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 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.

The complete preseason poll is as follows:

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,
or Ted Gangi, FWAA webmaster (214-823-7992,