The Weekly Sports Review

<b>Bowl Review</b><br><br> The problems inherent in the current BCS Bowl system were clearly displayed after the conclusion of the Sugar Bowl on Sunday night. The game that was supposed to crown an undisputed National Champion didn't.

LSU won the BCS version of the National Championship and was also voted #1 in the USA Today/ESPN poll. The Tigers had been #2 behind USC prior to the bowl games. Meanwhile, Rose Bowl winner USC remained #1 in the A.P. poll. This fiasco will hopefully result in significant changes to the current BCS system.

BCS Chairman Mike Tranghese indicated as much after the conclusion of the Sugar Bowl. Per Tranghese, "We've got a system that somehow leaves the #1 team in both human polls out of the championship game. We've got to do something."

What that "something" is remains to be seen. The presidents of the Division 1 universities again reaffirmed their opposition to any sort of playoff format, such as exists in Divisions 1AA, II, and III.

Tranghese blamed much of this year's problems on the computer format that greatly determines which two teams will play in the BCS National Championship game. Tranghese said, "Computers don't calculate when you lose a game. The polls are a reflection of your performance from week to week. We should have thought of that. We made a mistake and we should be criticized."

Another change being considered according to Tranghese is to require that a team win its own conference in order to qualify for the National Championship game. This rule would have eliminated Oklahoma from the Sugar Bowl this year, since they lost the Big Twelve championship game to Kansas State. Tranghese also indicated that chances were good that a 5th BCS Bowl would be added to accommodate a team from a non-BCS conference.

Tranghese is correct that the current system is seriously flawed. However, "tweaking" the current system is not going to ensure that there will always be an undisputed National Champion. Obviously, the best way to do that is to change to a playoff system. With such strong opposition to that idea from both the university presidents and the bowls, the only viable alternative is to provide for an additional game for the ultimate National Championship. This game would ONLY be played when situations such as occurred this year require it. It could be scheduled two weeks after the final BCS Bowl game. The groundwork for such a game would be planned in advance in the event it became necessary. In most years, it will be clear before the BCS Bowls begin that there will be no need for such a game. However, imagine the excitement AND revenue an LSU-USC game would generate! Best of all, there would be only one National Champion!

Here's a summary of last week's bowl action:

Tuesday
The Houston Bowl featured a match-up of greatly contrasting offensive styles. Independent Navy is an option team that rarely passes. Texas Tech of the Big 12 is the best passing team in Division One. The Red Raiders and senior QB B.J. Symons proved too much for the Midshipmen to handle, as they cruised to a 38-14 win. Symons shredded the Middies defense all game, winding up with 41 completions in 53 attempts for 497 yards and 4 TDs. By comparison, Navy only passed 12 times the entire game, completing only 3 for a total of 40 yards. The Middies did rush for 289 yards on 55 carries, led by QB Craig Candeto (23 for 90) and FB Kyle Eckel (14-71). However, they could not finish off most of their drives and in the end the Red Raiders depth and athletic ability proved too much to overcome. Texas Tech ended the year with an 8-5 record, while Navy fell to 8-5. The win gave Texas Tech their first back-to-back bowl victories ever. After the game, Symons revealed that he's been playing with a torn ligament in his left knee for the past two months. He will undergo reconstructive surgery this week.

The Holiday Bowl in San Diego featured two teams that came close to qualifying for BCS Bowls, Texas of the Big 12 and Washington State of the PAC 10. Texas, ranked #5 going into this game, lost out when Kansas State upset Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game. The Cougars broke open a tight defensive struggle by scoring three TDs in the 3rd quarter. After being contained most of the game, the powerful Longhorns offense finally came to life. Texas moved to within 28-20 and then launched a late drive that could have tied the score. Junior QB Chance Mock completed a 45-yard pass to All-American senior WR Roy Williams that gave the Longhorns the ball on Washington St.'s 11 with 2:31 remaining. After an incompletion, Mock was forced from the pocket and hit by blitzing WSU senior LB Don Jackson. Mock fumbled and it was recovered by soph LB Will Derting on their 36 yard line. The Cougars were unable to run out the clock and were forced to punt. The game ended with Mock being sacked at the 50 by DE D.D. Acholonu. Washington St. finished with a 10-3 record, the third consecutive season they've recorded 10 victories. Texas fell to 10-3, and out of the final Top 10 in both polls. The loss also ended their 6 game winning streak.

