A seven-person officiating crew rated the best in the SEC was suspended yesterday for missing a crucial call in the Georgia-Georgia Tech game. With Saturday's game 48-48 in the final seconds of regulation, the crew ruled that Georgia's Jasper Sanks fumbled at the Tech 1-yard line and Tech recovered. Replays showed the ball popped out after Sanks hit the ground. The Yellow Jackets won, 51-48, in overtime. The suspension means the officials will not work the SEC title game between Florida and Alabama.

BOWL BERTHS: Syracuse is in the Music City Bowl. Louisville is in the Humanitarian Bowl. Brigham Young is in the Motor City Bowl. Texas A&M will face Penn State in the Alamo Bowl. Colorado is in the Insight.com Bowl. Oklahoma is in the Independence Bowl.

MAJOR IMPROVEMENT: QB Major Applewhite, recovering from an intestinal virus, is expected to start Saturday when No. 12 Texas faces No. 3 Nebraska in the Big 12 championship game.

HONORS: Virginia's Thomas Jones, Wisconsin's Ron Dayne and Alabama's Shaun Alexander are finalists for the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation's best running back. The winner will be announced Dec. 9. . . . Minnesota's Glen Mason, who was voted Big Ten coach of the year, is under consideration for Michigan State job, according to newspaper reports.