HEAD COACH: Bob Toledo
Jermaine Lewis-TB, Gabe Crecion-TE, Oscar Cabrera-OG, Brian Polak-OG, Micah Webb-OT, Freddie Mitchell-WR. Drew Bennett-WR
DEFENSIVE KEY LOSSES: Tony White-SLB, Jason Bell-CB, Jason Zdenek-FS, Kory Lombard-DT

Coach Bob Toledo's stellar recruiting class from a few years ago is starting to emerge. Some invaluable experience exists among the veterans. The offensive skill positions rank up there with the best in the Pac Ten. Cory Paus returns at QB, and barring injury, 1000 yard rusher DeShaun Foster will be dazzling fans from his tailback spot. The receivers are also top notch as Brian Poli-Dixon will be the experienced stud that is super tough to cover. All in all 15 plus starters return from 2000. Some key injuries need to be healed by the time summer rolls around and the Bruins have been bitten by the injury bug badly the last two falls. A new coordinator steps in for UCLA on the defensive side of the ball, and was he ever handed a solid group to work with. The defense is led by the 2000 leading tackler, linebacker Robert Thomas, who finished 11th in the Butkus voting. Ricky Manning Jr. is back after leading all Bruins with four interceptions. To top it off, the entire front wall is back. The opportunity to make an early splash as UCLA did in beating Alabama and Michigan in 2000 is there again. The Bruins open at the Crimson Tide and get Ohio State at home on Sept. 22. Placing the Bruins in the Rose Bowl may not be so far fetched. Could this be the year a home team plays for it all? A very long shot, but it is conceivable to see a much improved UCLA team make a bid for the Pac Ten crown.

Returning Starters in Bold
QB Cory Paus-Jr Scott McEwan-Sr
FB Ed Teremia-Stansbury-Sr Matt Stanley-Sr
TB DeShaun Foster-Sr Akil Harris-So
SE Brian Poli-Dixon-Sr Jon Dubravac-Sr
FL Tab Perry-So Craig Bragg-Fr
TE Bryan Fletcher-Sr Mike Seidman-Jr
OT Bryce Bohlander-Jr Ed Anderson-Sr
OG Blake Worley-Jr Paul Mociler-Fr
C Troy Danoff-Sr John Ream-Fr
OG Shane Lehmann-So Eyoseph Efseaff-Fr
OT Mike Saffer-Jr Steven Vieira-Fr
K Chris Griffith-Jr ..
DE Kenyon Coleman-Sr Mat Ball-So
DT Anthony Fletcher-Sr Ken Kocher-Sr
DT Rodney Leisle-So Sean Phillips-Jr
DE Rusty Williams-Jr Dave Ball-So
SLB Brandon Chillar-So Tim Warfield-Fr
MLB Robert Thomas-Sr Dennis Link-Fr
WLB Ryan Nece-Sr Marcus Reese-Jr
CB Ricky Manning - Jr Ryan Wikert-So
CB Joe Hunter-Jr Keith Short-So
SS Marques Anderson-Sr Jason Stephens-Sr
FS Kevin Brant-So Ben Emanuel II-Fr
P Nate Fikse-Jr ..
  HEAD COACH: Bob Davie
Joey Getherall-FL, Jay Johnson-SE, Jabari Holloway-TE, Dan O'Leary-TE, Jim Jones-OG, Mike Gandy-OG
DEFENSIVE KEY LOSSES: B.J. Scott-DT, Lance Legree-NG, Anthony Denman-ILB, Anthony Brannan-OLB, Brock Williams-CB, Tony Driver-FS

