ATLANTA — ATLANTA -- Navy did everything it had to do to stay in the postseason hunt by rallying to beat Georgia Tech yesterday, but the best an Independence Bowl representative could offer was a "wait-and-see" promise.
"This was a very impressive win for them," said Ken Antee, the bowl's vice chairman, after the Midshipmen boosted their record to 8-2. "It will make their [Dec. 7] game with Army huge."
Army (9-1) and Navy are two of several teams Antee and his fellow scouts are considering for their New Year's Eve game in Shreveport, La. One spot is reserved for the fifth pick in the Southeastern Conference, with Auburn and Louisiana State still in the running.
"We've got a lot of ways to go with the other team," Antee said. "We're also looking at Wyoming [9-1] and Wisconsin [6-5]. But right now, the Army-Navy game is very intriguing."
Said Navy coach Charlie Weatherbie, who has turned the football program around in two years: "I believe this Navy team has the right stuff to play and win a bowl game. But we've still got to take care of business in a couple of weeks."
Navy athletic director Jack Lengyel said he will be working the telephones tomorrow, talking to bowl officials around the country to determine how Navy might figure in their plans.
"My personal opinion is that the winner of our game with Army should get the Independence Bowl bid," he said. "Hopefully, they would announce that before the game is played."
But Lengyel is keeping his options open.
"The Aloha and Copper bowls are still possibilities, depending on how things shake out in the Big 12 Conference with their fifth-place team," he said.
The Texas-Texas A&M; game on Friday could help clarify the bowl picture. But Navy's best chance lies in beating Army, a feat that has eluded the Mids the past four years.
Thursday, Dec. 19, at Las Vegas Bowl
Nevada (8-3) vs. Ball State (8-3), 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Wednesday, Dec. 25, at Montgomery, Ala.
Blue vs. Gray, Noon (ABC)
Wednesday, Dec. 25, at Honolulu
Pac-10 fourth vs. Big 12 fifth, 3: 30 p.m. (ABC)
Friday, Dec. 27, at Memphis, Tenn.
Houston (7-4) vs. Big East fourth, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
Friday, Dec. 27, at Miami
Big East third vs. ACC fourth, 6: 30 p.m. (TBS)
Friday, Dec. 27, at Tucson, Ariz.
WAC second vs. Big 12 sixth, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Saturday, Dec. 28, at Atlanta
ACC third vs. SEC fourth, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Sunday, Dec. 29, at San Antonio
Big Ten fourth vs. Big 12 fourth, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Monday, Dec. 30, at San Diego
WAC champ or Wash. vs. Big 12 3rd, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Tuesday, Dec. 31, at Atlanta
MEAC vs. SWAC, Noon (ESPN)
Tuesday, Dec. 31, at El Paso, Texas
Pac-10 fifth-y vs. Big Ten fifth, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Tuesday, Dec. 31, at Shreveport, La.
SEC fifth vs. at Large, 3: 30 p.m. (ESPN)
Tuesday, Dec. 31, at Miami
No. 4 vs. No. 6 from Alliance pool, 6 p.m. (CBS)
Wednesday, Jan. 1, at Tampa, Fla.
SEC third vs. Big Ten third, 11 a.m. (ESPN)
Wednesday, Jan. 1, at Jacksonville, Fla.
ACC second vs. Big East second, 12: 30 p.m. (NBC)
Wednesday, Jan. 1, at Dallas
Wash. or WAC-z vs. Big 12 2nd, 12: 30 p.m. (CBS)
Wednesday, Jan. 1, at Orlando, Fla.
Northwestern vs. SEC second, 1 p.m. (ABC)
Wednesday, Jan. 1, at Pasadena, Calif.
Arizona State vs. Ohio State, 4: 30 p.m. (ABC)
Wednesday, Jan. 1, at Tempe Ariz.
No. 3 vs. No. 5 from Alliance pool, 8 p.m. (CBS)
Thursday, Jan. 2, at New Orleans
No. 1 vs. No. 2 from Alliance pool, 8 p.m. (ABC)
Note: y-has option of choosing ACC or Big East team if it has better overall record than any available Pac-10 team; z-chooses first between WAC Champion and Washington; Holiday Bowl gets the other team.
Pub Date: 11/24/96