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 Oct. 25, 2004
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Gangi
Bulldogs stun Florida for coach's first SEC win

DALLAS (FWAA) With their 38-31 win over Florida, the Mississippi State Bulldogs 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 Oct. 23.

FedEx Orange Bowl

Jerious Norwood rushed for 174 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown run with 32 seconds remaining, to lift the Bulldogs past Florida and give first-year head coach Sylvester Croom his first Southeastern Conference victory.

For Mississippi State, which entered the game as a prohibitive underdog, it was the school's fourth straight win over the Gators in Starkville, dating back to 1986.

"Of all the games that I have coached and played in, including championship games, this is number one because we beat a team that is by far better than us," Croom said.

Other FedEx Orange Bowl National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Oct. 23 included:

Miami (6-0): Brock Berlin threw a school-record tying five touchdown passes as the Hurricanes remained the only unbeaten team in the ACC with a 45-31 win at N.C. State.

Michigan (7-1): Freshman Michael Hart ran for 206 yards as the Wolverines moved to 5-0 in Big Ten play with a thrilling 16-14 win at Purdue.

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 has resumed this season and will be released each Monday. 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.

For more information on the FedEx Orange Bowl National Team of the Week, go to or

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
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
Stewart Mandel
Pete Fiutak
College Football News
Ted Miller
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Lenn Robbins
New York Post
Jeff Shain
Miami Herald
Darryl Richards
Bob Moran
East Valley Tribune