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Ohio State, Michigan Accept Bowl Bids

November 27, 2001|From Wire Reports

Ohio State and Michigan accepted return invitations to New Year's Day bowl games, with the Buckeyes going to the Outback Bowl and the Wolverines heading to the Citrus Bowl.

The Big Ten schools' opponents have not been determined, but both will be from the Southeastern Conference.

Ohio State (7-4) returns to the Tampa, Fla., game for the second consecutive season and the fourth time overall, the most of any school in the bowl's 16-year history.

The Buckeyes are 0-3 at the Outback Bowl, losing to South Carolina last season, Syracuse in 1992 and Auburn in 1990. The Wolverines (8-3) will be making their second consecutive appearance in the Citrus Bowl and its third in the past four years.

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Virginia Tech agreed to play Florida State in the Gator Bowl on New Year's Day. The No. 14 Hokies will face the unranked Seminoles in Jacksonville, Fla.

Florida State beat Virginia Tech, 46-29, two years ago in the Sugar Bowl to win the national championship. For the first time in four years, Florida State will not be playing for the national championship. The Seminoles will be playing in a bowl for the 20th consecutive season.

Virginia Tech is 8-2 heading into Saturday's game against No. 1 Miami. Florida State is 6-4 going into Saturday's game against Georgia Tech.

It's the first time since 1986 that Florida State has lost more than two games in a season and not finished in the Associated Press poll's top five.

"It makes you appreciate how the other 98% lives," Florida State Athletic Director Dave Hart Jr. said.

"I don't believe anyone in college football ever again will have a run like that," Hart said. "It was an unbelievable run. Only UCLA's basketball run under John Wooden is comparable."

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Louisiana Lafayette fired Coach Jerry Baldwin, citing a lack of improvement during the past three seasons. Baldwin had a 6-27 record, including a 3-8 mark this season, the team's first in the newly formed Sun Belt Conference football league. No replacement has been chosen.

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Tulsa quarterback Josh Blankenship said he will transfer to another university for his final year of eligibility. The junior, fourth on Tulsa's all-time passing list with 5,273 yards, said he has not decided where he will play. Speculation about a transfer began after Blankenship was benched behind freshman Tyler Gooch before a loss to New Mexico State on Oct. 6.

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