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Compiled by Richard Deitsch
August 14, 2000
Our Rankings from Top to Bottom
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August 14, 2000

One To 115

Our Rankings from Top to Bottom

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Rank

Team (Final '99 AP Top 25 Rank)

'99 Record

Returning Starters

Schedule Strength

1

Nebraska (3)

12-1

20

52

The Orange Bowl-site of the Big Red's '94 and '97 (and 2000) national titles-is Husker Heaven

2

Florida State (1)

12-0

14

12

Chris Weinke, 28, is older than 15 NFL starting signal-callers-and 21-1 as a starter

3

Alabama (8)

10-3

18

25

Bear of a schedule: road games at UCLA, Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi State

4

Michigan (5)

10-2

13

23

Lloyd Carr's squad takes the A-Train, tailback Anthony Thomas, to the Rose Bowl

5

Wisconsin (4)

10-2

18

33

Badgers have produced a 1,000-yard rusher seven straight seasons, a Big Ten record

6

Kansas State (6)

11-1

17

62

Another cream-puff schedule for the Wildcats-that is, until Nov. 11, when they face Nebraska

7

Georgia (16)

8-4

19

39

Terrence Edwards (772 yards in '99) was first freshman to lead Dawgs in receiving since '78

8

Clemson

6-6

17

69

Tigers offense (402.6 yards per game last season) has eight returning starters

9

Texas (21)

9-5

18

67

Casey Hampton and Shaun Rogers: first Texas tackle tandem since '71 to be first-team all-league

10

Miami (15)

9-4

15

43

If the Hurricanes upset Florida State on Oct. 7, they could go all the way to... Miami

11

Florida (12)

9-4

15

54

Is the Fun 'n' Gun done? Gators' top five wideouts have just 13 starts between them

12

Virginia Tech (2)

11-1

11

60

Andr� Davis set school marks for receiving yards (962) and yards per catch (27.5) in '99

13

Washington

7-5

17

30

Sophomore Paul Arnold (6.3 yards per carry as a freshman) is a star-in-the-making

14

Tennessee (9)

9-3

12

15

The Volunteers' streak of five consecutive Top 10 finishes is in jeopardy

15

TCU

8-4

19

107

End Aaron Schobel (a school-record 24.5 sacks in his career) anchors an underrated defense

16

Purdue (25)

7-5

14

27

Boilermakers have 25 wins in three years under Joe Tiller; had only 23 from 1990 through '96

17

Mississippi (22)

8-4

18

46

Deuce McAllister is Ole Miss's best Heisman candidate since freshman QB Eli Manning's dad, Archie

18

USC

6-6

15

38

No showdown in the West: Trojans and Washington, the Pac-10's top two teams, don't face each other

19

Penn State (11)

10-3

9

9

If QB Rashard Casey misses time, untested sophomore Matt Senneca (1 of 2, one INT) is next in line

20

Southern Miss (14)

9-3

16

59

Over the last two years Golden Eagles are 10-0 when Derrick Nix rushes for 100 yards

21

Illinois (24)

8-4

14

48

All but two starters are back for an offense that put up the most points (388) in school history

22

Ohio State

6-6

14

4

Senior wideouts Ken-Yon Rambo and Reggie Germany are the Big Ten's best pass-catching duo

23

Oklahoma

7-5

17

51

Sooners jumped from 107th in the nation in passing yards to ninth (321.7 yards per game) in '99

24

Colorado State

8-4

17

81

Wideout Dallas Davis had a Texas-sized punt-return average last season (16.9 yards)

25

Colorado

7-5

12

1

On Oct. 14 Buffaloes can become the first team to beat Texas seven consecutive times

26

Notre Dame

5-7

13

24

A brutal early schedule ( Texas A&M, Nebraska and Purdue) intensifies the Bob Davie watch

27

Oregon (19)

9-3

18

42

QB A.J. Feeley is healthy again, but his backup, Joey Harrington, was unbeaten in four '99 starts

