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Irish Football Ranked 18th in AP Preseason Poll

Aug. 13, 1999

AP Football Writer

Florida State finds itself in a familiar position – No. 1 in The Associated Press preseason college football poll.

For the fifth time since 1988, coach Bobby Bowden’s Seminoles enter the season as favorites to win the national championship. This year’s title game is at 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 or after.”

Tennessee, the defending champs who knocked off Florida State in the Fiesta Bowl 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 a preseason No. 1 in 1988, ’91, ’93 and ’95. The Seminoles have not started a season 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 a national title is our goal this year and every year,” Bowden said. “Let’s get it on!”

Penn State is third, and Arizona fourth, but that should change in a hurry after 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 70 sports writers and broadcasters on the AP panel.

Tennessee had 15 first-place votes and 1,643 points, with No. 3 Penn State collecting four first-place votes and 1,582 points and No. 4 Arizona one first-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 (one first-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 are tied at No. 20.

Arkansas is No. 22, followed by No. 23 Purdue, No. 24 Virginia and No. 25 Arizona State.

The top five teams in the USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll are identical to those in the AP poll.

Florida schools have been ranked No. 1 in the AP preseason poll seven times in 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 12 conferences each have five teams in the Top 25.

Teams that finished in last year’s final Top 25 but did not make the ’99 preseason 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 to win 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 1983 and Florida State in 1993 – came close.

The ’83 Cornhuskers went 12-0 before losing to Miami 31-30 in the Orange Bowl. The ’93 Seminoles were No. 1 for most of the season, lost to Notre Dame but beat Nebraska in the Orange Bowl to claim the title.

The Bowl Championship Series, in its second season, will match the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the Sugar Bowl based on standings compiled from the AP media poll 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 football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, 1998 records, total points based on 25 points for a first place vote through one point for a 25th place vote and ranking 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, Michigan St. 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 of Northwest 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, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Jake Curtis, San Francisco Chronicle, Barker Davis, Washington Times, Stephen Dodge, Idaho Statesman, Jack Ebling, Lansing State (Mich.) Journal, Chris Errington, Clarksburg (W.Va.) Exponent and Telegram, Chris Fowler, 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, Bruce Hooley, Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Mike Knobler, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., Bill Kwon, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, George Lehner, WTVN-AM, Columbus, Ohio, Paul Letlow, The News-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 and Courier, Charleston, S.C.

Brad Moore, Albuquerque (N.M.) Tribune, Dave Moormann, The Town Talk of Alexandria, La., Jack Moss, Kalamazoo (Mich.) Gazette, Tom Mulhern, Wisconsin State Journal, Dan O’Kane, Tulsa (Okla.) World, Ralph Paulk, Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal, Gene Phelps, NorthEast Mississippi Daily Journal, Steve Phillips, High Point (N.C.) Enterprise, Scott Rabalais, The Advocate of Baton Rouge, 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 Daily News, Jeff White, Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch, Jerry Wizig, Houston Chronicle, 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.
  • VOTERS – College football writers and broadcasters whose publications, TV and radio stations are members of The AP.
  • POINTS – A first-place vote is worth 25 points, a second-place vote is worth 24, etc.
  • SCHOOLS ELIGIBLE – All NCAA Division I-A teams (114 teams for 1999). Teams on NCAA probation are eligible for ranking.
  • VOTING BREAKDOWN – By state. (1 or 2 schools – 1 voter, 3 or 4 schools – 2 voters, 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 eight have 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 ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll. Florida State is No. 1 for the fifth time. Oklahoma has been No. 1 eight times.

AP Preseason No. 1
By The Associated Press

The No. 1 ranked team in the annual Associated Press preseason college football poll. The preseason poll was started in 1950 (x-denotes eventual national champion):

     1950-Notre Dame     1951-Tennessee-x     1952-Michigan State-x    1953-Notre Dame    1954-Notre Dame     1955-UCLA     1956-Oklahoma-x     1957-Oklahoma     1958-Ohio State     1959-Louisiana State     1960-Syracuse     1961-Iowa     1962-Ohio State     1963-Southern Cal     1964-Mississippi     1965-Nebraska     1966-Alabama    1967-Notre Dame     1968-Purdue     1969-Ohio State     1970-Ohio State    1971-Notre Dame     1972-Nebraska     1973-Southern Cal     1974-Oklahoma-x     1975-Oklahoma-x     1976-Nebraska     1977-Oklahoma     1978-Alabama-x     1979-Southern Cal     1980-Ohio State     1981-Michigan     1982-Pittsburgh     1983-Nebraska     1984-Auburn     1985-Oklahoma-x     1986-Oklahoma     1987-Oklahoma     1988-Florida State     1989-Michigan     1990-Miami     1991-Florida State     1992-Miami     1993-Florida State-x     1994-Florida     1995-Florida State     1996-Nebraska     1997-Penn State    1998-Ohio State     1999-Florida State    

Year Two of the BCS Adds New Wrinkles

The BCS standings are determined through four factors.

By The Associated Press

Year Two of the Bowl Championship Series will bring a few new wrinkles to the process of selecting the teams to play in its national championship game.

The BCS made a mostly successful debut last season, with Tennessee beating Florida State in the Fiesta Bowl and becoming the unanimous choice as the national champion.

This time, the BCS modified its guidelines for selecting teams by adding five new computer ratings and toughened eligibility standards for its four bowl games. Also, a process is now in place that could strip weaker conferences of automatic bids, a move aimed at the Big East.

The BCS standings are determined through four factors: a combined ranking in The Associated Press media poll and USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll, computer surveys, strength of schedule, and won-loss record.

The series will again use the computer ratings of Jeff Sagarin, The New York Times and the Seattle Times. But it also will consider Richard Billingsley, Dunkel Index, Kenneth Massey, David Rothman and Matthews-Scripps Howard. A school’s lowest ranking from the eight computer services will be thrown out.

Champions from the Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, Atlantic Coast and Pac-10 conferences receive automatic bids to the BCS, which also includes two at-large teams.

The 1-2 teams in the BCS standings are matched in a national title game that rotates among the Rose, Sugar, Orange and Fiesta bowls. Using a regional format, the other three bowls select the remaining conference champions and at-large teams.

The 2000 title game will be held Jan. 4 at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

Last season, teams were eligible for at-large berths with either eight victories or by finishing no lower than 12th in the BCS standings. Now, teams must have nine regular-season wins over Division I-A opponents and at least a No. 12 ranking.

Also, each of the six BCS leagues must show it is worthy of that status. If a conference’s automatic qualifiers failed to average at least a No. 12 BCS rating over a four-year period, it could be stripped of the bid.

Last season, Big East champion Syracuse (8-4) was 15th in the BCS standings and was routed by Florida 31-10 in the Orange Bowl.

One of the misconceptions of the BCS involved Kansas State, which ended up in the Alamo Bowl after losing only one game – the Big 12 championship – and finishing third in the final BCS standings. The feeling was that K-State, which lost to Purdue in the Alamo Bowl, deserved to play in a BCS game.

“We still feel the bowls, after you get past the 1-2 game, need to have some regional flexibility,” BCS chairman Roy Kramer said. “You can’t take two West Coast teams and play in Miami. You’ve got to have regional ties to make the bowls succeed.”

The first BCS standings will be released Oct. 25.