FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (FWAA) The University of Southern California
have successfully defended their national title by claiming
their second straight Grantland Rice Trophy, completing a 13-0 season
with a 55-19 win over Oklahoma in the FedEx Orange Bowl.

USC head coach Pete Carroll was presented the trophy on Wednesday at
a morning news conference by FWAA president Alan Schmadtke of the Orlando

Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart of USC threw for 332 yards and an
Orange Bowl-record five touchdown passes as the Trojans scored more points
in the first half (38) than Oklahoma had ever allowed in a bowl game.

The Trojans, the unanimous choice of the 16 voters of the Football Writers
Association of America's Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll, won their
sixth FWAA national title. USC was the preseason No. 1 and was the top-ranked
team in each poll this season, sharing the top spot with Oklahoma in the
first rankings of the regular season.

Auburn, also unbeaten at 13-0, finished second in the final poll. The
Tigers received each of the 16 second-place votes.

USC's six championships are the most in the 51-year history of the Rice
trophy. Oklahoma has won five FWAA national titles and five other schools
have won four apiece since 1954, when the trophy, named for the legendary
sportswriter, was introduced.

USC is just the fourth school to win back-to-back Grantland Rice trophies,
the last being Nebraska in 1994-95. Nebraska also claimed consecutive titles
in 1970-71. Alabama (1978-79) and Oklahoma (1955-56) are the other two schools
to win two in a row.

The Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll, introduced for the 2002 season, selects
the nation's top 16 teams in polling that begins each October. Sixteen regionally-balanced
pollsters select the nation's top teams in the FWAA poll. The Super 16 also
distinguishes itself by making each pollster's ballot public.

In the three seasons of the FWAA poll, USC has finished no lower than
third. The Trojans were No. 3 in the final 2002 poll and, of course, topped
last season's final rankings. Seven other schools have finished in each
of the three final Grantland Rice polls: Boise State, Georgia, Iowa, Miami,
Michigan, Oklahoma and Texas.

Following is the final Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll for the 2004 season:

Most Grantland Rice Trophies:

6, USC

5, Oklahoma

4, Alabama

4, Miami

4, Nebraska

4, Notre Dame

4, Ohio State

Back-to-back Grantland Rice Trophy winners

USC (2003-04)

Nebraska (1994-95)

Alabama (1978-79)

Nebraska (1970-71)

Oklahoma (1955-56)

For further information contact Steve Richardson, Executive Director
of the FWAA (972-713-6198,
or Ted Gangi, FWAA webmaster (214-823-7992,