Michigan State football coach Nick Saban will replace fired Gerry DiNardo at LSU, according to several reports.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported in today's editions that Saban accepted a five-year, $6.25 million contract late last night that would make him the third highest-paid coach in college football.

Incentives, including bowl bids and high graduation rates, could boost the deal from $1.25 million to $1.5 million a year, the newspaper reported.

OOPS: A disputed fumble call in Saturday's Georgia-Georgia Tech football game looks as if it was an error that contributed heavily to Tech's victory.

"It looks like [the officials] had a miss," said Bobby Gaston, supervisor of Southeastern Conference officials.

With the game tied, Georgia was two yards from the Georgia Tech goal line in the closing minute. Jasper Sanks ran into the line, the ball popped loose and Chris Young recovered for Georgia Tech with five seconds left to force overtime, where the Yellow Jackets won, 51-48.

After watching several replays and speaking with some of the officials, Gaston said that Sanks should have been ruled down.

WE ACCEPT: Virginia accepted a bid to play in the Micronpc.com Bowl in Miami on Dec. 30 against Illinois. . . . Utah accepted an invitation to play Fresno State in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec 18. . . . Idaho accepted an offer to play football in the Sun Belt Conference beginning in 2001.

DAYNE TRAIN: Wisconsin RB Ron Dayne won the Walter Camp player of the year trophy, as awarded by a national panel of Division I-A coaches and sports information directors.

TOURNEY TIME: Georgetown (27-4) will face Arkansas (29-6) in the first round of the NCAA volleyball tournament Friday in Long Beach, Calif. Virginia (19-11) will face 19th-ranked Arizona (19-10) Thursday in Austin.