By United Press International
The top-ranked Miami Hurricanes, who missed out on last year's national championship contest, hope to take a giant step toward making the big game this season when they host No. 12 Washington on Saturday.
No. 2 Nebraska (10-0) played 14th ranked Colorado (8-2) and No. 5 Texas (9-1) took on Texas A&M on Friday afternoon.
Miami, (9-0) and second in the latest BCS poll that will determine who plays for the national title, knows well what can happen with the Huskies.
The 'Canes lost to Washington last season 34-29, their only loss of the season, and now are seeking their 20th consecutive victory, longest winning streak in the country. This also will be Washington's first trip to the Orange Bowl since 1994, when it ended Miami's NCAA record 58-game home winning streak with a 38-20 win.
Defending champion and fourth ranked Oklahoma (10-1) meanwhile hopes to clinch its seco nd straight Big 12 South title Saturday and a berth in the conference championship game when it hosts Oklahoma State.
No. 11 Michigan (8-2) faces Ohio State Saturday and a Wolverine loss would give the Big Ten title outright to Illinois. The Illini (10-1) clinched at least a tie for the title with a 34-13 decision over Northwestern Thursday to wind up its best regular season since 1983 when they also were 10-1 and went to the Rose Bowl.
In a probable warmup for the Dec. 1 clash with third-ranked Florida (9-1), No. 6 Tennessee (8-1) seeks its 19th straight over Vanderbilt Saturday. Florida is idle this weekend.
Saturday also sees the renewal of one of the South's most fierce rivalries, a matchup between No. 19 Georgia Tech and No. 23 Georgia (6-3). In other Saturday games, . No. 13 Stanford (7-2) hosts Notre Dame, No. 21 Syracuse (8-3) entertains Boston College and No. 20 Marshall (9-1) welcomes Youngstown State.
Broncos' Gary lost for season
ENGLEWOOD, Conn., Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Denver Broncos running back Olandis Gary suffered a broken left leg in Thursday's game at Dallas and will miss the remainder of the season, the team announced Friday.
The Broncos began the season with a logjam in the backfield with Terrell Davis, Mike Anderson and Gary. But Davis has missed five games with knee injuries and recently underwent arthroscopic surgery. And now Gary has had a season cut short by injury for the second straight year.
Gary broke a bone in his lower left leg on a nine-yard run in the first quarter of Thursday's 26-24 win over Dallas. He suffered a torn ACL in his right knee in the 2000 season opener after rushing for 1,159 yards as a rookie in 1999.
The Broncos (6-5) trail the first-place Oakland Raiders (7-2) in the AFC West.
Hornets activate top draft pick
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 23 (UPI) -- The Charlotte Hornets on Friday activated forward Kirk Haston, their first-round pick in last June's draft but who has yet to play a game.
Haston had missed Charlotte's first 11 games of the season with back spasms.
Charlotte selected Haston with the 16th overall pick in the hopes he could provide the perimeter shooting needed to nullify the new zone defenses.
Despite being 6-10, Haston was better known for his outside shooting in his college career at Indiana. He entered the NBA draft after averaging 19.0 points and 8.7 rebounds as a junior last season.
76ers sign Ruffin
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- The Philadelphia 76ers on Friday signed forward Michael Ruffin, who spent his first two seasons with the Chicago Bulls, and put rookie center Alvin Jones back on the injured list.
Ruffin was waived by the Bulls on Oct.25. The 6-8, 248-pounder played in 116 games, averaging 2.4 points and 4.4 rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench. A second-round pick in 1999, Ruffin was a four-year standout at Tulsa, averaging 9.4 points and 9.5 rebounds in 128 college games.
Jones, who has a sprained ankle, is making his second trip this year to the injured list. He started the season out with right knee tendonitis, was activated on Nov.9 and played in only five games, recording a total of nineminutes.
Woods head Skins lineup
INDIO, Calif., Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Tiger Woods, fresh from a victory at the Grand Slam of Golf, goes after another lucrative prize when he competes this weekend in the revamped Skins Game.
Nine holes will be contested on both Saturday and Sunday.
Gordon has pole position
LOUDON, N.H.,Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Four-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon started from his eighth pole of the year Friday at the season-ending New Hampshire 300.
Pole qualifying was not held for the race. The starting grid was determined by points standings as they were when the event was postponed following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Ricky Rudd, who was second at the time in the standings but has dropped to third after a 35th-place finish in Atlanta, has the outside spot of the front row in a Ford Taurus.
Defending race champion Jeff Burton, who led all 300 laps to the checkered flag last year, will start 12th.
Agreement avoids British soccer strike
MANCHESTER, England, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- The Professional Footballers' Association, the union for soccer players in the English Premier League, called off its strike on Friday after reaching an agreement on the division of television money.
Officials for the players and league hammered out a deal that gives the PFA an average of $24.68 million in each of the next three years. The union had asked for $36.43 million while the league had offered $14.57 million.
The agreement avoided English soccer's first strike. The players, who voted almost unanimously to refuse to take part in televised matches, had been set to boycott nine Premier matches on Dec. 1-2 and the league threatened court action.