Sept. 4: Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Weekend of Sept. 11: Fresno State Bulldogs
Weekend of Sept. 18: Auburn Tigers
Weekend of Sept. 25: Navy Midshipmen
Weekend of Oct. 2: Northwestern Wildcats
Weekend of Oct. 9: Army Black Knights
Weekend of Oct. 16: Wisconsin Badgers
Weekend of Oct. 23: Mississippi State Bulldogs
Weekend of Oct. 30: North Carolina Tar Heels
Weekend of Nov. 6: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Weekend of Nov. 13: Michigan State Spartans
Weekend of Nov. 20: Utah Utes
Weekend of Nov. 27: Syracuse Orange
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