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    Fighting Illini Named No. 24 in Football Writers Pre-Season Poll



    Aug. 1, 2000

    DALLAS - Football Writers Association of America voters are predicting Nebraska and Florida State will play in the FedEx Orange Bowl on Jan. 3 for the national title, with the Cornhuskers defeating the defending national champion Seminoles.

    In a pre-season poll in which 44 FWAA members participated, Nebraska edged Florida State by two points in the balloting. Nebraska received 23 first-place votes and the Seminoles 19. Texas and Michigan received the other first place votes.

    Nebraska, which finished second in one poll and third in another last season, returns much of a potent offense which was among the best in the country during a 12-1 1999 season. Florida State loses do -everything Peter Warrick, but also has a strong nucleus back from Coach Bobby Bowden's first undefeated team.

    Alabama was 17 points behind the Seminoles in third place. Then there was a big drop off to No. 4 Texas The Longhorns were followed by Miami, Fla., Michigan, Florida, Wisconsin, Georgia and Kansas State. Tennessee, the 1998 national champion, headed the second 10 barely ahead of Virginia Tech, which lost to Florida State in the national title game last January. Washington was next followed by Purdue, USC, Clemson, Ohio State, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Penn State. The final five were TCU, Texas A&M, Colorado, Illinois and UCLA.

    The FWAA's Top 25 was dominated by three conferences: the Big 12 (six teams), the Big 10 (six teams) and Southeastern (five teams). Those three power conferences combined for 17 of the Top 25 teams. The Pac -10 had three, the Atlantic Coast and Big East two each and the Western Athletic one.

    FWAA PRE-SEASON TOP 25
    First-place votes in parentheses

    No.TeamVotes
    1.Nebraska (23)1069
    2.Florida State (19)1067
    3.Alabama1050
    4.Texas (1)876
    5.Miami, Fla844
    6.Michigan (1)832
    7.Florida795
    8.Wisconsin763
    9.Georgia729
    10.Kansas State696
    11.Tennessee637
    12.Virginia Tech634
    13.Washington516
    14.Purdue440
    15.Southern California413
    16.Clemson388
    17.Ohio State353
    18.Mississippi333
    19.Oklahoma271
    20.Penn State254
    21.TCU229
    22.Texas A&M167
    23.Colorado161
    24.ILLINOIS152
    25.UCLA120

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