Football Writers Association of America Aug. 21, 2008
For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Richardson
Trojans the FWAA's preseason pick for 4th time in 5 years
The Grantland
Rice Trophy

DALLAS (FWAA) The USC Trojans are the top-ranked team in the Football Writers Association of America's preseason Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll. The Trojans nipped second-ranked Georgia, although both schools picked up five first-place votes. It's the fourth time in five years USC has been picked No. 1 by the FWAA in the preseason.

USC has won a record six Grantland Rice trophies, including back-to-back national titles in 2003-04.

Including Georgia, with its five first-place votes, five teams received first-place votes. No. 3 Ohio State had four, followed by No. 5 Florida (1), and No. 9 Auburn (1). No. 4 Oklahoma did not receive a first-place vote. Rounding out the preseason top 10 are Missouri, West Virginia, LSU, Auburn and Clemson.

The Big 12 Conference leads all conferences with five ranked teams, including two of the top six. The Southeastern Conference boasts three teams, while the Big Ten  has two ranked teams.

Rank School [1st] Conference W-L Pts Opening Game
1. USC [5] Pacific-10 11-2 232 at Virginia
2. Georgia [5] SEC 11-2 229 Georgia Southern
3. Ohio State [4] Big Ten 11-2 219 vs. Youngstown State
4. Oklahoma Big 12 11-3 204 Chattanooga
5. Florida [1] SEC 9-4 197 Hawaii
6. Missouri Big 12 12-2 164 vs. Illinois (St. Louis)
7. West Virginia Big East 11-2 138 vs. Villanova
8. LSU SEC 12-2 130 vs. Appalachian State
9. Auburn [1] SEC 9-4 116 Louisiana-Monroe
10. Clemson ACC 9-4 109 vs. Alabama (Atlanta)
11. Texas Big 12 10-3 70 vs. Florida Atlantic
12. Wisconsin Big Ten 9-4 52 vs. Akron
13. Kansas Big 12 12-1 51 vs. Florida International
14. Texas Tech Big 12 9-4 50 vs. Eastern Washington
15. Illinois Big Ten 9-4 29 vs. Missouri (St. Louis)
t16. Arizona State Pac-10 10-3 28 vs. Northern Arizona
t16. BYU Mountain West 11-2 28 vs. Northern Iowa
Records are from the 2007 season
Also receiving votes (in alphabetical order): California, Fresno State, Michigan, Oregon, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Florida, Tennessee, Virginia Tech.
By conference: Big 12 5, SEC 4, Big Ten 3, Pac-10 2, Big East 1, ACC 1, Mountain West 1.

This season, the FWAA invited each of its board and All-America committee members to take part in the preseason poll. This is the only poll to be conducted by the FWAA this season. The 2008 Grantland Rice Trophy will be awarded by a vote of selected board members and past presidents of the association after the FedEx BCS Championship Game. It will be presented to the FWAA's national champion the morning after the BCS title game in Miami.

The Grantland Rice Trophy, given to college football's national champion since 1954, is named in memory of the legendary sportswriter. It was the first national championship awarded presented after college football's post-season.

While the FWAA will not conduct a weekly poll this season, it will present the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week each Monday, as selected by a panel of select FWAA members. This marks the seventh season the FWAA will present a team of the week.

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of over 1,000 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, and its annual All-America team. For more information on the FWAA and its award programs, contact executive director Steve Richardson at 972-713-6198.