2. Perm State
4. Florida State
6. Notre Dame
13. Ohio State
14. Texas A&M
18. Mississippi State
20. San Diego State
The Hurricanes have so much talent they won't need many breaks to repeat as national champions, even with road games against Iowa, Penn State and Syracuse. (Forget the Florida State game at home on Oct. 3, because we know the Hurricanes will find a way to win that one, don't we?)
Eight offensive and six defensive starters are back. The "ruthless posse" is the best collection of wide receivers in the land, and the linebacking corps of Darrin Smith, Jessie Armstead and Micheal Barrow is the posse's equal on the other side of the ball. Unsung fullback Stephen McGuire is as good a back as any in the land.
Are there any? Miami's only weakness may be its kicking game. Erratic placekicker Dane Prewitt will try to replace the automatic Carlos Huerta.
2. Penn State
Joe Paterno, in his 27th season as the Nittany Lions' coach, seems euphoric as he contemplates his team's future. At the spring game he wore what he called his "Rose Bowl tie," in honor of Penn State's move into the Big Ten in '93, and in early May—May!—the Lions accepted an invitation to play in the Blockbuster Bowl on New Year's Day. All Penn State must do to guarantee its Blockbuster reservation is win six games, which should be no problem. In fact, it will be a major surprise if the Lions aren't 5-0 going into their Oct. 10 date with Miami at home.
Paterno has at last embraced the forward pass. Quarterback Kerry Collins connected on 24 of 41 throws for 406 yards in the spring game. Richie Anderson, who gained 499 yards as a starter in the final four games of last season, leads the fastest group of runners in school history. On defense, strong safety Lee Rubin became the first non-linebacker since Brian Chizmar in 1987 to lead the team in tackles.
The offensive line is a bit green, and the punting could create headaches for Paterno, who will have to rely on a walk-on with virtually no experience.