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One To 115 Our Rankings from Top to Bottom

Aug. 14, 2000
Aug. 14, 2000

Table of Contents
Aug. 14, 2000

College Football Preview 2000

One To 115 Our Rankings from Top to Bottom

Compiled By Richard Deitsch

[A] '99 Record
[B] Returning Starters
[C] Schedule Strength

This is an article from the Aug. 14, 2000 issue

Rank Team (Final '99 AP Top 25 Rank) [A] [B] [C]

1 Nebraska (3) 12-1 20 52
The Orange Bowl--site of the Big Red's '94 and
'97 (and 2000) national titles--is Husker Heaven

2 Florida State (1) 12-0 14 12
Chris Weinke, 28, is older than 15 NFL starting
signal-callers--and 21-1 as a starter

3 Alabama (8) 10-3 18 25
Bear of a schedule: road games at UCLA, Arkansas,
Tennessee and Mississippi State

4 Michigan (5) 10-2 13 23
Lloyd Carr's squad takes the A-Train, tailback
Anthony Thomas, to the Rose Bowl

5 Wisconsin (4) 10-2 18 33
Badgers have produced a 1,000-yard rusher seven
straight seasons, a Big Ten record

6 Kansas State (6) 11-1 17 62
Another cream-puff schedule for the Wildcats--
that is, until Nov. 11, when they face Nebraska

7 Georgia (16) 8-4 19 39
Terrence Edwards (772 yards in '99) was first
freshman to lead Dawgs in receiving since '78

8 Clemson 6-6 17 69
Tigers offense (402.6 yards per game last
season) has eight returning starters

9 Texas (21) 9-5 18 67
Casey Hampton and Shaun Rogers: first Texas tackle
tandem since '71 to be first-team all-league

10 Miami (15) 9-4 15 43
If the Hurricanes upset Florida State on Oct. 7,
they could go all the way to...Miami

11 Florida (12) 9-4 15 54
Is the Fun 'n' Gun done? Gators' top five wideouts
have just 13 starts between them

12 Virginia Tech (2) 11-1 11 60
Andre Davis set school marks for receiving yards
(962) and yards per catch (27.5) in '99

13 Washington 7-5 17 30
Sophomore Paul Arnold (6.3 yards per carry as a
freshman) is a star-in-the-making

14 Tennessee (9) 9-3 12 15
The Volunteers' streak of five consecutive Top
10 finishes is in jeopardy

15 TCU 8-4 19 107
End Aaron Schobel (a school-record 24.5 sacks in
his career) anchors an underrated defense

16 Purdue (25) 7-5 14 27
Boilermakers have 25 wins in three years under
Joe Tiller; had only 23 from 1990 through '96

17 Mississippi (22) 8-4 18 46
Deuce McAllister is Ole Miss's best Heisman candid
since freshman QB Eli Manning's dad, Archie

18 USC 6-6 15 38
No showdown in the West: Trojans and Washington,
the Pac-10's top two teams, don't face each other

19 Penn State (11) 10-3 9 9
If QB Rashard Casey misses time, untested sophomor
Matt Senneca (1 of 2, one INT) is next in line

20 Southern Miss (14) 9-3 16 59
Over the last two years Golden Eagles are 10-0
when Derrick Nix rushes for 100 yards

21 Illinois (24) 8-4 14 48
All but two starters are back for an offense
that put up the most points (388) in school histor

22 Ohio State 6-6 14 4
Senior wideouts Ken-Yon Rambo and Reggie
Germany are the Big Ten's best pass-catching duo

23 Oklahoma 7-5 17 51
Sooners jumped from 107th in the nation in passing
yards to ninth (321.7 yards per game) in '99

24 Colorado State 8-4 17 81
Wideout Dallas Davis had a Texas-sized
punt-return average last season (16.9 yards)

25 Colorado 7-5 12 1
On Oct. 14 Buffaloes can become the first team
to beat Texas seven consecutive times

26 Notre Dame 5-7 13 24
A brutal early schedule (Texas A&M, Nebraska and
Purdue) intensifies the Bob Davie watch

27 Oregon (19) 9-3 10 42
QB A.J. Feeley is healthy again, but his backup,
Joey Harrington, was unbeaten in four '99 starts