The Irish finished the regular season with seven straight wins, the longest since the 1988 Championship team. After all the 2000 preseason heat, Coach Bob Davie recorded one of the best consecutive season turnarounds in school history. Starting QB should continue to fall into the hands of now sophmore Matt LoVecchio, who set an all time low interception ratio record for Irish freshman. His surprise steadiness was a welcome sight after original starter, Arnaz Battle, went down in the first couple of games of 2000. However, Battle returns from his wrist injury that sidelined him for most all of 2000, although it looks like he will be switched to receiver. The running backs are incredibly deep. Julius Jones will be the premier back as he also doubles as an All-American kick returner, and Tony Fisher is good enough to push him for playing time. There is some definite senior talent on both sides of the ball. The defense will be aided by the return of Grant Irons, who was the big senior leader of the 2000 team before an injury ended his season. The defensive backs are just deep enough with talent they may finally provide a much needed pass defense that ND has been lacking the last several seasons. It appears Coach Davie had Notre Dame on course prior to a serious shellacking in the Fiesta Bowl at the hands of Oregon State, the problem once again is a monstrous schedule which looks even tougher in 2001 than it did last year. The margin of error is very small in South Bend, but just like last fall, there is no reason a nine win campaign can't be put together.

Returning Starters in Bold
QB Matt LoVecchio-So Carlyle Holiday-Fr
FB Tom Lopienski-Jr Jason Murray-Sr
TB Julius Jones-Jr Tony Fisher-Sr
SE Javin Hunter-Sr Ronnie Rodamer-Fr
FL David Givens-Sr Arnaz Battle-Jr
TE John Owens-Sr Gary Godsey-So
OT Jordan Black-Jr Casey Robin-Sr
OG Sean Mahan-Jr Brennan Curtin-So
C Jeff Faine-So J.W. Jordan-Sr
OG Ryan Scarola-Jr Ryan Gillis-So
OT Kurt Vollers-Sr John Teasdale-Sr
K Nick Setta-So ..
DE Anthony Weaver-Sr ..
DT Darrell Campbell-So Greg Pauly-Fr
NG Andy Wisne-Sr Cedric Hilliard-So
DE Grant Irons-Sr Ryan Roberts-Jr
ILB Tyreo Harrison-Sr Carlos Pierre-Antoine-Jr
ILB Courtney Watson-So Patrick Ryan-So
OLB Rocky Boiman-Sr Jerome Collins-Fr
CB Jason Beckstrom-Jr Vontez Duff-So
CB Shane Walton-Sr Clifford Jefferson-Sr
SS Ron Israel-Sr Gerome Sapp-Jr
FS Donald Dykes-Jr Glenn Earl-So
P Joey Hildbold-Jr ..
  HEAD COACH: Randy Walker
Teddy Johnson-SE, Derrick Thompson-FL, Tim Long-K
DEFENSIVE KEY LOSSES: Dwayne Missouri-DE, Javiar Collins-DT, Conrad Emmerich-DE, Harold Blackmon-CB, Rashad Morton-FS

Northwestern is arguably one of the best stories in college football -- again. The Wildcats finished 8-3 and tied for the Big Ten title with a 6-2 mark. The 2000 edition of Northwestern football figures to remain largely intact when the 2001 season rolls around. Only nine players on the current roster of 86 are slated to depart Evanston at the end of the season. Northwestern's offense is led by All-American Damien Anderson, a solid Heisman favorite heading into next fall. Anderson finished the regular season second in the nation in rushing averaging 174.0 yards per game. Anderson averaged an amazing 193.6 yards per game in Big Ten games, breaking Lorenzo White's 15-year-old conference record. Returning at quarterback is senior leader Zak Kustok, who never really had gaudy numbers, but led the Wildcats to several come from behind victories. The defense will be known as Linebacker U. for the upcoming season as four main leaders from 2000 return, including All-American Billy Silva at the heart of the group. The defense does take a few hard losses as All-Conference selections Dwayne Missouri (DE) and Harold Blackmon (CB) depart. At this point, one would have to figure that the Wildcats, along with Michigan, are the two top favorites to win the Big Ten title. With everyone back up front on the offensive wall, and Damien Anderson running right behind them, fans will get Big Ten football at its best. Good things and big expectations are in store for Northwestern fans and alumni.