Tuesday's final contest matched UCLA of the PAC 10 against Fresno State of the WAC in the Silicon Valley Classic. Everyone knows the technology melt down has meant hard times in the formerly prosperous "Valley", and this game was a good reflection of those hard times. UCLA came into the game with a 6-6 record and four game losing streak. Fresno St. was a mediocre 8-5 in a non-BCS conference. The Bruins headed back home with a five game losing streak, dropping a 17-9 decision to the Bulldogs. Sophomore RB Bryson Sumlin scored both Fresno St. TDs in the 1st quarter on a 1-yard run and a 44-yard pass from fellow soph QB Paul Pinegar. UCLA's only TD came just before halftime as sophomore QB Drew Olson connected with junior WR Craig Bragg on a 27-yard strike. UCLA drew to within eight at 17-9 midway through the 3rd quarter as they blocked a Bulldog punt out of the end zone. That ended the scoring for the evening, as both offenses sputtered the rest of the game.


Wednesday
The first of the day's five games matched up two 7-5 teams, Wisconsin of the Big Ten and Auburn of the SEC in Nashville's Music City Bowl. Auburn used a strong ground attack and solid defense to record a 28-14 win. Junior RBs Carnell "Cadillac" Williams and Ronnie Brown each rushed for two TDs to lead the Tiger's offense. Junior QB Jason Campbell also was a factor in the ground game, rushing for a season best 67 yards on 9 carries. Auburn finished with 197 rushing yards. The Tigers passed sparingly, as Campbell completed 10 of 22 throws for only 138 yards. Meanwhile, Auburn's defense was dominant, limiting the Badgers to a season worst 261 total yards and sacking senior QB Jim Sorgi six times and applying constant pressure the entire game. The Badgers defense kept them in the game until they tied the score at 14 all with 8:52 left on a 12 yard TD pass from Sorgi to senior WR Lee Evens who made a circus catch in the end zone. Sorgi passed for the 2 point conversion. After stopping Auburn, Wisconsin made a crucial mistake that cost them the game. A Sorgi pass intended for Evans was intercepted by Will Herring. The Tigers' subsequent drive was capped with Brown going two yards for the winning score with 3:30 left. Williams iced the victory with a 1-yard run less than two minutes later. Auburn's win was the first for an SEC team in the Music City Bowl, ending a five game losing streak for the conference.

The Sun Bowl in El Paso featured Minnesota of the Big 10 against Oregon of the PAC 10. This turned out to be one of the most thrilling bowl games of the year, as Minnesota prevailed 31-30 on a 42-yard field goal by British citizen Rhys Lloyd with 23 seconds remaining. Oregon had gained the lead at 30-28 on the previous series when junior Jared Siegel connected on a 47-yard field goal with 4:16 left. It was Siegel's 3rd field goal of the game. The Golden Gophers came into the game with the 3rd ranked rushing attack in the country, averaging over 293 yards per game. The Ducks' defense "held" Minnesota to 241 yards on the ground. The Gophers' ground game was paced by RB Laurence Maroney, who carried 15 times for 135 yards and a TD. The Gophers' other three TDs came on runs by senior FB Thomas Tapeh. The Gophers had only moderate success through the air, as senior QB Asad Abdul-Khaliq threw for 172 yards on 12 completions in 21 attempts. Six of the passes went to senior WR Aaron Hosack. They were good for 107 yards. Oregon's sophomore QB Kellen Clemens passed for 363 yards and all three Ducks' TDs, two to senior WR Samie Parker. Minnesota ended the year with a 10-3 mark, while Oregon finished at 8-5.

The Liberty Bowl in Memphis showcased a contest between surprise champions from two conferences, Utah of the Mountain West and Southern Mississippi of CUSA. The Utes' defense totally dominated the game, pitching a 17-0 shutout. Utah took a 7-0 lead to halftime courtesy of a 5-yard TD run by senior RB Brandon Warfield in the 2nd quarter. The Golden Eagles finally mounted a serious threat midway through the 4th quarter after a 41-yard scamper to the Utes' 18 yard line by soph RB Anthony Harris. However, the drive stalled and Utah then iced the game on a 19-yard field goal with 3:24 to play by soph Bryan Borreson. The game's final score came with 1:36 remaining on a 74-yard fumble return by Morgan Scalley. The Utes finished the year at 10-2, tying the school record for victories in a season. It was also Utah's 2nd consecutive shutout, since they also blanked BYU in their final regular season game. Southern Mississippi's loss dropped them to 9-4.

