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Gators top Football Writers' poll

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Posted: Tuesday July 31, 2001 10:57 AM
Updated: Saturday August 04, 2001 12:04 AM
  Steve Spurrier Steve Spurrier's SEC champion Gators return 17 starters this season. Scott Halleran/Allsport

DALLAS ( -- The Florida Gators top the 2001 preseason Top 25 poll released Tuesday by the Football Writers Association.

Steve Spurrier's club, which returns 17 starters from a 10-3 team, earned six of a possible 17 first-place votes, topping No. 2 Miami, Fla. (four first-place votes), No. 3 Oklahoma (one), co-No. 4s Oregon (one) and Nebraska (two), No. 6 Texas (one) and No. 7 Florida State (one).

Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Oregon State (one) round out the Top 10.

2001 FWAA Preseason Poll
Rank  Team (first place)  Points 
1.  Florida (6)  398 
2.  Miami, Fla. (4)  379 
3.  Oklahoma (1)  358 
4.  Oregon (1)  348 
Nebraska (2)  348 
6.  Texas (1)  346 
7.  Florida State (1)  341 
8.  Tennessee  321 
9.  Virginia Tech  257 
10.  Oregon St. (1)  244 
11.  Georgia Tech  241 
12.  Michigan  213 
13.  Kansas State  197 
14.  Notre Dame  168 
15.  LSU  164 
16.  Northwestern  155 
17.  Washington  154 
18.  Clemson  140 
19.  UCLA  134 
20.  Mississippi St.  131 
21.  South Carolina  116 
22.  Wisconsin  58 
23.  Colorado  57 
24.  Alabama  34 
25.  Pittsburgh  33 

The Gators, which last won the FWAA's prestigious Grantland Rice Trophy (national championship) in 1996, were one of eight teams to receive more than 300 points in the balloting.

Other SEC teams in the Top 25 include Tennessee, LSU, Mississippi State, South Carolina and Alabama. The Big 12 placed five teams in the poll -- Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, Kansas State and Colorado. The Pac-10 was next with four -- Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and UCLA.

Last year, FWAA preseason voters accurately predicted 15 of the 25 teams in the in the final Associated Press Poll. FWAA writers picked eventual national champion Oklahoma 19th in the preseason poll. The FWAA pollsters had five of the final AP Top 10 in the FWAA preseason poll. The FWAA writers picked Nebraska to win the national championship, but the Cornhuskers finished eighth in the final AP poll.

Voting members in the FWAA's poll were: Dave Sittler (Tulsa Word); Kelly Whiteside (USA Today); Jack Bogaczyk (The Roanoke Times); Shelly Anderson (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette); Mark Blaudschun (Boston Globe); Ivan Maisel (Sports Illustrated); Gregg Doyel (Charlotte Observer); Blair Kerkhoff (Kansas City Star); Dennis Dodd (CBS SportsLine); Ken Davis (Hartford Courant); Mike Griffith (Knoxville News-Sentinel); Ed Graney (San Diego Union-Tribune); Stewart Mandel (; Don Borst (Lindy's); Rob Biertempfel (The Tribune Review); John Adams (Knoxville News-Sentinel); Ron Gullberg (Casper Star-Tribune).

The first AP poll of 2001 will be released Aug. 11.

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