Aug. 14, 1999
By RICHARD ROSENBLATT
AP Football Writer
Florida State finds itself in a familiar position – No. 1 in The AssociatedPress preseason college football poll.
The Virginia Cavaliers, coming off of a 9-3 season and an appearance in the Peach Bowl, are at No. 24 in the first poll of the 1999 season.
For the fifth time since 1988, coach Bobby Bowden’s Seminoles enter theseason as favorites to win the national championship. This year’s title game isat the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Jan. 4.
“It’s tough enough to win a national championship, but to be preseason No.1 makes it doubly tough,” Bowden said. “We did it in ’93, but never before orafter.”
Tennessee, the defending champs who knocked off Florida State in the FiestaBowl to complete a 13-0 season, is right behind at No. 2 in the poll.
Florida State, which won its only national title in 1993, also was apreseason No. 1 in 1988, ’91, ’93 and ’95. The Seminoles have not started aseason ranked lower than fifth in the AP preseason poll since ’88.
“I don’t think I’m letting the cat out of the bag by saying winning anational title is our goal this year and every year,” Bowden said. “Let’s getit on!”
Penn State is third, and Arizona fourth, but that should change in a hurryafter the teams meet in the Pigskin Classic on Aug. 28 in State College, Pa.The Seminoles open the season the same day against Louisiana Tech.
Florida State received 48 first-place votes and 1,720 points from the 70sports writers and broadcasters on the AP panel.
Tennessee had 15 first-place votes and 1,643 points, with No. 3 Penn Statecollecting four first-place votes and 1,582 points and No. 4 Arizona onefirst-place vote and 1,537 points.
Florida is No. 5 with one first-place vote and 1,361 points.
Rounding out the Top 10 is No. 6 Nebraska, No. 7 Texas A&M, No. 8 Michigan,No. 9 Ohio State and No. 10 Wisconsin.
Georgia Tech is No. 11, followed by No. 12 Miami, No. 13 Virginia Tech (onefirst-place vote), No. 14 Georgia, No. 15 Colorado, No. 16 UCLA, No. 17 Texas,No. 18 Notre Dame, No. 19 Southern California and Alabama and Kansas State aretied at No. 20.
Arkansas is No. 22, followed by No. 23 Purdue, No. 24 Virginia and No. 25Arizona State.
The top five teams in the USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll are identical tothose in the AP poll.
Florida schools have been ranked No. 1 in the AP preseason poll seven timesin the 1990s. Miami was No. 1 in 1990 and ’92, and Florida was No. 1 in ’94.
Four of the Top 10 teams are from the Big Ten Conference – Penn State,Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin. The Southeastern, Big Ten and Big 12conferences each have five teams in the Top 25.
Teams that finished in last year’s final Top 25 but did not make the ’99preseason poll are: Tulane (No. 7 in ’98), Air Force (No. 13), Missouri (No.21), and Syracuse (No. 25).
Since 1950, eight teams were ranked No. 1 in the preseason and went on towin the national title: Tennessee (1951), Michigan State (1952), Oklahoma(1956, 1974, 1975, 1985), Alabama (1978), and Florida State (1993).
No team has gone wire-to-wire ranked No. 1, but two teams – Nebraska in 1983and Florida State in 1993 – came close.
The ’83 Cornhuskers went 12-0 before losing to Miami 31-30 in the OrangeBowl. The ’93 Seminoles were No. 1 for most of the season, lost to Notre Damebut beat Nebraska in the Orange Bowl to claim the title.
The Bowl Championship Series, in its second season, will match the No. 1 andNo. 2 teams in the Sugar Bowl based on standings compiled from the AP mediapoll and USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll, eight computer rankings,strength-of-schedule and won-loss record.
The final AP poll will be released Jan. 5.
AP Preseason Top 25
By The Associated Press
The Top Twenty Five teams in The Associated Press preseason college footballpoll, with first-place votes in parentheses, 1998 records, total points basedon 25 points for a first place vote through one point for a 25th place vote andranking in the 1998 final poll:
Record Pts Pv 1. Florida St. (48) 11-2 1,720 3 2. Tennessee (15) 13-0 1,643 1 3. Penn St. (4) 9-3 1,582 17 4. Arizona (1) 12-1 1,537 4 5. Florida (1) 10-2 1,361 5 6. Nebraska 9-4 1,327 19 7. Texas A&M 11-3 1,314 11 8. Michigan 10-3 1,292 12 9. Ohio St. 11-1 1,160 2 10. Wisconsin 11-1 1,091 6 11. Georgia Tech 10-2 979 9 12. Miami 9-3 928 20 13. Virginia Tech (1) 9-3 896 23 14. Georgia 9-3 829 14 15. Colorado 8-4 636 - 16. UCLA 10-2 587 8 17. Texas 9-3 487 15 18. Notre Dame 9-3 463 22 19. Southern Cal 8-5 455 - 20. Alabama 7-5 445 - tie. Kansas St. 11-2 445 10 22. Arkansas 9-3 441 16 23. Purdue 9-4 370 24 24. Virginia 9-3 222 18 25. Arizona St. 5-6 108 -
Others receiving votes: BYU 93, Marshall 75, Mississippi St. 72, MichiganSt. 34, Air Force 25, Mississippi 23, Syracuse 23, Louisville 20, Wyoming 15,LSU 13, Oklahoma St. 9, Missouri 7, North Carolina 6, Oregon 6, Southern Miss.2, Washington 2, Miami, Ohio 1, N.C. State 1, TCU 1, Texas Tech 1, Utah 1,Western Michigan 1, West Virginia 1.