28 Michigan State (7) 10-2 12 3
Wideout Charles Rogers is rated by many experts
as the nation's top incoming freshman

29 Texas A&M (23) 8-4 14 19
The Aggies are counting on sophomore cornerback
Sammy Davis to become a headline act

30 East Carolina 9-3 15 74
Junior quarterback David Garrard threw for 2,000
yards in each of his first two seasons

31 UCLA 4-7 16 2
With a healthy DeShaun Foster at tailback, Bruins
will rebound from a miserable '99

32 BYU 8-4 13 57
Cougars will travel 10,874 miles; if only their
runners (89 yards per game) covered as much ground

33 Georgia Tech (20) 8-4 16 28
Will quarterback George Godsey be as divine as
his predecessor, Joe Hamilton? Not likely

34 Marshall (10) 13-0 13 109
Loss of QB Chad Pennington hurts Herd, which
holds nation's longest winning streak (17 games)

35 Oregon State 7-5 15 63
Junior tailback Ken Simonton needs 39 yards to
break the school rushing record

36 Minnesota (18) 8-4 14 55
DE Karon Riley had a Big Ten-best 16 sacks last
season for overachieving Golden Gophers

37 Boston College 8-4 13 80
All-Big East running back Cedric Washington had
a breakout season in '99 (1,122 yards)

38 Arkansas (17) 8-4 9 17
Good news: five home games to start year; bad
news: two are against Alabama and Georgia

39 Utah 9-3 18 75
Ute the Man: Steve Smith averaged 20 yards per
catch and returned three punts for TDs last year

40 Virginia 7-5 12 29
Must replace three All-Americas on offense,
including alltime rushing leader Thomas Jones

41 Mississippi State (13) 10-2 10 20
Pork Chop Womack is the anchor of a typically
Grade A Bulldog O-line

42 Maryland 5-6 15 56
Tailback LaMont Jordan is the Division I active
career rushing leader (3,227 yards)

43 Syracuse 7-5 13 49
Last year's five losses were the most since
Paul Pasqualoni took over as coach in '91

44 North Carolina 3-8 14 31
Tar Heels lost only one starter from a D that didn't
allow a point during the final 10 quarters of '99

45 Arizona 6-6 13 21
The Wildcats have blocked 14 kicks over the last
two years, five by 6'7" tight end Peter Hansen

46 Fresno State 8-5 16 85
Francophiles will love Bulldogs' flashy
tailback: Paris Gaines

47 LSU 3-8 18 36
Booty Call: Quarterback Josh Booty will hook up
often with brother Abram (26 catches in '99)

48 Stanford 8-4 14 16
With departure of Troy Walters, DeRonnie Pitts
(58 catches in '99) emerges as big-play guy

49 Hawaii 9-4 13 94
Warriors set an NCAA record in '99 for the
biggest one-year turnaround (0-12 to 9-4)

50 Arizona State 6-6 12 37
Top of the Heap: Todd Heap's 55 catches for 832
yards last fall is a school record for tight ends

51 Kentucky 6-6 14 35
QB Dusty Bonner led SEC in six categories last year
but transferred after losing job to Jared Lorenzen

