Football Writers Association of America Aug. 31, 2006
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Gangi
214-909-9314
Buckeyes look for 5th FWAA national title; Defending champs tabbed No. 3
OHIO STATE TOPS PRESEASON
GRANTLAND RICE SUPER 16 POLL

DALLAS (FWAA) Four times Ohio State has been engraved on the Grantland Rice Trophy. And, if all goes according to the preseason prognostications of the pollsters of the Grantland Rice Super 16, the Buckeyes will take home their fifth FWAA national championship trophy in January.

The FWAA debuts the Grantland Rice
Super 16 Blog with the 2006 preseason
poll. Check out how each pollster
voted and why at grantlandrice.com

Ohio State is ranked No. 1 in the Football Writers Association of America's 2006 preseason poll. The Buckeyes, who won the 2002 Grantland Rice Trophy in the first season of the FWAA poll, found their way to the top spot in a most unusual way. Despite getting half as many first-place votes as No. 2 Notre Dame, the Buckeyes edged out the Fighting Irish at No. 1 by seven poll points. Notre Dame was voted No. 1 by eight of the 16 pollsters, while Ohio State garnered just four first-place votes.

In the four-year history of the poll, only once has the preseason favorite gone on to win the FWAA's national title, in 2004, when USC was top-ranked both at the beginning at end of the season.

Texas, the 2005 Grantland Rice Trophy winner, is ranked 3rd, followed by Auburn and USC. West Virginia, at No. 6, picked up a pair of first-place votes. Auburn and USC each have one of the remaining No. 1 votes.

LSU and Florida give the SEC three of the top eight teams in the rankings and, overall, the SEC has the most schools ranked with four. Georgia is No. 16. The Big Ten, led by Ohio State, has three ranked teams, including No. 12 Michigan and No. 15 Iowa.

Two ACC teams found their way into the poll, but only Florida State is in the top 10 at No. 10. Miami, which opens the season hosting the 'Noles, is No. 13. Oklahoma is the other Big 12 school in the rankings, at No. 14. Eleventh-ranked Louisville is the lone representative from the Big East.

The complete final 2006 preseason poll is as follows:

FWAA GRANTLAND RICE SUPER 16 POLL (PRESEASON)
Rk. School [1st] Conference W-L Pts. Pvs. Opening Game
1. Ohio State [4] Big Ten 10-2 225 4 9/2 vs. Northern Illinois
2. Notre Dame [8] Independent 9-3 218 10 9/2 at Georgia Tech
3. Texas Big 12 13-0 197 1 9/2 vs. North Texas
4. Auburn [1] SEC 9-3 193 13 9/2 vs. Washington State
5. USC [1] Pac-10 12-1 188 2 9/2 at Arkansas
6. West Virginia [2] Big East 11-1 184 6 9/2 vs. Marshall
7. LSU SEC 11-2 165 5 9/2 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
8. Florida SEC 9-3 122 t14 9/2 vs. Southern Miss
9. California Pac-10 8-4 107 - 9/2 at Tennessee
10. Florida State ACC 8-5 103 - 9/4 at No. 13 Miami
11. Louisville Big East 9-3 84 - 9/3 vs. Kentucky
12. Michigan Big Ten 7-5 82 - 9/2 vs. Vanderbilt
13. Miami ACC 9-3 79 - 9/4 vs. No. 10 Florida State
14. Oklahoma Big 12 8-4 69 - 9/2 vs. UAB
15. Iowa Big Ten 7-5 55 - 9/2 vs. Montana
16. Georgia SEC 10-3 36 9 9/2 vs. Western Kentucky
Also receiving votes: Clemson 28, Oregon 9, Tennessee 9, Penn State 8, TCU 6, Virginia Tech 5, Nebraska 2, Navy 1, Texas Tech 1.
By conference: SEC (4), Big Ten (3), ACC (2), Big East (2), Big 12 (2), Pac-10 (2), Independent (1).
RECORDS ARE FROM THE 2005 SEASON

The Grantland Rice Trophy has been presented to the national champion in college football since 1954. Named in honor of the legendary sportswriter who passed away in 1954, the trophy was the first national championship award to be presented following college football's traditional post-season.

In 2002, the FWAA introduced the Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll to determine the association's national champion. The 16 regionally-balanced voters will not present another ranking until October 9, but they will make their ballots public. For the first time, those ballots will be unveiled online each Monday at grantlandrice.com, an interactive weblog.

In addition to the poll, the 16 pollsters also decide the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week. For the second straight season, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl will take part in presenting the weekly honor. Since 1971, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl has hosted five games that have decided the college football national championship, including two Bowl Championship Series title games. The 2007 game will be played on Jan. 1. The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, along with the Tostitos BCS Championship Game, moves to the new stadium in Glendale, Ariz., this season.

For more information on the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week, go to footballwriters.com or fiestabowl.org.

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 900 men and women across North America who cover college football for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include gameday operations, major awards, a national poll and its annual All-America team.

2006 FWAA/GRANTLAND RICE SUPER 16 POLLSTERS
Mark Anderson
Las Vegas Review Journal
Olin Buchanan
Rivals.com
Jordan Burchette
Maxim Online
Bob Condotta
Seattle Times
Frank Coyle
MSNBC | draftinsiders.com
Brian Davis
The Dallas Morning News
Dennis Dodd
CBS SportsLine
Pete Fiutak
College Football News
Teddy Greenstein
Chicago Tribune
Mike Griffith
Knoxville News-Sentinel
Matt Hayes
The Sporting News
Ron Higgins
The Commercial Appeal
Brian Koonz
Danbury News-Times
Lenn Robbins
New York Post
Jeff Shain
Miami Herald
Kalani Simpson
Honolulu Star-Bulletin