28

Michigan State (7)

10-2

12

3

Wideout Charles Rogers is rated by many experts as the nation's top incoming freshman

29

Texas A&M (23)

8-4

14

19

The Aggies are counting on sophomore cornerback Sammy Davis to become a headline act

30

East Carolina

9-3

15

74

Junior quarterback David Garrard threw for 2,000 yards in each of his first two seasons

31

UCLA

4-7

16

2

With a healthy DeShaun Foster at tailback, Bruins will rebound from a miserable '99

32

BYU

8-4

13

57

Cougars will travel 10,874 miles; if only their runners (89 yards per game) covered as much ground

33

Georgia Tech (20)

8-4

16

28

Will quarterback George Godsey be as divine as his predecessor, Joe Hamilton? Not likely

34

Marshall (10)

13-0

13

109

Loss of QB Chad Pennington hurts Herd, which holds nation's longest winning streak (17 games)

35

Oregon State

7-5

15

63

Junior tailback Ken Simonton needs 39 yards to break the school rushing record

36

Minnesota (18)

8-4

14

55

DE Karon Riley had a Big Ten-best 16 sacks last season for overachieving Golden Gophers

37

Boston College

8-4

13

80

All-Big East running back Cedric Washington had a breakout season in '99 (1,122 yards)

38

Arkansas (17)

8-4

9

17

Good news: five home games to start year; bad news: two are against Alabama and Georgia

39

Utah

9-3

18

75

Ute the Man: Steve Smith averaged 20 yards per catch and returned three punts for TDs last year

40

Virginia

7-5

12

29

Must replace three All-Americas on offense, including alltime rushing leader Thomas Jones

41

Mississippi State (13)

10-2

10

20

Pork Chop Womack is the anchor of a typically Grade A Bulldog 0-line

42

Maryland

5-6

15

56

Tailback LaMont Jordan is the Division 1 active career rushing leader (3,227 yards)

43

Syracuse

7-5

13

49

Last year's five losses were the most since Paul Pasqualoni took over as coach in '91

44

North Carolina

3-8

14

31

Tar Heels lost only one starter from a D that didn't allow a point during the final 10 quarters of '99

45

Arizona

6-6

13

21

The Wildcats have blocked 14 kicks over the last two years, five by 6'7" tight end Peter Hansen

46

Fresno State

8-5

16

85

Francophiles will love Bulldogs' flashy tailback: Paris Gaines

47

LSU

3-8

18

36

Booty Call: Quarterback Josh Booty will hook up often with brother Abram (26 catches in '99)

48

Stanford

8-4

14

16

With departure of Troy Walters, DeRonnie Pitts (58 catches in '99) emerges as big-play guy

49

Hawaii

9-4

13

94

Warriors set an NCAA record in '99 for the biggest one-year turnaround (0-12 to 9-4)

50

Arizona State

6-6

12

37

Top of the Heap: Todd Heap's 55 catches for 832 yards last fall is a school record for tight ends

51

Kentucky

6-6

14

35

QB Dusty Bonner led SEC in six categories last year but transferred after losing job to Jared Lorenzen

52

Pittsburgh

5-6

16

61

Safety Ramon Walker, a.k.a. the Quiet Storm, had a thunderous 131 tackles as a freshman

53

Indiana

4-7

16

10

If coach Cam Cameron can get the Hoosiers to a bowl game, he should be knighted

54

Iowa State

4-7

20

40

For the first time since '93, there won't be a Davis (Troy or Darren) carrying the ball in Ames

55

Auburn

5-6

15

14

Nation's third-worst rushing attack hopes that juco transfer Rudi Johnson is the answer at tailback

56

Wyoming

7-4

11

79

Jay Stoner needs 1,824 passing yards to become school's alltime leader

57

Texas Tech

6-5

12

76

Stellar backs Ricky and Shaud Williams will help new coach Mike Leach hit the ground running