52 Pittsburgh 5-6 16 61
Safety Ramon Walker, a.k.a. the Quiet Storm,
had a thunderous 131 tackles as a freshman

53 Indiana 4-7 16 10
If coach Cam Cameron can get the Hoosiers to a
bowl game, he should be knighted

54 Iowa State 4-7 20 40
For the first time since '93, there won't be a
Davis (Troy or Darren) carrying the ball in Ames

55 Auburn 5-6 15 14
Nation's third-worst rushing attack hopes that juco
transfer Rudi Johnson is the answer at tailback

56 Wyoming 7-4 11 79
Jay Stoner needs 1,824 passing yards to become
school's alltime leader

57 Texas Tech 6-5 12 76
Stellar backs Ricky and Shaud Williams will help
new coach Mike Leach hit the ground running

58 UNLV 3-8 17 73
With USC transfer Jason Thomas at QB, this might
finally be a Vegas show worth catching

59 Kansas 5-7 18 34
Safety Carl (the Butcher) Nesmith beefs up
secondary and special teams (23 yards per
kickoff return)

60 N.C. State 6-6 14 44
New coach Chuck Amato has brought in revered
offensive guru Norm Chow to revamp the attack

61 Vanderbilt 5-6 17 13
Linebacker Jamie Winborn led the SEC in tackles
in his first two seasons

62 Oklahoma State 5-6 12 47
Barry Sanders's alma mater failed to produce
a 100-yard rusher in a game last season

63 Boise State 10-3 14 114
Cornerback Dempsy Dees led the Big West in
interceptions in '98 and '99

64 Houston 7-4 11 53
A top-notch Cougars receiving corps is led by
senior Orlando Iglesias (59 catches last fall)

65 Missouri 4-7 17 18
Butkus candidate Justin Smith isn't enough for D
that allowed 154 points in last three games of '99

66 Louisiana Tech 8-3 11 90
At QB, Brian Stallworth replaces Tim Rattay, who
led nation in total offense the past three seasons

67 Wake Forest 7-5 6 45
Defense was hit hard by graduation, but end
Bryan Ray (26 career tackles for losses) is back

68 Louisville 7-5 13 89
Jackson Five: Arnold Jackson has caught at
least five passes in 24 consecutive games

69 West Virginia 4-7 14 32
Avon Cobourne was the country's top freshman
runner last year, with 1,139 yards

70 Cincinnati 3-8 20 66
Ten starters are back for an offense that
amassed a school-record 424 yards per game in '99

71 Miami (Ohio) 7-4 12 97
Red Hawks have lost a total of only three
fumbles in the last two seasons

72 Memphis 5-6 16 72
Tigers' 1999 record is deceptive: Four losses
were by a combined eight points

73 South Carolina 0-11 13 11
Gamecocks enter 2000 with the nation's longest
losing streak (21 games)

74 Akron 7-4 14 106
Zips attack is led by '99 MAC Freshman of the
Year, Brandon Payne (845 rushing yards)

75 Toledo 6-5 20 112
Tailback Chester Taylor averaged 6.5 yards
per carry last season, second-best in the nation

76 Cal 4-7 15 6
Defensive end Andre Carter, son of former
Broncos star Rubin, is a Bear to block

77 Northern Illinois 5-6 16 113
Cornerback Benji (the Flea) Peacock is a
major pest: 15 pass deflections in 17 career games

78 Iowa 1-10 13 5
Hawkeyes' run defense (246.9 yards per game)
was the worst in Division I last season

79 Air Force 6-5 7 82
Falcons prefer ground (285.5 yards per game
in '99) to air (113.9 yards per game)

80 Tulane 3-8 20 70
J.P. Losman, a transfer from UCLA, will challenge
Patrick Ramsey (3,410 passing yards in '99)

81 SMU 4-6 19 87
Catch this: Sophomores Chris Cunningham and
Cody Cardwell are a wideout duo worth watching

82 UTEP 5-7 16 77
Brian Natkin (59 catches, 648 yards in '99)
is the nation's top tight end

83 Central Florida 4-7 14 93
Offensive tackle Patrick Jenrette (6'8", 380
pounds) is Golden Knights' largest player

84 Navy 5-7 10 78
Midshipmen need to be better in close games;
lost six by a touchdown or less in '99

85 New Mexico State 6-5 13 102
Juco transfer Robert Canidate, little bro of
former Arizona star Trung, could make a big impact