The Independence Bowl in Shreveport matched up two run-oriented teams with identical 8-4 records, Arkansas of the SEC and Missouri of the Big 12. Arkansas proved to have the superior ground game as they prevailed, 27-14. Senior RB Cedric Cobbs led the Hogs with 141 yards on 27 carries, including a 41-yard TD scamper. Arkansas rolled up 300 yards rushing, which broke the Independence Bowl record. Another Independence Bowl record was set by Arkansas sophomore kicker Chris Balseiro, who booted four field goals. Missouri's brilliant sophomore QB Brad Smith threw for 155 yards and ran for another 96. That performance gave Smith the school record for career total offense in only his 2nd season of play! The win broke a 3 game bowl losing streak for the Hogs, and was only their 2nd bowl win in their last 12 games.

The final contest of the day had Boston College of the Big East facing Colorado State of the Mountain West in the San Francisco Bowl. Senior QB Bradlee Van Pelt of CSU sat out the 1st quarter. He recently had a 2.5 inch titanium rod inserted in his broken right (throwing) hand. After the Rams fell behind 21-0, Van Pelt entered the game and engineered a great comeback attempt that fell short. He threw for 163 yards and ran for another 65 including a TD. However, the balanced Eagle attack and turnovers were too much for the Rams to overcome as B.C. held on for a 35-21 win. B.C.'s junior QB Paul Peterson passed for 224 and two TDs, both to sophomore Larry Lester. The Eagles ground game was paced as usual by senior RB Derrick Knight, who totaled 122 yards and the Eagles' other 3 TDs. Defensively, junior FS T.J. Stancil was the Eagles' star with 3 interceptions. Boston College ended the year at 8-5, while Colorado St. fell to 7-6.


Thursday
Another five games took place, with the first contest pitting Iowa of the Big Ten against Florida of the SEC in the Outback Bowl in Tampa. The underdog Hawkeyes pulled the upset by soundly defeating the Gators by a 37-17 score. Iowa played well in all facets of the game. Senior Fred Russell led their ground game, rushing for 150 yards and a TD on 21 carries. Senior QB Nathan Chandler completed 13 of 25 passes for 170 yards and a TD and also ran for another score. Iowa's Special Teams contributed also as sophomore Matt Melloy recovered a blocked Florida punt in the end zone for a TD and senior Nate Kaeding contributed three field goals. Iowa's defense held the Gators to only 57 rushing yards in 28 attempts. The Gators had some success through the air as true freshman QB Chris Leak completed 22-41 passes for 268 yards and both TDs, one a 70-yarder to Kelvin Kight that gave Florida a brief 7-0 lead. Iowa then scored 37 of the next 40 points before Leak connected with sophomore WR Dallas Baker late in the game to close out the scoring. Iowa finished the year with a 10-3 record, marking the first time in school history they recorded back-to-back double digit victories. Florida's defeat was their 2nd consecutive in the Outback Bowl, and dropped them to 8-5.

The Gator Bowl in Jacksonville gave West Virginia of the Big East the chance to avenge an earlier drubbing by Maryland of the ACC. Unfortunately for the Mountaineers, the sequel resulted in an even worse beating as the Terps coasted to a 41-7 win. Both teams came into the game on a roll. Maryland had won four in a row and six of their last seven. WVU entered the game with an impressive seven game winning streak. Senior QB Scott McBrien led the rout by completing 21-33 passes for a career high 381 yards and 3 TDs, two going to senior WR Jafar Williams. McBrien ran for another score. The Terps piled up 522 yards of total offense, while limiting West Virginia to only 241 yards and nine first downs. Maryland finished with a 10-3 record. Head Coach Ralph Friedgen has now recorded 10 win seasons in each of his three years in College Park. The loss left WVU with an 8-5 mark.

