Maryland's disappointing season may end happily after all - in a bowl game.
Maryland is being mentioned in connection with the Hall of Fame Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., Dec. 22; the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., Dec. 17 and the Tangerine Bowl in Orlanda, Fla., Dec. 23.
The Hall of Fame Bowl will be staged for the first time, and will draw two schools from a pool that reportedly includes Maryland, Mississippi, Colgate, Florida State, Colorado and longshot Southern California. Maryland coach Jerry Claiborne played and coached under Alabama coach Bear Bryant, who is reportedly interested in the promotion of the game.
The Independence Bowl is interested in luring Maryland to play the Southland Conference champion, Louisiana Tech, which is 7-0-2.
Fred Sington, chairman of the Hall of Fame committee, said yesterday, "I don't mind saying we're interested in Maryland. They've played in four consecutive bowl games and if some of their injured people come back, they'll have quite a team. I think they would draw people."
Ed Powell of the Independence Bowl said, "We would be very honored to have Maryland in our bowl. Maryland has a lot of charisma. They played in the Cotton Bowl last year, which is just 185 miles away."
Formal invitations will be issued after 6 p.m. Saturday, but Maryland's performance that day in its last regular season game with Virginia probably won't be a factor, unless the Terps lose to the downtrodden Cavaliers.
Virginia is 1-8-1. Its victory over Wake Forest, came on four field goals, 12-10.
Maryland has named all 20 seniors as captains for the game, but the injured starters who will miss their final game at Byrd Stadium include quarterback Mark Manges, defensive back Doug Harbert, split end Vince Kinney and defensive tackle Ernie Salley. Other injured seniors are defensive back Jim Ford and split end Jim Hagan.