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December 03, 1993 - Image 17

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-12-03

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 3, 1993 - 17

Rose Bowl awaits Tokyo showdown
Badgers Pasadena bound with victory over Michigan State

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -
Wisconsin's road to the Rose Bowl
goes through Tokyo, where there are
fewer distractions than at home.
The 10th-ranked Badgers take on
No. 25 Michigan State in Tokyo Sat-
urday in the final Big Ten game of the
season - the game that will decide
whether the Badgers go to the Rose
Bowl for the first time in three de-
cades.
Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez
says Tokyo might be the perfect place
for his Badgers to escape the Rose
Bowl hype.
"People talk about distractions in
Tokyo, but I'm not too sure we
wouldn't have more distractions if
we were here, with people calling
about tickets all the time," Alvarez
said Monday. "Every phone call to
our office is about the Rose Bowl.
We're not even there yet."
Tackle Joe Panos said the Badger
players are well aware that the Spar-
tans, who lost 38-37 to Penn State
Saturday, are in good position to shat-
ter Wisconsin's quest for a Rose Bowl
invitation with an upset.

"If I was in their position, there's
nothing I'd rather do than go (to To-
kyo) and knock us out of the Rose
Bowl," Panos said. "That's their mo-
tivation."
A Wisconsin win would give the
Badgers (8-1-1) a share of the confer-
ence title and their first trip to the
Rose Bowl since they lost to Southern
California 42-37 on Jan. 1, 1963.
If Michigan State wins or ties,
Ohio State (9-1-1) gets the Rose Bowl
berth against UCLA, the Pac-10 rep-
resentative.
Panos called the Michigan State
game the biggest of his career, bigger
than this fall's 13-10 win over Michi-
gan and 14-14 tie with Ohio State.
"You realize you're playing for
the Big Ten championship," the 290-
pound senior said. "This is the big-
gest game of our entire life. You don't
need any extra motivation. We can't
get any higher."
Defensive back Reggie Holt said
Wisconsin's open date last Saturday
enabled the Badgers to begin focus-
ing early on the Spartans.
"We have an advantage because

we've got our game plan developed,"
Holt said. "Things now are starting to
build up. We're not going over there
just to have fun. We've got to remain
focused."
Alvarez has had the players wear-
ing dark glasses and holding drills
progressively later in the evening to
combat the effects of jet lag from the
long trip to Japan.
The coach said he consulted with
"a sleeping disorder specialist who
had worked with astronauts" in devis-
ing a routine to prepare his team for
the 15-hour flight.
"I thought it made sense," Alvarez
said. "It might give us some type of an
edge. I'm looking for any kind of an
edge I can get."
The schedule included watching a
midnight movie Sunday night, hold-
ing an 11:30 p.m. Monday practice
session and boarding a bus to Chi-
cago at 2 a.m. today. The flight to
Tokyo was scheduled to depart from
Chicago at 3 p.m.
Alvarez, who has visited Japan,
said the team's menus will consist of
American food prior to the game, but

after that the selections will be up to
team members.
'I'd like our players to try their
food, particularly after the game," he
said.

AP PHOT[O
Wisconsin quarterback Darrell Bevell lets one go at his team's practice in
Tokyo. The 10th-ranked Badgers take on No. 25 Michigan State Saturday.

West Virginia, Notre Dame in the
*running for Sugar Bowl berth

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -
West Virginia, which lost a national
title to Notre Dame in the 1989 Fiesta
Bowl, appears to be locked into an-
other big battle with the Irish - for
the right to play in the $4.15 million
Sugar Bowl."
"Everybody wants Notre Dame,"
a source close to the bowl negotia-
tions said Tuesday. "Their TV ratings
are light years ahead of everyone in
college football."
Bowl officials indicated that West
Virginia's first choice is the Sugar
Bowl. But it was unclear whether the
Mountaineers or Notre Dame would
be the Sugar Bowl's first choice to
play No. 9 Florida (9-2) or No. 16
Alabama (8-2-1), who play for the
Southeastern Conference champion-
ship Saturday.
"We have not addressed that," said
Troy Mathieu, executive director of
the Sugar Bowl.
The way things stand now, the
Sugar Bowl might not get a choice.
The Cotton Bowl is in line to pick first
under the bowl coalition format.
If the Cotton picks No. 3 West
Virginia (11-0), and the Mountain-
eers, champions of the Big East Con-
ference pass, then the coalition must
send them to the Sugar Bowl.
"The Big East champion and ACC
champion and Notre Dame must play
in the Orange, Sugar or Cotton ...
unless it's 1 vs. 2," said Rick Baker,
executive director of the Cotton Bowl.
"So obviously if West Virginia passes

to the Sugar Bowl, again there is no
other option."
But the whole scenario could
change by Sunday, the day the final
regular-season rankings are released
and bowl invitations officially can be
extended.
If the rankings shake up enough,
it's possible the Sugar Bowl could
pick first. And it's also possible the
Sugar Bowl committee might opt for
No. 5 Notre Dame (10-1) and its
megabucks TV following, although
officials for the panel aren't saying.
If the Sugar gets Notre Dame, the
Cotton won't be complaining about
landing West Virginia. The Moun-
taineers probably will be upset,
though, about missing out on the $1.5
million more the Sugar pays per team
than the Cotton.
"If we have the opportunity, I don't
think it's any secret that the Cotton
Bowl this year would like to invite the
highest ranked team possible to play
Texas A&M," Baker said.
"And if you're looking at the poll
now, that would be West Virginia.
And as everyone knows, they have
the option to pass. And we've been
informed that they're considering that
option."
There's apparently another player
behind the scenes - NBC.
"A home run for NBC is Notre
Dame in the Cotton so they don't have
to compete against themselves at 8
o'clock on Jan. 1," said a bowl source,
who asked not to be identified.

If we have the
opportunity, I don't
think it's any secret
that the Cotton Bowl
this year would like to
invite the highest
ranked team possible
to play Texas A&M.'
- Rick Baker
Cotton Bowl executive
director
Notre Dame has a contract with
NBC, which also will telecast the
Orange Bowl.
The Sugar Bowl, telecast by ABC,
is broadcast in the same prime time
slot as the Orange Bowl. If Notre
Dame plays in the Sugar, it could cost
NBC's telecast of the Orange Bowl
valuable rating points.
West Virginia officials would not
confirm any reports Tuesday. They
said the university was continuing to
weigh its options and would not act
until it was offered an invitation.
Notre Dame officials said they
still weren't sure where theIrish would
play Jan. 1.
The Orange Bowl, with an ex-
pected matchup between No. I Florida
State (11-1) and No. 2 Nebraska (11-
0), is staying free of the fuss.

AP PHOTO

Michigan State coach George Perles and Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez visit on the plane to Tokyo. Their teams
will battle Saturday in the final Big Ten game of the season, with a Rose Bowl berth at stake for the Badgers.

Here is the bowl situation for the seven Big Ten teams in the running for postseason play. Only
Michigan, Indiana and Iowa have already received bids.

4,,

MICHIGAN: Hall of Fame (Tampa, Fla). vs. North
Carolina State
Wisconsin: Rose (Pasadena) vs. UCLA or Holiday (San
Diego) vs. Wyoming
Ohio State: Rose, Citrus (Orlando, Fla.) vs. Tennessee
or Holiday
Penn State: Citrus or Holiday
Iowa: Alamo (San Antonio, Texas) vs. California
Indiana: Independence (Shreveport, La.) vs. Virginia
Tech
Michigan State: Liberty (Memphis, Tenn.) vs. Louisville

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