Football Bowl Games

December 04, 2008|By Don Markus

Spot in Humanitarian, another possibility for UM

A spot and a likely opponent emerged for Maryland yesterday in the Humanitarian Bowl on Dec. 30, but the Terrapins might have another bowl possibility.

The Humanitarian Bowl opening was created when undefeated Ball State opted not to play in the game in Boise, Idaho. Bowl organizers had been intrigued at the prospect of matching undefeated Ball State against undefeated Boise State. Ball State had expressed concerns about playing on Boise State's home field.

Ball State's decision left a spot for Maryland (7-5) to likely be pitted against Nevada, with Boise State heading to the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego, officials familiar with the bowls said.

But it remained possible, according to the officials, that Maryland could still receive an invitation to play - possibly against West Virginia - in the Meineke Car Care Bowl on Dec. 27 in Charlotte, N.C.

That's a game Maryland athletic officials like because it could pit two regional rivals and would be convenient for travel by fans in the Baltimore-Washington region.

Maryland had earlier considered its chances for the Meineke game to be slim.

But under a complicated scenario, the Terps could still wind up in Charlotte. Their chances would hinge on Boston College's beating Virginia Tech in Saturday's Atlantic Coast Conference title game. Then the Champs Sports Bowl, which gets the fourth pick of ACC teams, would need to select Virginia Tech for its game.

That pick would create a ripple effect in which North Carolina - which many had envisioned playing in Charlotte, in their home state - could move to the Music City Bowl in Tennessee and free up the Meineke for Maryland.

Maryland athletic officials said it was premature to comment. It's likely now that the matter won't be resolved until Sunday - the day after the ACC championship game.

The Meineke bowl picks ahead of the Humanitarian Bowl. If Maryland were offered a bid to Charlotte and accepted, then the Humanitarian Bowl would choose from remaining bowl-eligible teams.

Like Maryland, Nevada is 7-5. The Wolf Pack, from the Western Athletic Conference, has a potent offense that has scored more than 40 points seven times. It is second in the nation in rushing offense and fourth in rushing defense.

West Virginia is 7-4 with one game remaining against South Florida on Saturday. The Mountaineers are led by quarterback Pat White, who averages 88 rushing yards per game and has thrown for 17 touchdowns.

Jeff Barker

Navy-Wake Forest rematch possible

The president and executive director of the inaugural EagleBank Bowl said last night that a rematch of Navy and Wake Forest is a "strong possibility."

After conversations yesterday with Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk, Steve Beck said he is confident the no-rematch stipulation will be waived by the Midshipmen.

Gladchuk said in Annapolis yesterday that circumstances that left the Dec. 20 game at RFK Stadium in Washington without many options from the Atlantic Coast Conference paved the way for Navy to face Wake Forest for the second time this season.

The Midshipmen beat the then-No. 16 Demon Deacons, 24-17, in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Sept. 27.

"It's the scenario that makes the most sense," Gladchuk said. "We've had a great relationship with Wake Forest. ... I think it would be more enjoyable across the board if it were a fresh new look, but if you look at what the NCAA has laid out and what the ACC has laid out, it's conceivable that if you put those two doctrines together, it spits out one answer: Wake Forest."

The EagleBank Bowl gets the ninth bowl-eligible team from the ACC. Because it appears that Miami (7-5) is headed for the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco, and North Carolina State (6-6) has to look for an at-large bid because it is technically the 10th bowl-eligible team, Wake Forest (7-5) might be the only choice.

There is still a possibility that the EagleBank Bowl could swap one of its spots with another bowl to bring in a different team, but Beck said that Wake Forest "wants to come to D.C."

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