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COLLEGE FOOTBALL : Miami, Alabama Muddle the Bowls

November 30, 1995|From Staff and Wire Reports

Miami and Alabama are awaiting word in the next few days on NCAA decisions that could significantly alter the bowl picture.

The Hurricanes on Nov. 10 admitted guilt to six of 10 allegations brought by the NCAA infractions committee and have asked that the penalty be announced before Sunday, when bowl bids become official. If penalties involving a bowl ban are levied, Miami will opt to be punished immediately.

"Our inclination continues to be that if the sanctions are to come, we'd prefer to deal with them sooner rather than later," Athletic Director Paul Dee said Wednesday.

Miami may choose to sit out the postseason even if the NCAA announcement is delayed until after Sunday.

If Miami (8-3) drops out, Virginia Tech (9-2), previously believed headed to the Gator Bowl to play Clemson (8-3), becomes the Big East representative in either the Orange Bowl or Sugar Bowl. Miami and Virginia Tech shared the Big East title, but the Orange is believed to prefer the Hurricanes over the Hokies.

Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer said his team, which defeated Miami in September, deserves to go to a major bowl. But he declined to comment on the sanctions issue.

Syracuse (8-3) would probably then move up from a Carquest Bowl date with North Carolina (6-5) to the Gator, leaving the Carquest to take a Southeastern Conference team.

But the SEC picture is equally muddled. Alabama will learn today the result of its NCAA penalties that prevent the Crimson Tide from playing in a bowl this season.

If the ban is lifted, the Crimson Tide is expected to play Virginia (8-4) in the Peach Bowl. The Outback Bowl would then choose between Auburn (8-3) and Arkansas (8-3) to play Penn State (8-3), with the rejected team taking Syracuse's place in the Carquest.

The Independence Bowl, which Wednesday invited Michigan State (6-4-1), would then probably take Louisiana State (6-4-1).

Michigan State Coach Nick Saban said the bid fulfilled a mission he had set for his first season.

"It was our goal for this team and our expectation that we could have a winning season and try to re-establish the winning tradition at Michigan State," he said.

"We felt if we did that, we could have a chance to go. We played well enough at the end of the year that I think this team deserves to go to a bowl game."

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