MIAMI -- When Miami joined the Big East last winter, one of the first things Mike Tranghese did was try to get his league affiliated with a New Year's Day bowl game.
"Nobody was interested," the Big East commissioner said yesterday.
It wasn't until Tranghese hooked up with his ACC counterpart, Gene Corrigan, along with Notre Dame athletic director Dick Rosenthal, that the concept of a bowl alliance got rolling.
Now, with a $4.3 million offer on the table from the Blockbuster Bowl to match the Big East champion against the ACC champion, Tranghese isn't certain in which direction his league is heading.
Tranghese hopes the matter is decided at a Jan. 5 meeting with those involved in the proposed alliance before the NCAA convention in Anaheim, Calif. Tranghese said he has come up with a plan by which both the ACC and Big East will be able to place their runners-up.
"I think I've got the last piece of the puzzle," he said.
There are potential glitches to the Blockbuster Bowl proposal as well. Since both Florida State and Miami play each other during the regular season, and both are expected to dominate their respective new leagues, there's a good chance they will meet twice a year for a while.
Said Tranghese: "I'm bothered by it. This isn't the NFL or college basketball. But at the same time, I don't think it's going to be ...R...RTC bed of roses for Miami and Florida State. Miami found out when they went up north [and barely beat Boston College]. And Florida State has to play Georgia Tech, Virginia and Clemson on the road."
Tranghese is aware of the perception should the Big East accept the offer from the Blockbuster Bowl. Criticized at times in basketball for being a little too conscious of lucrative television contracts and high ratings, Tranghese knows he will take a few shots after being such a major proponent of the bowl alliance.
"It's not going to be me who decides, it's the presidents and athletic directors of our schools," he said. "But I'm willing to take the heat."
Not to mention the dollars.
* Nebraska coach Tom Osborne is an advocate of a national playoff system in football, if only because it could give his Cornhuskers a home-field advantage from time to time.
This year marks the third time since 1983 that Nebraska will face Miami at the Orange Bowl, the Hurricanes' home field. "I just wish we could face them in Lincoln at this time of year just once," he said.
* Miami coach Dennis Erickson said that his family back in Washington has been taking a lot of ribbing about whether the Hurricanes or the Huskies should be No. 1.
"They had to change the next-to-last letter in their name from O to E," he joked.