AP Poll Board
By The Associated Press
List of voters in the 1999 Associated Press college football poll:
John Adams, Knoxville (Tenn.) News-Sentinel, Nate Allen, Morning News ofNorthwest Arkansas, Andy Bagnato, Chicago Tribune, Lee Barfknecht, Omaha (Neb.)World-Herald, Tony Barnhart, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Sammy Batten,Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer-Times, Steve Batterson, Quad City (Iowa) Times,Bill Benner, Indianapolis Star, Mac Bentley, Daily Oklahoman, Joe Biddle,Nashville Tennessean.
Todd Blackledge, ABC, Mark Blaudschun, Boston Globe, Kirk Bohls, Austin(Texas) American-Statesman, Paola Boivin, Arizona Republic, Andy Boogaard,Fresno (Calif.) Bee, Meri-Jo Borzilleri, Colorado Springs Gazette, Jimmy Burch,Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram, Frank Burlison, Orange County (Calif.)Register, Ron Christ, Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot, John Clay, Lexington (Ky.)Herald-Leader.
Jim Cnockaert, Ann Arbor (Mich.) News, Bill Coats, St. Louis Post-Dispatch,Chuck Cooperstein, WBAP Radio, Irving, Texas, Mark Craig, MinneapolisStar-Tribune, Jake Curtis, San Francisco Chronicle, Barker Davis, WashingtonTimes, Stephen Dodge, Idaho Statesman, Jack Ebling, Lansing State (Mich.)Journal, Chris Errington, Clarksburg (W.Va.) Exponent and Telegram, ChrisFowler, ESPN.
Jeff Gravley, WRAL-TV, Raleigh, N.C., Tim Griffin, San Antonio Express-News,Ron Gullberg, Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, Eric Hansen, South Bend (Ind.)Tribune, Craig Harper, Boulder (Colo.) Daily Camera, Chris Harry, Orlando(Fla.) Sentinel, Andrew Hartsock, Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, Brooks Hatch,Corvallis (Ore.) Gazette-Times, Joseph Hawk, Las Vegas Review-Journal, BruceHooley, Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Mike Knobler, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., Bill Kwon, HonoluluStar-Bulletin, George Lehner, WTVN-AM, Columbus, Ohio, Paul Letlow, TheNews-Star of Monroe, La., Gary Long, Miami Herald, Tom Luicci, The Star-Ledger,Newark, N.J., Ivan Maisel, Sports Illustrated, Grant Martin, Anniston (Ala.)Star, Neal McCready, Mobile (Ala.) Register, Andrew Miller, The Post andCourier, Charleston, S.C.
Brad Moore, Albuquerque (N.M.) Tribune, Dave Moormann, The Town Talk ofAlexandria, La., Jack Moss, Kalamazoo (Mich.) Gazette, Tom Mulhern, WisconsinState Journal, Dan O’Kane, Tulsa (Okla.) World, Ralph Paulk, Akron (Ohio)Beacon Journal, Gene Phelps, NorthEast Mississippi Daily Journal, StevePhillips, High Point (N.C.) Enterprise, Scott Rabalais, The Advocate of BatonRouge, La., Dave Rahme, Syracuse (N.Y.) Post-Standard.
John Sleeper, Everett (Wash.) Herald, Bob Smizik, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,Mike Sorensen, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Mark Tupper, Decatur (Ill.) Herald& Review, Tad Walch, Provo (Utah) Daily Herald, Dick Weiss, New York DailyNews, Jeff White, Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch, Jerry Wizig, HoustonChronicle, Scott Wolf, Los Angeles Daily News, Dave Woolford, The Toledo (Ohio)Blade.
College FB Poll Glance
By The Associated Press
FOUNDER – Alan J. Gould, sports editor of The Associated Press. FIRST POLL – Oct. 19, 1936. FIRST PRESEASON POLL – 1950. FIRST YEAR OF PANEL VOTING – 1960. VOTERS – College football writers and broadcasters whose publications, TVand radio stations are members of The AP. POINTS – A first-place vote is worth 25 points, a second-place vote is worth24, etc. SCHOOLS ELIGIBLE – All NCAA Division I-A teams (114 teams for 1999). Teamson NCAA probation are eligible for ranking. VOTING BREAKDOWN – By state. (1 or 2 schools – 1 voter, 3 or 4 schools – 2voters, 5 or 6 schools – 3 voters, 7 or 8 schools – 4 voters, 9 or 10 schools -5 voters) PRESEASON TIDBITS – Of the 50 previous preseason No. 1 teams, only eighthave won the national championship. The last team was Florida State in 1993 …Only six of the last 50 national champions were unranked in the preseason poll.The last team was Brigham Young in 1984 … Twenty-one teams have been rankedNo. 1 in the preseason poll. Florida State is No. 1 for the fifth time.Oklahoma has been No. 1 eight times.