The Capital One Bowl in Orlando appeared to be one of the better games of the bowl season. Purdue of the Big Ten took on SEC runner-up Georgia. For most of the first half it was no contest as the Bulldogs jumped out to a 24-0 lead behind three David Greene TD passes, the first two to junior WR Fred Gibson. Purdue refused to fold, as they put up 10 points late in the 2nd quarter. Junior QB Kyle Orton scrambled 17 yards for a TD and sophomore Ben Jones added a 27-yard field goal. Following a scoreless 3rd quarter, the fireworks erupted. An Orton 2-yard run brought the Boilermakers to within seven points at 24-17. Georgia responded with a 40-yard field goal by senior Billy Bennett with just over 4 minutes remaining. Purdue then closed to within three points on a 3-yard TD pass from Orton to senior WR Anthony Chambers with just 1:34 on the clock. With Purdue out of time outs, Georgia could have nearly run out the clock by taking a knee, but instead Head Coach Mark Richt called for a running play. Freshman RB Kregg Lumpkin incredibly fumbled and Purdue LB Niko Koutouvides recovered at the Georgia 34. The Bulldog defense held, but Jones tied the score at 27 by connecting on a 44-yard field goal with just 47 seconds left. In overtime, Georgia had the first possession and got to the Boilermaker's one yard line on 4th down. Eschewing a field goal, Richt gambled and won as Lumpkin made up for his fumble by powering into the end zone off right tackle. On Purdue's overtime possession, Orton moved the Boilermakers to Georgia's 8 yard line. On a 4th and goal play, Orton's pass fell incomplete. However, the Bulldogs were offside so Purdue had one final chance. Orton's pass was picked off in the end zone by sophomore LB Tony Taylor, putting an end to the wild contest. Maybe these teams should play more often. In their only other meeting, the 2000 Outback Bowl, Purdue blew a 25-0 lead and lost in overtime 28-25! Georgia ended the year at 11-3, while Purdue fell to 9-4.

The first of the BCS Bowl games took place in Pasadena as Michigan of the Big 10 took on USC of the PAC 10 in the Rose Bowl. Despite being ranked #1 by both "human" polls, the Trojans were ranked #3 by the BCS and were therefore excluded from playing for the BCS Championship in the Sugar Bowl on Sunday. However, a Trojan win over #4 Michigan would virtually assure that they'd split the overall National Championship with the Sugar Bowl victor. As he has most of the year, sophomore QB Matt Leinart was superb in leading USC to an impressive 28-14 win. Leinart completed 23 of 34 passes for 327 yards and 3 TDs, two to senior WR Keary Colbert. Colbert finished with 6 receptions good for 149 yards. Freshman RB LenDale White caught Leinart's other TD pass. Leinart was on the receiving end for the Trojans' final TD, catching a 15-yard toss from super soph WR Mike Williams late in the 3rd quarter to boost the Trojans' lead to 28-7. The Wolverines got that score back on a 2-yard run by senior RB Chris Perry with just over 11 minutes remaining, which closed out the scoring. Neither team could mount a running attack. Michigan was held to just 49 yards on 38 carries while the Trojans only managed 68 yards on 25 rushes. The difference was a ferocious USC pass rush that resulted in nine sacks for minus 69 yards. The Wolverines' normally strong offensive line had only permitted 15 sacks during the regular season. Despite the constant pressure, senior QB John Navarre managed to complete 27 passes in 46 attempts for 271 yards and one TD to sophomore TE Tim Massaquoi. The Trojans ended the year at 12-1, while Michigan's loss leaves them with a 10-3 mark.

The 2nd BCS Bowl game was the Orange Bowl in Miami. This featured another rematch of a regular season game, as Miami of the Big East (soon to be the ACC) again met Florida State of the ACC. The Hurricanes defeated the Seminoles 22-14 in October. While the score was closer this time, the result was the same as Miami emerged victorious by a 16-14 score. Freshman Jon Peattie opened the scoring in the 1st quarter by booting the first of his three field goals, a 32-yard effort. The Seminoles then stormed back to take a 14-3 lead. Redshirt freshman RB Lorenzo Booker scored on a 9-yard run on the first play of the 2nd quarter. On FSU's next possession, junior QB Chris Rix hit sophomore TE Matt Henshaw with a 7-yard TD pass. Miami responded as freshman RB Tyrone Moss scored on a 3 yard-run and Peattie hit a 44-yard field goal as time expired to bring the Canes within one at the half, 14-13. Miami's winning points came on the only score of the 2nd half, a booming 51-yard Peattie field goal in the 3rd quarter. A 5-yard illegal substitution penalty on FSU during a Miami punt allowed Canes' Head Coach Larry Coker to attempt the field goal. FSU's kicking game once again came up short (or should I say "wide right") against Miami, much to the consternation of Head Coach Bobby Bowden. Seminole place kicker Xavier Beitia missed a 39-yarder, wide right of course, with 5:30 left. With a chance to pad their lead, Peattie had his 45-yard field goal attempt blocked with 2:18 remaining but the Seminoles could not take advantage. Miami had a big statistical edge, outgaining FSU 375 yards to 206. Senior RB Jarrett Payton led the way with 131 yards on the ground. This was Miami's 5th consecutive win over Florida St. The Seminoles will have an early opportunity to gain revenge, as the two teams will meet for the first time as conference rivals at the start of next season. Miami ended the year with an 11-2 record while FSU fell to 10-3.