86 Northwestern 3-8 19 7
Cornerback Harold Blackmon set a school record
with 17 pass breakups last season

87 Washington State 3-9 13 26
Twin Peaks: The Raymond Twins, seniors Ryan
and Reed, anchor strong Cougars line

88 New Mexico 4-7 14 68
Loaded in the backfield with Holmon Wiggins
(601 yards in '99) and Jarrod Baxter (434 yards)

89 UAB 5-6 15 92
The best option in the Blazers' improved option
attack is Percy Coleman (5.6 yards per carry)

90 Duke 3-8 11 8
6'5" freshman wideout Jeremy Battier, younger
brother of hoops star Shane, has serious game

91 Idaho 7-4 18 98
With a healthy John Welsh at QB, the Vandals
have a shot at second Big West title in three years

92 Rice 5-6 17 64
The Owls passed for 602 yards in '99; Drew
Brees threw for that by his third game

93 San Diego State 5-6 10 22
Inexperience on defense will leave Aztecs
in ruins for 2000

94 Temple 2-9 14 65
Sophomore tackle Dan Klecko (son of former
Jets star Joe) led Owls with eight sacks in '99

95 Baylor 1-10 13 41
Bears counting on juco transfer Greg Cicero
to jump-start the nation's second-worst offense

96 Ohio 5-6 16 100
Dontrell Jackson, the nation's only true freshman
QB starter last season, leads the Bobcats

97 Army 3-8 12 84
The air force comes to Army as new coach Todd
Berry shelves option for three-wideout spread

98 Western Michigan 7-5 16 103
New QB Jeff Welsh has huge shoes to fill
with departure of record-setting Tim Lester

99 Rutgers 1-10 9 71
Scarlet Knights hope new 3-4 scheme will
upgrade the country's 105th-ranked total defense

100 San Jose State 3-7 12 50
Diminutive (5'6") running back Deonce Whitaker
(1,303 total yards in '99) puts up big numbers

101 Central Michigan 4-7 15 96
Safety Brian Leigeb needs 101 tackles to become
school's alltime leader

102 Utah State 4-7 11 95
Graduation of alltime leading rusher Demario
Brown (4,053 yards) will be tough to overcome

103 Tulsa 2-9 14 83
Josh Blankenship, '99 WAC Freshman of the Year,
must improve TD-INT ratio (7:15)

104 Bowling Green 5-6 15 88
Kurt Gerling (53 catches for 775 yards in '99)
has caught a pass in 22 consecutive games

105 Nevada 3-8 6 58
Quarterback David Neill was fourth in the nation
in total offense (328.3 yards per game) in '99

106 Arkansas State 4-7 14 86
Wideout Robert Kilow (1,383 all-purpose yards
in '99) is Big West's most lethal multiple threat

107 Eastern Michigan 4-7 16 110
Quarterback Walter Church and wideout Kenny
Christian form a heavenly connection

108 Louisiana-Monroe 5-6 15 105
Three Division I-AA teams on schedule assure
the Indians of a few victories

109 North Texas 2-9 12 101
The meanest of the Mean Green is linebacker
Brad Kassell (112 tackles last year)

110 Kent 2-9 16 99
Zach Williams is adequate replacement for the
departed Jose Davis, school's alltime passing leader

111 Ball State 0-11 14 104
Cardinals, 1-21 over past two seasons, open at
Florida in year's second-worst mismatch

112 Middle Tennessee St. 3-8 17 91
Blue Raiders, two years removed from Division I-A,
play at Florida in Week 2 in year's worst mismatch

113 Louisiana-Lafayette 2-9 18 111
Only Rutgers, Buffalo and Nevada allowed more
points than the Ragin' Cajuns last season

114 Connecticut 4-7 15 115
Good news: Defending national basketball champion
Lady Huskies start practice on Oct. 15

115 Buffalo 0-11 12 108
Buffalo hosts Connecticut on Sept. 16 in
college football's Mr. Irrelevant Game

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

1 BIG TEN

1. Michigan (4)
2. Wisconsin (5)
3. Purdue (16)
4. Penn State (19)
5. Illinois (21)
6. Ohio State (22)
7. Michigan State (28)
8. Minnesota (36)
9. Indiana (53)
10. Iowa (78)
11. Northwestern (86)