58

UNLV

3-8

17

73

With USC transfer Jason Thomas at QB, this might finally be a Vegas show worth catching

59

Kansas

5-7

18

34

Safety Carl (the Butcher) Nesmith beefs up secondary and special teams (23 yards per kickoff return)

60

N.C. State

6-6

14

44

New coach Chuck Amato has brought in revered offensive guru Norm Chow to revamp the attack

61

Vanderbilt

5-6

17

13

Linebacker Jamie Winborn led the SEC in tackles in his first two seasons

62

Oklahoma State

5-6

12

47

Barry Sanders's alma mater failed to produce a 100-yard rusher in a game last season

63

Boise State

10-3

14

114

Cornerback Dempsy Dees led the Big West in interceptions in '98 and '99

64

Houston

7-4

11

53

A top-notch Cougars receiving corps is led by senior Orlando Iglesias (59 catches last fall)

65

Missouri

4-7

17

18

Butkus candidate Justin Smith isn't enough for D that allowed 154 points in last three games of '99

66

Louisiana Tech

8-3

11

90

At QB, Brian Stallworth replaces Tim Rattay, who led nation in total offense the past three seasons

67

Wake Forest

7-5

6

45

Defense was hit hard by graduation, but end Bryan Ray (26 career tackles for losses) is back

68

Louisville

7-5

13

89

Jackson Five: Arnold Jackson has caught at least five passes in 24 consecutive games

69

West Virginia

4-7

14

32

Avon Cobourne was the country's top freshman runner last year, with 1,139 yards

70

Cincinnati

3-8

20

66

Ten starters are back for an offense that amassed a school-record 424 yards per game in '99

71

Miami ( Ohio)

7-4

12

97

Red Hawks have lost a total of only three fumbles in the last two seasons

72

Memphis

5-6

16

72

Tigers' 1999 record is deceptive: Four losses were by a combined eight points

73

South Carolina

0-11

13

11

Gamecocks enter 2000 with the nation's longest losing streak (21 games)

74

Akron

7-4

14

106

Zips attack is led by '99 MAC Freshman of the Year, Brandon Payne (845 rushing yards)

75

Toledo

6-5

20

112

Tailback Chester Taylor averaged 6.5 yards per carry last season, second-best in the nation

76

Cal

4-7

15

6

Defensive end Andre Carter, son of former Broncos star Rubin, is a Bear to block

77

Northern Illinois

5-6

16

113

Cornerback Benji (the Flea) Peacock is a major pest: 15 pass deflections in 17 career games

78

Iowa

1-10

13

5

Hawkeyes' run defense (246.9 yards per game) was the worst in Division 1 last season

79

Air Force

6-5

7

82

Falcons prefer ground (285.5 yards per game in '99) to air (113.9 yards per game)

80

Tulane

3-8

20

70

J.P. Losman, a transfer from UCLA, will challenge Patrick Ramsey (3,410 passing yards in '99)

81

SMU

4-6

19

87

Catch this: Sophomores Chris Cunningham and Cody Cardwell are a wideout duo worth watching

82

UTEP

5-7

16

77

Brian Natkin (59 catches, 648 yards in '99) is the nation's top tight end

83

Central Florida

4-7

14

93

Offensive tackle Patrick Jenrette (6'8", 380 pounds) is Golden Knights' largest player

84

Navy

5-7

10

78

Midshipmen need to be better in close games; lost six by a touchdown or less in '99

85

New Mexico State

6-5

13

102

Juco transfer Robert Canidate, little bro of former Arizona star Trung, could make a big impact

86

Northwestern

3-8

19

7

Cornerback Harold Blackmon set a school record with 17 pass breakups last season

87

Washington State

3-9

13

26

Twin Peaks: The Raymond Twins, seniors Ryan and Reed, anchor strong Cougars line

88

New Mexico

4-7

14

68

Loaded in the backfield with Holmon Wiggins (601 yards in '99) and Jarrod Baxter (434 yards)