Friday
The Cotton Bowl in Dallas hosted the first game of the day as Oklahoma State of the Big 12 took on Eli Manning and Mississippi of the SEC. Manning, 3rd in the recent Heisman Trophy voting, was determined to end his college career on a winning note. Though it was a struggle, Manning and the Rebels survived a late Cowboy rally and prevailed by a 31-28 score. Manning completed 22 of 31 passes for 259 yards and two TDs. He also scored the TD that provided the final margin of victory on a 1-yard sneak with 12:32 remaining. The Cowboys stormed back on a TD pass from Josh Fields to senior WR Rashaun Woods, but the Rebels were able to run out the clock by picking up several clutch first downs. Woods had a great day for the Cowboys, breaking two Cotton Bowl records with 11 receptions good for 223 yards. Mississippi finished up at 10-3, their first 10 win season since 1971. Oklahoma State's loss left them with a 9-4 record.

The Peach Bowl in Atlanta featured orange, orange everywhere as Tennessee of the SEC met Clemson of the ACC. The Vols were trying to atone for last year's 30-3 thumping by Maryland here last year. Unfortunately, they failed again as Clemson recorded a 27-14 win. The Tigers used a strong ground attack that featured seldom-used senior FB Chad Jasmin, who rushed for a career-high 130 yards and a TD. The Tigers' other two TDs also came via the ground, scored by Kyle Browning and Duane Coleman. Senior kicker Aaron Hunt added two field goals. Tennessee continually shot themselves in the foot with costly penalties. The Vols were called for 10 infractions, most of the major variety. Their only two scores came on passes from senior QB Casey Claussen. Clemson's win pushed their record to 9-4. Tennessee, ranked #6 prior to the game, dropped to 10-3 and out of the final Top Ten in both polls.

Friday's final game was the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, where Ohio State of the Big Ten faced Big Twelve champion Kansas State. The game was marred by controversy involving star Wildcat QB senior Ell Roberson. He was accused of sexual assault at the team's hotel early Thursday morning by a 22 year old female acquaintance. Roberson claimed the sex was consensual and local police determined there wasn't enough evidence to charge Roberson. Despite the fact that Roberson broke the team's 11:00 curfew that night, KSU Head Coach Bill Snyder did not suspend him. The incident appeared to have a negative impact on Roberson and the rest of the Wildcats as Ohio St. jumped off to a 21-0 lead. The Buckeyes' first TD came on the return of a blocked punt by John Hollins midway through the 1st quarter. OSU scored again 4 minutes later when senior QB Craig Krenzel tossed a 6-yard pass to Santonio Holmes. In the 2nd quarter, Chris Gamble intercepted a Roberson pass and Krenzel then fired a 17-yard TD pass to senior WR Michael Jenkins on the next play. The Wildcat offense finally showed some life late in the 2nd quarter as diminutive junior RB Darren Sproles finished off a 70-yard drive with a 6-yard TD run. The Wildcats came out fired up after halftime. They held OSU on their first possession, then Roberson completed another 70 yard drive by scrambling the final 14 yards to bring KSU within 7 at 21-14. Ohio St. then regrouped and scored the next 2 TDs to take a commanding 35-14 lead, the last one on another Krenzel to Holmes pass. Kansas St. fought back and scored the final two TDs, but it wasn't enough to overcome their poor 1st half performance. Ohio St. wound up with an 11-2 mark, good for a #4 ranking in both polls. The loss left Kansas St. at 11-4.

Saturday
The day's only action was the Humanitarian Bowl in frigid Boise where Georgia Tech of the ACC met Tulsa of the WAC. This was no contest from the start as the Yellow Jackets rolled to a 52-10 win. Sophomore RB P. J. Daniels tormented the Golden Hurricanes throughout the day, running for 307 yards and 4 TDs. The yardage total is the 2nd highest ever for a Tech player. Georgia Tech's defense kept Tulsa at bay the entire game, only allowing a meaningless 4th quarter TD. They held the Golden Hurricanes to a zephyr-like 144 total yards and also recovered six Tulsa fumbles. The win enabled the Yellow Jackets to finish over .500 at 7-6. Tulsa fell to 8-5.

