Search

One To 114 OUR RANKINGS, FROM TOP TO BOTTOM

Aug. 16, 1999
Aug. 16, 1999

Table of Contents
Aug. 16, 1999

Pro Football
College Football Preview 1999

One To 114 OUR RANKINGS, FROM TOP TO BOTTOM

Compiled by John Walters

Rank Team '98 Returning Schedule
(Final '98 AP Record Starters Strength
Top 25 Rank)

This is an article from the Aug. 16, 1999 issue

1 Penn State (17) 9-3 17 14
JoePa's 50th season in Happy Valley will have a happy ending in
New Orleans

2 Florida State (3) 11-2 14 24
For all their success the Seminoles have only one national title
this decade

3 Arizona (4) 12-1 17 30
Streak of seven straight road wins will be put to the test on
Aug. 28 at Penn State

4 Tennessee (1) 13-0 13 29
The defending national champs' last win at Florida was in 1971.
Vols try again on Sept. 18

5 Ohio State (2) 11-1 13 22
Tailback Michael Wiley leads active Buckeyes in career
completions with five

6 Nebraska (19) 9-4 14 13
Cornhuskers may alternate Eric Crouch and Bobby Newcombe at
quarterback

7 Florida (5) 10-2 9 19
Home winning streak (now 27) to be tested by Tennessee, Alabama
and Florida State

8 Texas A&M (11) 11-3 16 50
Aggie 6-foot, 260-pound sophomore fullback Ja'Mar Toombs buries
defensive backs

9 Georgia Tech (9) 10-2 15 54]
The Yellow Jackets returned an NCAA-record seven fumbles for
touchdowns in 1998

10 Colorado 8-4 15 55
New coach Gary Barnett is focusing on a rushing attack that
averaged only 123.2 yards in '98

11 Wisconsin (6) 11-1 14 65
The Badgers bring back eight starters from the nation's No. 1
scoring defense

12 Notre Dame (22) 9-3 11 20
The Irish were national champs in 1966, '77 and '88 but are a
long shot in '99

13 Miami (20) 9-3 17 32
Improved Hurricanes meet Ohio State, Penn State, Florida State
in first five weeks

14 UCLA (8) 10-2 14 6
The Bruins, 99th in total D in 1998, have third defensive
coordinator in as many seasons

15 Michigan (12) 10-3 15 3
The Wolverines are coming off their worst rushing season in 35
years (151.7 yards a game)

16 Alabama 7-5 17 5
Tide to stage home game vs. Tennessee on campus for the first
time since 1930

17 Virginia Tech (23) 9-3 13 70
The Hokies lead the nation in blocked kicks (61) during this
decade

18 Georgia (14) 9-3 11 43
How good is quarterback Quincy Carter? Three other Dawgs
signal-callers transferred

19 Southern Cal 8-5 15 12
Successive Saturdays in Tucson and South Bend will decide the
Trojans' fate

20 Texas (15) 9-3 13 25
Eight players, unhappy with playing time, have left since 1999
Cotton Bowl win

21 Purdue (24) 9-4 13 8
Drew Brees threw for 3,983 yards and 39 TDs in 1998, both Big
Ten records

22 Arkansas (16) 9-3 12 47
Anthony Lucas and Joe Dean Davenport (61 catches between them in
1998) are ball Hogs

23 Kansas State (10) 11-2 10 68
Punt returner David Allen is 562 yards from 50-year-old NCAA
punt-return-yardage record

24 Marshall 12-1 19 113
Opener at Clemson is toughest hurdle to an undefeated season for
the Thundering Herd

25 Arizona State 5-6 14 10
Tailback J.R. Redmond will follow 6'6", 305-pound tackle
Marvelous Marvel Smith

26 Brigham Young 9-5 12 59
Linebacker Rob Morris, the Mountain West's hardest hitter, is
nicknamed Freight Train

27 Louisville 7-5 19 91
Quarterback Chris Redman led the nation's top offense (559.6
yards per game) in 1998

28 Virginia (18) 9-3 15 35
Senior tailback Thomas Jones was the ACC's runaway rushing
leader a year ago (1,303 yards)

29 Louisiana State 4-7 15 41
Quarterback Josh Booty makes his debut at 24; top target is
brother Abram, 20, a junior

30 Syracuse (25) 8-4 13 57
The Orangemen hit the road for Big East showdowns at Virginia
Tech and Miami

31 Air Force (13) 12-1 12 83
Key conference clash on Oct. 30 at Brigham Young, where Falcons
are winless since 1982

32 Mississippi 7-5 17 51
New coach David Cutcliffe tutors a second Manning, freshman
quarterback Eli

33 Michigan State 6-6 14 7
Season-ticket holders are happy: Michigan, Ohio State and Penn
State visit

34 Oregon 8-4 14 21
Reuben Droughns, averaging 164.8 yards rushing when hurt in
1998's sixth game, returns

35 Mississippi State 8-5 9 62
Schedule (no Florida, Georgia or Tennessee) a blessing for an
offense with two starters back