2 SEC

East

1. Georgia (7)
2. Florida (11)
3. Tennessee (14)
4. Kentucky (51)
5. Vanderbilt (61)
6. South Carolina (73)

West

1. Alabama (3)
2. Mississippi (17)
3. Arkansas (38)
4. Mississippi State (41)
5. LSU (47)
6. Auburn (55)

3 BIG 12

North

1. Nebraska (1)
2. Kansas State (6)
3. Colorado (25)
4. Iowa State (54)
5. Kansas (59)
6. Missouri (65)

South

1. Texas (9)
2. Oklahoma (23)
3. Texas A&M (29)
4. Texas Tech (57)
5. Oklahoma State (62)
6. Baylor (95)

4 ACC

1. Florida State (2)
2. Clemson (8)
3. Georgia Tech (33)
4. Virginia (40)
5. Maryland (42)
6. North Carolina (44)
7. N.C. State (60)
8. Wake Forest (67)
9. Duke (90)

5 PAC-10

1. Washington (13)
2. USC (18)
3. Oregon (27)
4. UCLA (31)
5. Oregon State (35)
6. Arizona (45)
7. Stanford (48)
8. Arizona State (50)
9. California (76)
10. Washington St. (87)

6 BIG EAST

1. Miami (10)
2. Virginia Tech (12)
3. Boston College (37)
4. Syracuse (43)
5. Pittsburgh (52)
6. West Virginia (69)
7. Temple (94)
8. Rutgers (99)

7 MOUNTAIN WEST

1. Colorado State (24)
2. BYU (32)
3. Utah (39)
4. Wyoming (56)
5. UNLV (58)
6. Air Force (79)
7. New Mexico (88)
8. San Diego State (93)

8 CONFERENCE USA

1. Southern Miss. (20)
2. East Carolina (30)
3. Houston (64)
4. Louisville (68)
5. Cincinnati (70)
6. Memphis (72)
7. Tulane (80)
8. UAB (89)
9. Army (97)

9 WAC

1. TCU (15)
2. Fresno State (46)
3. Hawaii (49)
4. SMU (81)
5. UTEP (82)
6. Rice (92)
7. San Jose State (100)
8. Tulsa (103)
9. Nevada (105)

10 INDEPENDENTS

1. Notre Dame (26)
2. Louisiana Tech (66)
3. Central Florida (83)
4. Navy (84)
5. La.-Monroe (108)
6. Middle Tenn. St. (112)
7. La.-Lafayette (113)
8. UConn (114)

11 MID-AMERICAN

East

1. Marshall (34)
2. Miami (Ohio) (71)
3. Akron (74)
4. Ohio (96)
5. Bowling Green (104)
6. Kent (110)
7. Buffalo (115)

West

1. Toledo (75)
2. Northern Illinois (77)
3. W. Michigan (98)
4. C. Michigan (101)
5. E. Michigan (107)
6. Ball State (111)

12 BIG WEST

1. Boise State (63)
2. New Mexico St. (85)
3. Idaho (91)
4. Utah State (102)
5. Nevada (105)
6. Arkansas State (106)
7. North Texas (109)

BOWL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

Jan. 1 Rose Bowl, in Pasadena
Jan. 1 Fiesta Bowl, in Tempe, Ariz.
Jan. 2 Sugar Bowl, in New Orleans
Jan. 3 Orange Bowl, in Miami

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 and SEC
as well as two at-large teams. The two top teams, as determined
by the complex BCS formula, will play for the national
championship in the Orange Bowl.

For B.J. Schecter's ranking of the top players in the country at
every position, go to cnnsi.com/football/college

Ivan Maisel picks the player of the century for all 115 Division
I-A programs at cnnsi.com/football/college

COLOR PHOTO: BOB ROSATO STORM WARNING Travis Minor and the Seminoles will have to navigate the nastiest Hurricanes squad in years to reach the title game again. COLOR PHOTO: TOM PENNINGTON A REACH Iowa State and J.J. Moses have a tough climb in the Big 12.