Returning Starters in Bold
QB Zak Kustok-Sr Matt Danielson-So
FB Vincent Cartaya-Jr Gilles Lezi-So
RB Damien Anderson-Sr Kevin Lawrence-Jr
SE Jon Schweighardt-Jr Roger Jordan-So
FL Sam Simmons-Sr Kunle Patrick-So
TE David Farman-Jr Eric Worley-So
OT Leon Brockmeier-Sr Derek Martinez-So
OG Lance Clelland-Sr Matt Ulrich-Fr
C Austin King-Jr Carl Matejka-So
OG Jeff Roehl-Jr Adam Fay-Sr
OT Mike Souza-Sr Ikechuku Ndukwe-Fr
K Brian Huffman-So David Wasielewski-Jr
DE Pete Konopka-Sr Ben Kennedy-So
DT Pete Chapman-Jr Colby Clark-Fr
DT Salem Simon-Sr Matt Anderson-So
DE Onaje Grimes-Jr Ray Bogenrief-So
OLB Napoleon Harris-Sr Syga Thomas-So
MLB Billy Silva-Sr Ryan Peterson-So
OLB Kevin Bentley-Sr Pat Durr-Jr
CB Chasda Martin-Jr Brandon Evans-So
CB Raheem Covington-Jr Marvin Ward-Fr
SS Rashidi Wheeler-Sr Marvin Brown-Sr
FS Sean Wieber-Jr Mark Roush-So
P J.J. Standring-Sr ..
  HEAD COACH: Dennis Erickson
Robert Prescott-SL, Chad Johnson-SE, T.J. Houshmandzadeh-FL, Martin Maurer-TE, Robert Sykes-OG, Jared Cornell-OG, Mitch White-OT, Mike Fessler-P
DEFENSIVE KEY LOSSES: DeLawrence Grant-DE, Ryan Atkinson-DT, LaDairis Jackson-DE, Sefa O'Reilly-DE, Darnell Robinson-SLB, Keith Heyward-Johnson-CB, Ricky Walker-CB, Terrence Carroll-SS

A total of 29 Oregon State seniors played in their final football game for Oregon State in the Fiesta Bowl and led the Beavers to its first 11 win season in history. In other words, Coach Dennis Erickson has his hands full in 2001. If there was ever one big factor for determining success in Corvallis though, it would start at quarterback with Jonathan Smith and at tailback with one of the leading Heisman candidates for 2001, Ken Simonton. Both will be seniors. Ken Simonton is the first player in Pacific-10 Conference history to rush for 1,000 yards as a freshman, sophomore and junior. Of most concern is the receiver position, where the top three players were seniors, as well as the top two tight ends. The defense will get younger in 2001, with the loss of six four-year lettermen. CB Dennis Weathersby is one of the finest cornerbacks in the nation. But the defensive line will need to regroup totally. Losses are felt everywhere. Erickson has been a master at working with JUCO transfers and newcomers. 2001 will need to take that path for the Beavers to come close to a repeat of an 11 win season. But hey, no one believed last season, and with Smith and Simonton leading the way, there may be more in store for opponents this coming fall.

