Aug. 6, 2000
The University of Illinois football team has been selected 21st in the nation according to the Associated Press preseason poll and is one of seven Big Ten teams picked in the rankings which were released Saturday afternoon.
The ranking is the first preseason top-25 recognition for the Illini since before the 1995 season when they were picked 24th. Turner's squad returns nine starters from an offense that scored more points in than any team in school history and four starters on the defensive side of the ball. With wins at Michigan and Ohio State last season, the Illini accomplished what no other team had done 49 years. The Illini will also enter the 2000 season riding a 63-21 routing of Virginia in the Micronpc.com Bowl last year.
Nebraska gets the nod as the No. 1 preseason pick, followed by the defending national champion Florida State Seminoles. With seven teams in the top-25, the Big Ten leads all conferences with Wisconsin (4th), Michigan (6th), Purdue (14th), Ohio State (16th), Illinois (21st), Penn State (22nd) and Michigan State (25th) all represented. The Southeastern Conference has five teams in the top-25 along with the Big 12 as the second most represented conferences in the poll.
Illinois opened preseason camp Sunday with the freshman class reporting to campus. The rookies will go through four practice sessions on Aug. 7-8 and will join the rest of the squad on Wednesday when the team reports to Camp Rantoul. Fan Appreciation Day is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium and is free to the public.
2000 ASSOCIATED PRESS PRESEASON POLL
|NO.||TEAM||99 REC.||VOTES||'99 FINAL RANKING|
|2||Florida St (29)||12-0||1,720||1|
OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES:
Texas A&M 139, UCLA 115, East Carolina 75, Oregon 63, Auburn 36, Colorado St 35, Mississippi St 34, Utah 33, Notre Dame 32, Virginia 26, Marshall 23, Arkansas 22, Georgia Tech 10, LSU 10, Syracuse 9, BYU 7, Minnesota 5, Boston College 3, Texas Tech 3, Toledo 3, Stanford 2, Arizona St 1, Oregon St 1.