89

UAB

5-6

15

92

The best option in the Blazers' improved option attack is Percy Coleman (5.6 yards per carry)

90

Duke

3-8

11

8

6'5" freshman wideout Jeremy Battier, younger brother of hoops star Shane, has serious game

91

Idaho

7-4

18

98

With a healthy John Welsh at QB, the Vandals have a shot at second Big West title in three years

92

Rice

5-6

17

64

The Owls passed for 602 yards in '99; Drew Brees threw for that by his third game

93

San Diego State

5-6

10

22

Inexperience on defense will leave Aztecs in ruins for 2000

94

Temple

2-9

14

65

Sophomore tackle Dan Klecko (son of former Jets star Joe) led Owls with eight sacks in '99

95

Baylor

1-10

13

41

Bears counting on juco transfer Greg Cicero to jump-start the nation's second-worst offense

96

Ohio

5-6

16

100

Dontrell Jackson, the nation's only true freshman QB starter last season, leads the Bobcats

97

Army

3-8

12

84

The air force comes to Army as new coach Todd Berry shelves option for three-wideout spread

98

Western Michigan

7-5

16

103

New QB Jeff Welsh has huge shoes to fill with departure of record-setting Tim Lester

99

Rutgers

1-10

9

71

Scarlet Knights hope new 3-4 scheme will upgrade the country's 105th-ranked total defense

100

San Jose State

3-7

12

50

Diminutive (5'6") running back Deonce Whitaker (1,303 total yards in '99) puts up big numbers

101

Central Michigan

4-7

15

96

Safety Brian Leigeb needs 101 tackles to become school's alltime leader

102

Utah State

4-7

11

95

Graduation of alltime leading rusher Demario Brown (4,053 yards) will be tough to overcome

103

Tulsa

2-9

14

83

Josh Blankenship, '99 WAC Freshman of the Year, must improve TD-INT ratio (7:15)

104

Bowling Green

5-6

15

88

Kurt Gerling (53 catches for 775 yards in '99) has caught a pass in 22 consecutive games

105

Nevada

3-8

6

58

Quarterback David Neill was fourth in the nation in total offense (328.3 yards per game) in '99

106

Arkansas State

4-7

14

86

Wideout Robert Kilow (1,383 all-purpose yards in '99) is Big West's most lethal multiple threat

107

Eastern Michigan

4-7

16

110

Quarterback Walter Church and wideout Kenny Christian form a heavenly connection

108

Louisiana-Monroe

5-6

15

105

Three Division l-AA teams on schedule assure the Indians of a few victories

109

North Texas

2-9

12

101

The meanest of the Mean Green is linebacker Brad Kassell (112 tackles last year)

110

Kent

2-9

16

99

Zach Williams is adequate replacement for the departed Jose Davis, school's alltime passing leader

111

Ball State

0-11

14

104

Cardinals, 1-21 over past two seasons, open at Florida in year's second-worst mismatch

112

Middle Tennessee St.

3-8

17

91

Blue Raiders, two years removed from Division l-A, play at Florida in Week 2 in year's worst mismatch

113

Louisiana-Lafayette

2-9

18

111

Only Rutgers, Buffalo and Nevada allowed more points than the Ragin' Cajuns last season

114

Connecticut

4-7

15

115

Good news: Defending national basketball champion Lady Huskies start practice on Oct. 15

115

Buffalo

0-11

12

108

Buffalo hosts Connecticut on Sept. 16 in college football's Mr. Irrelevant Game

Storm warning
Travis Minor and the Seminoles will have to navigate the nastiest Hurricanes squad in years to reach the title game again.

For B.J. Schecter's ranking of the top players in the country at every position, go to cnnsi.com/football/college

Ivan Maisel picks the player of the century for all 115 Division 1-A programs at cnnsi.com/football/college

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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