36 West Virginia 8-4 14 64
Quarterback Marc Bulger led Big East in passing (289 yards per
game) a year ago

37 Washington 6-6 13 1
Bad Blood Bowl: New coach Rick Neuheisel faces his former team,
Colorado, on Sept. 25

38 Miami (Ohio) 10-1 16 108
Top returning rusher, Travis Prentice, is RedHawks' gridiron
Wally Szczerbiak

39 North Carolina 7-5 11 61
Tar Heels are the only school with a 4-0 bowl record over the
last four years

40 Minnesota 5-6 18 63
The Gophers should be 4-0 when Wisconsin and Ron Dayne visit on
Oct. 9

41 Southern Miss 7-5 12 77
All-America defensive end Adalius Thomas was Conference USA's
defensive player of the year

42 Fresno State 5-6 12 99
Quarterback Billy Volek's 3:1 TD-to-interception ratio helps
make Bulldogs the class of the WAC

43 Texas Tech 7-5 14 42
Haven't we heard this before? Red Raiders' Ricky Williams is the
Big 12's best running back

44 N.C. State 7-5 14 48
If Jamie Barnette throws for 2,474 yards, he'll become the ACC's
alltime passing-yardage leader

45 California 5-6 14 2
Sack exchange: In 1998 linebacker Sekou Sanyika had seven, but
Cal's offensive line allowed 58

46 Auburn 3-8 15 16
The Tigers welcome Tommy Tuberville, the Mr. Goodwrench of SEC
coaches

47 Texas Christian 7-5 15 107
The Horned Frogs improved by six wins in coach Dennis
Franchione's first season

48 Oklahoma State 5-6 10 44
Junior Tony Lindsay completed 68.1% of his passes as a freshman
but only 49.5% last year

49 San Diego State 7-5 15 69
Aztecs 240-pound defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila is both a
handful and a mouthful

50 South Carolina 1-10 15 17
Gamecocks fans aren't booing, they're saying, "Lou!" No, they
are booing, for tailback Boo Williams

