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TOP 10: Pleasant Surprise
B.J. Schecter
October 11, 1999
Darren Davis, RB, Iowa State—The 5'8", 190-pound senior leads the nation in rushing with 176.7 yards per game, giving the Cyclones (3-1) visions of their first bowl appearance in 21 years.
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October 11, 1999

Top 10: Pleasant Surprise

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Darren Davis, RB, Iowa State—The 5'8", 190-pound senior leads the nation in rushing with 176.7 yards per game, giving the Cyclones (3-1) visions of their first bowl appearance in 21 years.

East Carolina—Picked to finish third in Conference USA, the 16th-ranked Pirates are 5-0, including a stunning 27-23 victory over then No. 9 Miami on Sept. 25.

Kevin Feterik, QB, BYU—Booed by Cougars fans a year ago, the 6-foot, 202-pound senior has drawn raves this season while passing for 1,403 yards and 12 touchdowns for 3-1 BYU.

Hawaii—After going 0-12 in 1998, the Rainbow Warriors are 4-1 under new coach June Jones and could reach a bowl for the first time since 1992.

Josh Heupel, QB, Oklahoma-The 6'2", 210-pound junior has flourished in new coach Bob Stoops's pass-happy offense, throwing for 1,358 yards and 16 TDs for the 3-1 Sooners, who led Notre Dame by 16 points before losing 34-30.

Julius Jackson, LB, Nebraska—Last season the 6'1", 240-pound senior had 24 tackles. In five 1999 games he has 17 tackles, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries and has earned the nickname Captain Turnover.

Michigan State—After a disappointing 6-6 finish in 1998, the Spartans (above) are 5-0 and haven't allowed a rushing touchdown.

Minnesota—Granted, the Gophers have faced only Ohio, Louisiana Monroe, Illinois State and Northwestern, but after enduring eight straight losing seasons, they're 4-0 and ranked No. 25.

Mississippi State—With a suffocating defense that has held opponents to a second-best-in-the-country 205.6 yards per game, the Bulldogs are 5-0, their best start since 1944.

Ken Simonton, RB, Oregon State—The 5'7", 175-pound sophomore is second in the nation in rushing (171.0 yards per game) and a big reason that the Beavers (3-1) might be headed for their first winning season in 29 years.

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