Sunday
The 28 game bowl season came to its conclusion with the BCS Championship game at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. With USC's win in the Rose Bowl, a split National Champion was all but assured. That didn't deter the week-long party on Bourbon St., as fans of Oklahoma and LSU "debated" the outcome into the wee hours each night. The game figured to be a defensive struggle, and that turned out to be the case. The Bayou Bengals proved to have the superior defense, which led to their 21-14 win. LSU jumped off to a 7-0 lead early in the game. Freshman RB Justin Vincent, the game's MVP, bolted for 64 yards on LSU's first play, but shortly after junior QB Matt Mauck lost the exchange from center at the Sooner 1 yard line and All-American CB Derrick Straight recovered. Two plays later, LSU got another chance when Heisman Trophy winner Jason White's pass was intercepted by senior CB Corey Webster. This time, LSU converted as sophomore WR Skyler Green scored on a 24-yard reverse around right end. Oklahoma managed to tie the game at 7 all midway through the 2nd quarter on a 1-yard run by sophomore Kejuan Jones. The score was set up by a blocked punt by Sooner Brandon Shelby that was recovered on the Tiger 2 yard line. LSU responded by taking the ensuing kick off and marching 80 yards, with Vincent going the final 18 yards to put LSU up 14-7. The Tigers quickly extended their lead to 21-7, thanks to two great plays by huge junior DE Marcus Spears. Spears sacked White on the first play from scrimmage of the 2nd half. On the following play, he dropped into pass coverage and intercepted a short throw by White and returned it 20 yards down the left sideline for what turned out to be the winning touchdown. The Sooners were not done, though. Jones scored on another 1-yard run to bring them within 7 points at 21-14 with just over 11 minutes left in the game. Oklahoma then nearly tied up the game as White moved the Sooners to the LSU 12. However, his 4th down pass to star junior WR Mark Clayton was tipped and grazed off Clayton's fingertips in the end zone. Oklahoma had one more possession, but the game and the Sooners' National Championship hopes ended as White was sacked on the final play. LSU outgained Oklahoma 312 yards to 154, led by Vincent's 117 yards rushing in just 16 carries. Neither QB was very effective. White was 13-37 for 102 yards and 2 interceptions. Mauck finished with 13 completions in 22 attempts for 124 yards. He also suffered two interceptions. The key to LSU's win was their ability to totally shut down Oklahoma's offense. The Sooners ground game was held to just 52 yards. The Tigers wound up with a 13-1 record and 2/3 of the National Championship, since they moved up to #1 in the USA Today/ESPN poll following the game. Oklahoma fell to 12-2.


Other News

Nebraska A.D. Steve "Please Come To Lincoln" Pederson still has not found a replacement for the fired Fank Solich. The latest candidate to turn him down was Arkansas Head Coach Houston Nutt. Nutt said "nuts" to a reported 10 year, 25 million dollar offer. Next on Pederson's foggy radar screen? Possibly Dallas Cowboy Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer. The Cornhusker Nation is growing increasingly impatient with Pederson's lack of success in luring a top coach to Lincoln. Meanwhile, Interim Head Coach Bo Pelini continues to wait in the wings.

Ex-Redskins Head Coach Steve Spurrier is seriously considering taking this year off before resuming his coaching career in 2005. It is highly unlikely that he'll go back to the NFL. That prospect should have several coaches, primarily in the warmer climates, a bit nervous heading into next season. The most nervous should be Florida Head Coach Ron Zook, who replaced Spurrier in Gainesville two years ago. Zook was in trouble earlier this year as the Gators got off to a slow start. However, he led them back to a late season 5 game winning streak. The positive momentum ended when the Gators lost their regular season finale to arch-rival FSU and then suffered a bad loss to Iowa in the Outback Bowl to finish the season with an 8-5 record. The Gators were also 8-5 in 2002, and that's far from acceptable in Gainesville!

Newly named Central Florida Head Coach George O'Leary suffered a mild heart attack that hospitalized him for two days in Minnesota. The 56 year old O'Leary was released later in the week.

Tennessee extended Head Coach Phil Fullmer's contract for one year, through the 2010 season.

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