Maryland to Play in the Gator Bowl

From Associated Press

Maryland accepted an invitation Monday to play in the Gator Bowl at Jacksonville, Fla., for the first time since 1975.

The worst Maryland (8-3) can do is tie with Clemson for second place in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Because the Terrapins defeated the Tigers, they were the clear pick for the Gator Bowl, which gets the first choice of ACC teams after the bowl championship series representative is decided.

Florida State has won the conference and will get the BCS bid.

Maryland will play a Big East Conference representative. If West Virginia defeats Temple on Saturday, and the Mountaineers are not chosen as the Big East representative for the BCS, they will play in the Gator Bowl.

Maryland's last Gator Bowl appearance was in 1975, when the Terrapins beat Florida, 13-0.

"I was at that game, sitting in the stands in the pouring rain," said Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen, who was coaching at The Citadel then. "As an alumnus, I never got to go to bowl games when I was playing, so my wife and I drove down to the game, sat in the stands and then celebrated a victory afterward."


Colorado State (7-5) accepted an invitation to play in the San Francisco Bowl on New Year's Eve against a Big East team.

"You always want to win the conference championship, but in this case we are excited to be going to San Francisco," Coach Sonny Lubick said. "Who wouldn't want to be in San Francisco on New Year's Eve?"

The Rams probably will play Boston College, Syracuse or Pittsburgh. Boston College (7-5) has finished the regular season, but Pittsburgh (8-3) plays host to Miami on Saturday, and Syracuse (5-5) plays Rutgers on Saturday and Notre Dame on Dec. 6.

Two weeks ago, Colorado State tumbled out of the Mountain West Conference title race after losing consecutive road games at Wyoming and New Mexico. But after beating San Diego State and Nevada Las Vegas, the Rams became eligible for one of the conference's three bowl berths.

Colorado State is hoping the time off will give quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt's broken throwing hand time to heal. Van Pelt, the conference leader in offense, had surgery Monday.

Lubick said Van Pelt would be throwing in two weeks and ready to go in three weeks.


Missouri Coach Gary Pinkel wants to spend the rest of his career with the Tigers, and has a new deal to stay through 2008.

"I'm committed to this place," Pinkel said Monday, when his contract was notarized. "A career commitment, if they'll have me that long. I'm not interested in going anywhere else."

Pinkel, 51, signed the contract Friday.

The deal pushes his guaranteed salary to a little more than $1 million a year, with other incentives, not guaranteed, that could net him an additional $457,000. The Tigers are 7-4, which makes them bowl eligible for first time since 1998.

Pinkel is 16-18 in three seasons at Missouri.


Minnesota Viking defensive coordinator George O'Leary has been contacted by Central Florida about its vacant coaching position.

O'Leary said that Central Florida Athletic Director Steve Orsini called him last week. Orsini was an assistant athletic director at Georgia Tech when O'Leary coached there.

"I'm sure there will be others that come up too, but I'm coaching," O'Leary said, referring to his current job. "What can I do?"

O'Leary, Georgia Tech's coach for eight seasons, was hired by Notre Dame in December 2001.

He resigned less than a week later, admitting he had lied on his resume two decades earlier in an effort to jump-start his career.


A cameraman for ABC Sports died two days after falling from a platform in Camp Randall Stadium at Madison, Wis., while preparing for coverage of the game between Iowa and Wisconsin on Saturday.

Richard Umansky, 48, died Sunday morning at the University of Wisconsin Hospital, the Dane County Coroner's Office said Monday.

Umansky, of Davies, Fla., suffered a head injury Friday when he fell about eight feet from a wooden platform to a cement entry ramp, police said. Umansky worked for ABC Sports for nearly 20 years.

"All of us at ABC Sports are deeply saddened by the death of cameraman Rich Umansky," Michael Pearl, ABC Sports senior vice president and executive producer said in a statement. "He was a valued colleague and friend, and he will be greatly missed. Our heartfelt sympathies are with his family at this very difficult time."

The coroner's office said it needs several more days to determine a cause of death.

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