Southern Cal starting season on top

Others receiving votes: Nebraska (10-3) 151; Oregon State (8-5) 101; Boise State (13-1) 99; Washington State (10-3) 86; North Carolina State (8-5) 84; Louisville (9-4) 78; Virginia Tech (8-5) 62; TCU (11-2) 50; Oklahoma State (8-5) 41; Toledo (8-4) 33; Memphis (9-4) 27; Georgia Tech (7-6) 25; Notre Dame (5-7) 25; Bowling Green (11-3) 22; Brigham Young (4-8) 21; Miami (Ohio) (13-1) 21; Fresno State (9-5) 17; Michigan State (8-5) 16; Pittsburgh (8-5) 14; Marshall (8-4) 13; Alabama (4-9) 12; Arkansas (9-4) 12; Boston College (8-5) 10; Northern Illinois (10-2) 10; San Diego State (6-6) 8; Colorado State (7-6) 7; Mississippi (10-3) 7; UCLA (6-7) 7; Texas Tech (8-5) 6; Hawaii (9-5) 5; Texas A&M (4-8) 5; Southern Mississippi (9-4) 4; Penn State (3-9) 2; Air Force (7-5) 1; Arizona (2-10) 1; Arizona State (5-7) 1; Connecticut (9-3) 1; New Mexico (8-5) 1; Washington (6-6) 1.

The USA TODAY/ESPN Board of Coaches is made up of 61 head coaches at Division I-A institutions. All are members of the American Football Coaches Association. The 2004 board: Barry Alvarez, Wisconsin; Chuck Amato, North Carolina State; Gary Barnett, Colorado; Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech; Mike Bellotti, Oregon; Phil Bennett, Southern Methodist; Jack Bicknell, Louisiana Tech; Bobby Bowden, Florida State; Tommy Bowden, Clemson; Jeff Bower, Southern Mississippi; Gregg Brandon, Bowling Green; Mack Brown, Texas; Watson Brown, Alabama-Birmingham; Lloyd Carr, Michigan; Larry Coker, Miami (Fla.); Gary Crowton, Brigham Young; David Cutcliffe, Mississippi; Gary Darnell, Western Michigan; Darrell Dickey, North Texas; Bill Doba, Washington State; Dennis Franchione, Texas A&M; Ralph Friedgen, Maryland; Phillip Fulmer, Tennessee; Joe Glenn, Wyoming; Walt Harris, Pittsburgh; Dan Hawkins, Boise State; Fitz Hill, San Jose State; Pat Hill, Fresno State; Terry Hoeppner, Miami (Ohio); Brady Hoke, Ball State; Lou Holtz, South Carolina; Dirk Koetter, Arizona State; Jim Leavitt, South Florida; Rocky Long, New Mexico; Sonny Lubick, Colorado State; Dan McCarney, Iowa State; Andy McCollum, Middle Tennessee; Glen Mason, Minnesota; Les Miles, Oklahoma State; Joe Novak, Northern Illinois; Houston Nutt, Arkansas; Tom O'Brien, Boston College; George O'Leary, Central Florida; Joe Paterno, Penn State; Gary Patterson, TCU; Bobby Petrino, Louisville; Gary Pinkel, Missouri; Bob Pruett, Marshall; Mark Richt, Georgia; Steve Roberts, Arkansas State; Rich Rodriguez, West Virginia; Nick Saban, LSU; John L. Smith, Michigan State; Bob Stoops, Oklahoma; Mike Stoops, Arizona; Jeff Tedford, California; Jim Tressel, Ohio State; Tommy Tuberville, Auburn; Ron Turner, Illinois; Charlie Weatherbie, Louisiana-Monroe; Tyrone Willingham, Notre Dame. The AFCA prohibits schools on major NCAA or conference probation from receiving votes.