Fans snapping up tickets, flights to Orlando

Updated: November 23, 2004, 11:38 AM ET
Associated Press

Iowa: Here's some advice from the Capital One Bowl for Iowa fans thinking about reserving flights to Orlando: Book them.

Although the official announcement won't be made until Tuesday, Iowa is expected to be the Big Ten team in the game Jan. 1. A bowl representative said fans who have made flight reservations and bought tickets are not wasting their money.

"I can't say for sure, but I wouldn't be afraid to," Jack Oppenheimer said Monday.

Now consider this: What if Iowa State played in Orlando, too? The group that runs the Capital One Bowl, Florida Citrus Sports, also operates the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando on Dec. 21, and Oppenheimer said Iowa State would be an enticing team for that game.

"It would make a very interesting scenario to have both Iowa teams here," he said. "But we don't think they'd be available. We pick seventh from the Big 12 and we don't expect Iowa State to drop all the way to seven."

Navy: Navy accepted an invitation to the Emerald Bowl, putting the Midshipmen in the postseason in consecutive years for just the second time in school history.

Navy (8-2) will play either New Mexico (7-4) or Wyoming (6-5) of the Mountain West Conference, athletic director Chet Gladchuk said Monday.

It will be Navy's 11th bowl appearance. The Middies lost to Texas Tech in last season's Houston Bowl.

"These young men have earned this through their dedication in the weight room and on the practice field," third-year coach Paul Johnson said in a statement.

A victory over Army (2-8) on Dec. 4 would give Navy nine regular-season wins for the first time since 1963.

The Emerald Bowl, which pays $750,000 per team, invited Navy after Emerald Bowl Executive Director Gary Cavalli met Sunday with Gladchuk.

Gladchuk met with representatives from the Motor City, Houston, Champs Sports, Liberty and Emerald bowls after they attended Navy's 54-21 victory Saturday over Rutgers.

Iowa State: If Iowa State makes the Big 12 Conference title game then loses to fall to 6-6, the Cyclones would still be eligible for a bowl game even though they would only have five victories against Division I-A opponents.

An NCAA panel decided Monday to make an exception to the rule that bowl teams must have at least six wins against Division I-A opponents, saying the decision will help the Big 12 fulfill its contract with eight bowl games.

The decision was necessitated because of the unusual weakness in the Big 12 North division this year. Colorado (6-4, 3-4 Big 12) and Iowa State (6-4, 4-3) each enter this week's games with a chance to play No. 2 Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game in Kansas City.

Colorado goes with a victory over Nebraska combined with an Iowa State loss to Missouri. Iowa State goes with a win over Missouri or a Colorado loss.

If both teams lose, Iowa State would make the title game at 6-5, but would still need a victory over the Sooners to reach six wins against Division I-A competition. The Cyclones defeated Division I-AA Northern Iowa in their season opener.

That forced the NCAA to make the unusual ruling -- a one-year waiver that will guarantee the Cyclones a bowl bid and keep the Big 12 from facing the awkward predicament of having a team play in its title game and then be ineligible for a bowl.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press