College Football Preview 2000

Message Board

ESPN Auctions
Thursday, August 10
Updated: August 14, 1:31 PM ET
A look at the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll

By Joe Wojciechowski

Rank/Team '99 Rec. Pts. says
1. Nebraska (36) 12-1 1,442 Well, isn't this a coincidence: the BCS championship game is at the Orange Bowl, the place Nebraska won two titles in the '90s.
2. Fla. St. (21) 12-0 1,426 FSU was the first team to go wire-to-wire as No. 1. With all the talent back this season, they deserved to try it again.
3. Alabama (1) 10-3 1,266 The Crimson Tide has 18 starters back and if 'Bama finally can get by Tennessee after five straight losses, a January trip to Miami is possible.
4. Michigan 10-2 1,196 It's Drew Henson getting the headlines, but the story is stud receivers teamed with a great running back running behind three future NFL stars.
5. Wisconsin (1) 10-2 1,192 The Badgers are tired of Rose Bowl rings after becoming the first Big Ten team to win two in a row. They're looking to upgrade to something in an Orange Bowl model.
6. Miami (Fla.) 9-4 1,110 Great defense, loads of running backs and they have that certain Miami swagger again.
7. Florida 9-4 1,065 The are questions about the offense -- unheard of in Gainesville -- but the defense might be the best in the SEC.
8. Texas 9-5 997 An easier schedule -- no Nebraska, no Kansas State and who really wants to go to Hawaii anyway? -- should land Texas in the Big 12 title game.
9. Kansas St. 11-1 985 BCS snubbings or not, the Wildcats always seem to be in the mix. WRs Quincy Morgan and Aaron Lockett and underrated RB David Allen will put them there again.
10. Va. Tech 11-1 974 One season wonders? Doubt it. Michael Vick alone is good enough to make the Hokies a contender.
11. Georgia 8-4 933 Get by Tennesse and Florida (a combined 1-7 over the past four years) and we'll talk.
12. Tennessee 9-3 840 Down in Knoxville, it's apparently not called rebuilding. Hmmm, what's the proper term for replacing 12 starters?
13. Purdue 7-5 626 The offense is a given, but for Purdue to be Pasadena bound, the defense -- especially the secondary -- needs to make plays.
14. Washington 8-4 586 Two early-season wins against Miami and Colorado and all you'll hear in line at Starbucks is talk of the Rose Bowl and Marques Tuiasosopo for Heisman.
15. Ohio St. 6-6 543 John Cooper says this is the year the Buckeyes make a run at the Rose Bowl and national title. OK, we'll give him the benefit of the doubt, for now.
16. USC 6-6 530 QB Carson Palmer is healthy and moving the ball against USC's defense is tougher than crawling across the L.A. freeway during rush hour.
17. Penn St. 10-3 489 If Rashard Casey plays the whole season, the Nittany Lions are Big Ten contenders.
18. Mississippi 8-4 376 Deuce McAllister is one of the best running backs in the country, but he might not be the best on his team. Anyone here met Joe Gunn?
19. Clemson 6-6 340 Hmmm ...Tommy Bowden went undefeated in his second year at Tulane. That couldn't happen during his second year at Clemson, could it?
20. Oklahoma 7-5 283 Josh Heupel threw 500 times last season and changed the perception of Oklahoma. If the defense improves, the Sooners Big 12 chances also change.
21. Illinois 8-4 279 The sleeper of the Big Ten until WR Brandon Lloyd broke his leg. Now they are a question mark.
22. Michigan St. 10-2 245 A brutal schedule makes it tough for the Spartans to repeat last year's success.
23. TCU 8-4 215 This year's sleeper? Heisman Trophy candidate LaDainian Tomlinson could rush for 2,000 yards and an easy schedule could mean an undefeated season.
24. Texas A&M 8-4 211 The talent's there, but a win over Notre Dame in the opener would really help the Aggies' confidence.
25. So. Miss. 9-3 197 Remember the name Cedric Scott. The 6-5, 272-pound end will cause all kinds of problems for Tennessee and Alabama as well as all of Conference USA.
Others receiving votes: Colorado 164, Mississippi St. 116, UCLA 69, Arkansas 55, Minnesota 54, Oregon 52, Georgia Tech 48, East Carolina 41, Marshall 38, Utah 32, Syracuse 31, Brigham Young 28, Virginia 24, Colorado St. 21, Notre Dame 14, Stanford 12, Oregon St. 7, Vanderbilt 7, Boston College 3, San Diego Sate 3, Arizona 2, Fresno St. 2, Hawaii 2, Arizona State 1, Duke 1, Idaho 1, Toledo 1

Joe Wojciechowski is the college football editor at

 More from ESPN...
Repeat after us: 'Noles still hungry
Bobby Bowden isn't slowing ...

Recipe looks simple, but perfect season isn't easy
They sneak up on the polls ...

Nebraska ends FSU's run at No. 1 in AP poll

 ESPN Tools
Email story
Most sent
Print story