51 Stanford 3-8 19 11
With 19 starters returning, the Cardinal
may refute its anagrammatical darn-soft reputation

52 Louisiana Tech 6-6 18 71
Quarterback Tim Rattay, nation's total offense leader (403.3
yards a game), is back

53 Nevada 6-5 17 101
David Neill threw for 3,249 yards and 29 touchdowns as a
freshman in 1998

54 Idaho 9-3 18 112
Big West champs must replace school rushing leader Joel Thomas,
but the rest of offense is intact

55 Oklahoma 5-6 16 27
With defensive whiz Bob Stoops running the show in Norman, OU
could become known as DU

56 Boston College 4-7 12 58
The Eagles may start two freshmen in the backfield: FB J.P.
Comella and TB William Green

57 Missouri (21) 8-4 11 37
The Tigers' defense cut by half the touchdowns it allowed, from
42 in 1997 to 21 in '98

58 Utah 7-4 14 81
Utes' first three foes (Washington State, Utah State and UNLV)
combined for six wins in 1998

59 Indiana 4-7 17 49
Big Ten freshman of the year, quarterback Antwaan Randle El, may
also play flanker or slotback

60 Wyoming 8-3 14 75
The Cowboys open at Tennessee and then take out their
frustrations on Weber State

61 Clemson 3-8 11 4
The Tigers have no returning offensive-line starters for the
first time since 1943

62 Washington State 3-8 16 33
Quarterback Matt Kegel, Ryan Leaf's first cousin, pulls into
Pullman

63 Houston 3-8 16 73
Micah Malone, who has starred at defensive end and linebacker,
moves to strong safety

64 Western Michigan 7-4 17 100
Wide receiver Steve Neal had a MAC-best 63 catches last fall

65 Kansas 4-7 16 34
Under Terry Allen the Jayhawks are 7-1 when leading at halftime
but 0-11 when trailing

66 Toledo 7-5 15 110
Oft-injured redshirt guard Mike Lenix enters his seventh year
with the Rockets

67 East Carolina 6-5 12 67
David Garrard completed 61.6% of his passes as a freshman last
year

68 Southern Methodist 5-7 12 92
Leading Mustangs passer Chris Sanders transferred to
Tennessee-Chattanooga

69 Oregon State 5-6 11 18
Newcomer Dennis Erickson has been coach of the year in the Big
Sky, Pac-10 and Big East

70 Rice 5-6 11 76
With Air Force out of the conference, the Owls have the WAC's
most potent spread-option offense

71 Baylor 2-9 19 31
The Bears were last in Big 12 in rushing average (110.3 yards)
and total offense (276.8) in '98

72 Iowa 3-8 13 23
Only one offensive-line starter returns for the nation's
fourth-worst rushing team in 1998

73 Tulane (7) 12-0 11 86
After a sublime 1998 season the Green Wave will crash

74 Duke 4-7 18 46
New coach Carl Franks, a former Blue Devils tight end, inherits
18 starters

75 Kentucky 7-5 11 9
Top NFL pick Tim Couch left town, as did the entire starting
offensive line

76 Army 3-8 10 88
The Cadets led the nation in rushing last year with 293.8 yards
per game

77 Illinois 3-8 17 26
Sophomore center Luke Butkus is former Illini great Dick's nephew

78 Colorado State 8-4 12 53
Defensive end Clark Haggans has had 11 sacks in each of the last
two seasons

79 Iowa State 3-8 16 38
Darren Davis aims to be first Cyclones rusher to have three
straight 1,000-yard seasons

80 Maryland 3-8 16 52
Terps' top five receivers return (Yea!); Maryland ranked 103rd
in passing last season (Boo!)

81 Northwestern 3-9 13 15
New coach Randy Walker debuts against his former employer, Miami
(Ohio), on Sept. 4

82 Rutgers 5-6 15 39
Scarlet Knights improved by five victories but failed to beat a
I-A school with more than three wins

83 Vanderbilt 2-9 19 40
Commodores faithful identify with Shania Twain's latest
hit--That Don't Impress Me Much

84 Bowling Green 5-6 15 106
End-of-the-millennium Falcons depending on sophomore rusher
Godfrey Lewis

85 Temple 2-9 14 28
Ascending Owls will be hindered by a schedule that includes only
four home games

86 Wake Forest 3-8 14 56
Incoming quarterback C.J. Leak is the Deacons' biggest
recruiting coup since Tim Duncan

87 Pittsburgh 2-9 15 36
Goings is coming: Ohio State transfer Nick Goings is the
Panthers' new tailback

88 Navy 3-8 12 60
Middies' air defense allowed opponents to complete 65.7% of
their passes in 1998

89 UNLV 0-11 11 66
Coach John Robinson arrives to try to halt the Rebels' 16-game
losing streak

90 Akron 4-7 12 103
Talk about balance. Zips averaged 187.6 yards passing and 187.2
rushing last fall

91 Boise State 6-5 14 114
Thin defense will get help from speedy Shaunard Harts, who moves
from tailback to safety

92 Central Michigan 6-5 12 93
Departure of top four receivers should mean more carries for
senior tailback Eric Flowers

93 Central Florida 9-2 10 79
Vic Penn, a former All-SEC freshman at South Carolina, replaces
Daunte Culpepper at quarterback

94 NE Louisiana 5-6 11 104
Arkansas transfer Mark Henderson holds Louisiana's single-season
high school rushing record

95 Memphis 2-9 12 45
Ryan White (16 for 16 on field goals, 22 of 22 PATs) was
nation's only perfect placekicker in 1998

96 New Mexico 3-9 14 89
Second-year coach Rocky Long is in for another long, rocky season

97 Ohio 5-6 8 96
The Bobcats must replace the top two rushers in their
history--and play at Ohio State

98 Utah State 3-8 15 85
Kicker Brad Bohn converted 24 of 28 field goal attempts in 1998

99 Ball State 1-10 13 87
Letterman's alma mater failed to make the MAC's Top 10 list in
scoring offense or defense in '98

100 UTEP 3-8 11 78
The Miners, 1-5 away from home last season, face four bowl teams
on the road

101 Northern Illinois 2-9 13 109
Ryan Diem, a 6'7", 325-pound tackle, was the only sophomore
named All-MAC last season

102 Cincinnati 2-9 5 72
Defense that yielded 41.5 points a game has only one starter back

103 New Mexico State 3-8 13 97
Linebacker Waylon Waters, Aggies' top tackler in 1997, returns
after missing '98 with a knee injury

104 Tulsa 4-7 12 94
John Mosley rushed for 201 yards in last year's season finale
against Wyoming

105 Eastern Michigan 3-8 14 82
Junior quarterback Walt Church is on pace to break many of
predecessor Charlie Batch's marks

106 Alabama-Birmingham 4-7 15 74
Backed-up backfield: The Blazers' top eight rushers are back

107 San Jose State 4-8 11 80
Deonce Whitaker returned a Division I-A-record 51 kickoffs last
year but none for touchdowns

108 North Texas 3-8 12 84
Broderick McGrew led the nation in yards per kickoff return
(32.6) in 1998

109 Hawaii 0-12 13 105
New coach June Jones hopes to revive a program that has the
nation's longest losing streak, 18 games

