DALLAS (FWAA) – With their 38-31 win over Florida, the Mississippi
State Bulldogs are the FedEx Orange Bowl National Team of the Week,
as selected by the pollsters of the FWAA's Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll
for games of the weekend of Oct. 23.
Jerious Norwood rushed for 174 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown run
with 32 seconds remaining, to lift the Bulldogs past Florida and give first-year
head coach Sylvester Croom his first Southeastern Conference victory.
For Mississippi State, which entered the game as a prohibitive underdog,
it was the school's fourth straight win over the Gators in Starkville, dating
back to 1986.
"Of all the games that I have coached and played in, including championship
games, this is number one because we beat a team that is by far better than
us," Croom said.
Other FedEx Orange Bowl National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend
of Oct. 23 included:
• Miami (6-0): Brock Berlin threw a school-record tying five touchdown
passes as the Hurricanes remained the only unbeaten team in the ACC with
a 45-31 win at N.C. State.
• Michigan (7-1): Freshman Michael Hart ran for 206 yards as
the Wolverines moved to 5-0 in Big Ten play with a thrilling 16-14 win
The FWAA has named a national team of the week since the 2002 season.
This is the first season that the award has been sponsored by the FedEx
The 16 pollsters of the Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll decide the weekly
honor. Each Monday during the 2004 college football season, the FWAA will
name the FedEx Orange Bowl National Team of the Week through Nov. 29. This
season, FedEx Orange Bowl will match the two top-ranked teams in the final
BCS standings. It will be played at Miami's Pro Player Stadium on Jan. 4,
The Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll has resumed this season and will be
released each Monday. The top-ranked team in the final poll will be awarded
the Grantland Rice Trophy as the FWAA's national champion. The FWAA has
awarded the trophy each season since 1954.
For more information on the FedEx Orange Bowl National Team of the Week,
go to www.footballwriters.com