Returning Staters in Bold
QB Jonathan Smith-Sr Nick Stremick-Sr
TB Ken Simonton-Sr Patrick McCall-Sr
SL James Newson-So Mike Payton-Sr
SE Shawn Kintner-Jr George Gillett-Fr
FL Seth Trimmer-Jr Ron Monteilh-Fr
TE Tim Euhus-So Tyler Ross-Jr
OT Lee Davis-Jr Brian Kilkenny-So
OG Kanan Sanchez-Fr Mike Kuykendall-Jr
C Chris Gibson-Sr Matt Brock-Fr
OG Keith DiDomenico-Sr Paul Davidian-Sr
OT Vincent Sandoval-Sr Doug Nienhuis-Fr
K Ryan Cesca-Jr ..
DE Dan Rothwell-So Alvin Steen-Jr
DT Eric Manning-Jr Mike Havens-Fr
DT Dwan Edwards-So Paul Soto-Fr
DE Kyle Rosselle-Sr Brian Tulikihihifo-Sr
SLB Nick Barnett-Jr Jason Jacobs-So
MLB Richard Seigler-So Jonathan Pollard-Fr
WLB James Allen-Sr Erik Tuma-Jr
CB Calvin Carlyle-Sr D.J. Coote-Jr
CB Dennis Weathersby-Jr Aric Williams-Fr
SS Mitch Meeuwsen-Fr Terrell Roberts-Jr
FS Jake Cookus-Sr Eric Mobley-Sr
P Carl Tobey-So Ryan Cozzetto-Fr
  HEAD COACH: Tommy Bowden
Terry Witherspoon-FB, Justin Watts-WR, Rod Gardner-WR, Brian Outlaw-C, Theo Mougros-OG, John McDermott-OT
DEFENSIVE KEY LOSSES: Keith Adams-WLB, Alex Ardley-CB, Terry Jolly-DT, Freddie James-DT, Gary Childress-DT, Terry Bryant-DE, Darrel Crutchfield-CB, Robert Carswell-FS, Chad Speck-FS, Jamie Somaini-P

Is this the year someone else is favored to win the ACC? 2001 will be as good a shot as any ACC team has had. In just three years, young coach Tommy Bowden has quickly put together a program at Clemson that can run with the big dogs. However, coaches have a huge task at hand this coming fall with a defense that has been crushed by the early NFL departure of super human Keith Adams and the dismissal of cornerback Alex Ardley, leaving only four starters to work with. The middle of the defense needs to find some tackles big time. After a defensive meltdown in 2000, things will get even tougher. If Clemson has an achilles heel, it definitely is the defense. The other side of the ball is another story. It obviously starts with one of the leading Heisman Candidates and senior QB, Woodrow Dantzler. His backup Willie Simmons is just as good. Hurting his Heisman passing stats will be a lack of quality receivers like he had in 2000 as Watts and Gardner have moved on, although junior receiver Jackie Robinson is no slouch. But a solid nucleus of offensive linemen are back, and Dantzler is best at running the ball anyway. To top it off, tailback Travis Zachery returns to get his share of rushing yards. A win over father Bowden in Death Valley may find the Tigers back in the hunt for the big picture as well as the conference. There also is a mighty big chance the Clemson fans will have to be patient for another year.

Returning Starters in Bold
QB Woodrow Dantzler-Sr Willie Simmons-So
FB Chad Jasmin-So ..
TB Travis Zachery-Sr Bernard Rambert-Jr
WR Jackie Robinson-Jr Matt Bailey-Sr
WR Kevin Youngblood-So Joe Don Reames-Jr
TE Morgan Woodward-Sr Todd McClinton-So
OT Akil Smith-Jr Nate Gillespie-So
OG Will Merritt-Sr Nick Black-So
C Kyle Young-Sr Brian Outlaw-Sr
OG T.J. Watkins-Sr Cedric Johnson-Fr
OT Gary Byrd-Jr Derrick Brantley-Jr
K Aaron Hunt-So ..
DE Nick Eason-Jr Bryant McNeal-Jr
DT Jovon Bush-Sr DeJuan Polk-So
DT Donnell Washington-Fr Paul White-So
DE Khaleed Vaughan-So Marcus Lewis-So
SLB Braxton K. Williams-Sr J.J. Howard-So
MLB Chad Carson-Sr Rodney Thomas-Jr
WLB Altroy Bodrick-Sr Rodney Feaster-Jr
CB Kevin Johnson-So Ryan Hemby-Fr
CB Brian Mance-Jr Toure Francis-So
SS Charles Hafley-Sr Marcus Houskin-So
FS Eric Meekins-Jr Ronnie Delusme-Fr
P Tif Miller-Sr ..
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