110 Arkansas State 4-8 12 98
The Indians return to the Big West Conference after a three-year
absence

111 SW Louisiana 2-9 18 90
The nation's worst defense in 1998 features a lineman named
Charles Brown. Arrgghh!

112 Kent 0-11 12 95
The Golden Flashes were outrushed by an average of 223.1 yards
per game last season

113 Middle Tennessee St. 5-5 7 111
Division I-A newcomers signed more junior college transfers (15)
than high school seniors (12)

114 Buffalo 4-7 14 102
Nov. 20 game, Buffalo at Miami, has no bearing on the AFC East
finish

CONFERENCE RANKINGS

Conferences are listed in order of strength. Each team's SI
national ranking is in parentheses

1 SEC

East
1. Tennessee (4)
2. Florida (7)
3. Georgia (18)
4. South Carolina (50)
5. Kentucky (75)
6. Vanderbilt (83)

West
1. Alabama (16)
2. Arkansas (22)
3. LSU (29)
4. Mississippi (32)
5. Mississippi State (35)
6. Auburn (46)

2 PAC-10

1. Arizona (3)
2. UCLA (14)
3. USC (19)
4. Arizona State (25)
5. Oregon (34)
6. Washington (37)
7. California (45)
8. Stanford (51)
9. Washington State (62)
10. Oregon State (69)

3 BIG TEN

1. Penn State (1)
2. Ohio State (5)
3. Wisconsin (11)
4. Michigan (15)
5. Purdue (21)
6. Michigan State (33)
7. Minnesota (40)
8. Indiana (59)
9. Iowa (72)
10. Illinois (77)
11. Northwestern (81)

4 BIG 12

North
1. Nebraska (6)
2. Colorado (10)
3. Kansas State (23)
4. Missouri (57)
5. Kansas (65)
6. Iowa State (79)

South
1. Texas A&M (8)
2. Texas (20)
3. Texas Tech (43)
4. Oklahoma State (48)
5. Oklahoma (55)
6. Baylor (71)

5 ACC

1. Florida State (2)
2. Georgia Tech (9)
3. Virginia (28)
4. North Carolina (39)
5. N.C. State (44)
6. Clemson (61)
7. Duke (74)
8. Maryland (80)
9. Wake Forest (86)

6 BIG EAST

1. Miami (13)
2. Virginia Tech (17)
3. Syracuse (30)
4. West Virginia (36)
5. Boston College (56)
6. Rutgers (82)
7. Temple (85)
8. Pittsburgh (87)

7 MOUNTAIN WEST

1. BYU (26)
2. Air Force (31)
3. San Diego State (49)
4. Utah (58)
5. Wyoming (60)
6. Colorado State (78)
7. UNLV (89)
8. New Mexico (96)

8 CONFERENCE USA

1. Louisville (27)
2. Southern Miss. (41)
3. Houston (63)
4. East Carolina (67)
5. Tulane (73)
6. Army (76)
7. Memphis (95)
8. Cincinnati (102)
9. Alabama-Birmingham (106)

9 INDEPENDENTS

1. Notre Dame (12)
2. Louisiana Tech (52)
3. Navy (88)
4. Central Florida (93)
5. NE Louisiana (94)
6. SW Louisiana (111)
7. Middle Tennessee St. (113)

10 WAC

1. Fresno State (42)
2. Texas Christian (47)
3. SMU (68)
4. Rice (70)
5. UTEP (100)
6. Tulsa (104)
7. San Jose State (107)
8. Hawaii (109)

11 MID-AMERICAN

East
1. Marshall (24)
2. Miami (Ohio) (38)
3. Bowling Green (84)
4. Akron (90)
5. Ohio (97)
6. Kent (112)
7. Buffalo (114)

West
1. Western Michigan (64)
2. Toledo (66)
3. Central Michigan (92)
4. Ball State (99)
5. Northern Illinois (101)
6. Eastern Michigan (105)

12 BIG WEST

1. Nevada (53)
2. Idaho (54)
3. Boise State (91)
4. Utah State (98)
5. New Mexico State (103)
6. North Texas (108)
7. Arkansas State (110)

BOWL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

Jan. 1 Rose Bowl, at Pasadena
Jan. 1 Orange Bowl, at Miami
Jan. 2 Fiesta Bowl, at Tempe, Ariz.
Jan. 4 Sugar Bowl, at New Orleans

The BCS will select the eight teams for its four bowls from the
champions of the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10, SEC and
two at-large teams. The two top teams, as determined by the
arcane BCS formula, will play for the national championship in
the Sugar Bowl.

COLOR PHOTO: PAUL JASIENSKI Jason Webster (39) and the Aggies hope that things fall their way this year.COLOR PHOTO: JOHN W. MCDONOUGHCOLOR PHOTO: JOHN BIEVER