Terps lobby for spot in Carquest Bowl But they need ACC rivals to lose their final games


The University of Maryland mailed more than 10,000 ticket applications, and its assistant athletic director for marketing and promotions spent Monday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., politicking the selection committee and scouting hotels.

Those efforts to impress the Carquest Bowl will go for naught, however, unless Atlantic Coast Conference rivals Georgia Tech and North Carolina lose season-ending games today and tomorrow, respectively.

If that happens, Maryland probably would back into the Carquest and play a Big East team Dec. 30 at Joe Robbie Stadium.

The ACC has contracts to send four teams to bowl games.

Florida State will represent the ACC in the Alliance, and go to the Fiesta, Orange or Sugar bowls.

The Gator Bowl selected Clemson, leaving Virginia and Maryland as the ACC's other eligible teams for the Peach and Carquest.

That list of candidates, however, would grow if Georgia Tech beats Georgia today and North Carolina beats North Carolina State tomorrow.

If that happens, the Yellow Jackets and Tar Heels would appear more attractive than Maryland and maybe even Virginia.

A bowl-eligible Georgia Tech could stay in Atlanta for the Peach. North Carolina could finish with a record identical to Maryland's, and the Tar Heels say they could sell more Carquest tickets than the Terps and the Cavaliers.

Maryland (6-5 overall, 4-4 in the ACC) lost five of its last seven games and four of its last five after a 4-0 start.

"Even though they had problems at the end of the year, Maryland still has some selling points," said Brian Flajole, executive director of the Carquest Bowl.

"They haven't been to a bowl in a while, and everyone sees them as a program on the rise. Maryland is doing everything it can to impress a selection committee."

R. D. Helt, an assistant to athletic director Debbie Yow, met with Flajole in Fort Lauderdale on Monday. The Terps are trying to drum up bowl interest through a direct-mail campaign. Yow said Maryland needs to sell 4,500 tickets to break even; Flajole said that North Carolina could sell 10,000.

Maryland also has inquired about at-large berths in the Independence and Liberty bowls, but neither appears interested the Terps.

"We're not giving up hope, but there's some very tough competition for us in those two bowls," Yow said. "We're going to continue to make our presence felt, not just because of this year, but to plan for the future. These relationships are ongoing."

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