By BRIAN LANDMAN, JOE FRISARO and Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times, published January 1, 2001
MIAMI -- As he walked into the Orange Bowl on Sunday morning, Florida State kicker Matt Munyon couldn't help but go backward in time.
"It brought back a lot of memories," he said. "The first thing I looked at was right where I kicked it."
The "it" was a 49-yard field-goal attempt on the final play of an Oct. 7 showdown with Miami. Although Munyon hit the ball strong, it drifted right, giving Miami a 27-24 win.
"I just replayed that kick in my head over and over again," he said, sitting in the stands for the FSU media session and glancing out to the plush, unchalked field. "But it's all right."
Despite that loss, which has kept them behind Miami in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls, the Seminoles are in the Bowl Championship Series finale against consensus No. 1 Oklahoma, with a shot at defending their national title. (The coaches poll automatically anoints the BCS title game winner as its champ.)
Munyon, a redshirt freshman walk-on, lost his job kicking extra points and field goals after that game, but he will handle kickoffs and field goals beyond 40 yards Wednesday.
"Hopefully it won't come down to a long kick in this game," he said, "but if it does, I'd love to hit one. ... I'd love to redeem myself like that, especially in a national title game."
WISH GRANTED: Even before FSU quarterback Chris Weinke put his team back into a national title game or won the Heisman Trophy, he was the person Jesse Grummer wanted to meet the most.
Grummer, 18, of Olympia, Wash., made his pick through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Grummer, who was born in Boynton Beach and has been an FSU fan for 11 years, has a kidney disease. He and his parents were flown to Miami for the Orange Bowl, and he had a chance to meet Weinke on Sunday morning.
"He's bigger than I thought he was; even without the pads on, he's still huge," said Grummer, hugging the FSU No. 16 jersey Weinke gave him. "He seems really nice."
HOMECOMING FOR MARSHALL: Oklahoma linebacker Torrance Marshall is a Miami native and brother of University of Miami linebacker Sheven Marshall.
Torrance once dreamed of playing for FSU because he admired Charlie Ward, Derrick Brooks and Warrick Dunn. He made a commitment to play for the Hurricanes after attending Kemper Military Academy, a junior college in Missouri. Low grades, however, prevented him from being a college teammate of his brother.
Torrance made a play that ultimately kept the Hurricanes out of the Orange Bowl. His 41-yard interception return for a touchdown rallied the Sooners to a 35-31 win over Texas A&M.
"Sheven told me a couple of guys on his team were a little upset at what I did," Torrance said.
Torrance said he hasn't had many conversations with his brother over the holidays. "Sheven grills me pretty hard about how I'm playing," Torrance said. "He gets on me if he thinks I'm not hustling."
BOSWORTH FLASHBACK: Before making B movies, Brian Bosworth was a first-rate college linebacker.
"The Boz," an Oklahoma legend in the 1980s, remains a personal favorite of Sooners linebacker Rock Calmus, who led the nation's top-ranked team with 125 tackles.
Calmus tries to copy Bosworth's aggressive style but not the funky Mohawk hairstyle. "The hair thing is not me," Calmus said. "I was 5 or 6 years old when he played, but there really was nothing like him. He was intimidating and a vicious hitter. He never gave up in a football game. He hustled. I try to hit like him and hustle like him."
As for his acting, Calmus isn't as complimentary. "The Boz" once starred in a cheesy biker flick called Stone Cold. "He was not that bad in that movie -- for an ex-football player," Calmus said.
SPURRIER SEES MORE COMMITMENT: Oklahoma receivers coach Steve Spurrier says the Sooners made a year-round commitment to excellence under head coach Bob Stoops.
"The whole team, before we got there, didn't do much in the summer," said Spurrier, son of Florida coach Steve Spurrier. "The whole team made a commitment. From the strength coach to all the guys, they said they were coming in this summer, they were going to get better. I'm glad to see it pay off for them."
Spurrier said Stoops does some things similar to his father.
"They do some things very different," Spurrier said. "He's certainly his own head coach."
ODDS AND ENDS: FSU freshman Brett Cimorelli, a former Zephyrhills two-sport star, is recovering from a severe virus (nausea and fever of a 101 degrees). "I'm okay now," he said. "I've even been kicking better in practice." ... Senior FSU cornerback Tay Cody figures to play in the NFL, but he also may have a career in broadcasting ahead of him. He looked natural holding an ESPN microphone doing interviews. ... The FSU players received a portable CD player, a nightstand alarm clock that include a CD, and an Orange Bowl watch, bag and sweat suit as gifts from the bowl.
OVERPRICED: Bowl tickets offered in Internet and newspaper ads for up to three times the original price of $100-$175 have prompted an investigation by state regulators in Florida.
In ads that appeared last week, brokers were offering secondhand tickets from $300-$900.
Agents looked through newspapers to check offers for tickets and found that about 40 brokerages were offering tickets at more than face value. They called those brokers, posing as customers.
Licensed travel agents can sell tickets for higher prices if the tickets are part of a package, but most sellers are prohibited by Florida law from selling game tickets for more than $1 over face value.
Some brokers get around the law by offering a package that might include a service, such as a ride to Pro Player Stadium.
Liz Compton, a spokeswoman for the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, said nearly half the brokerages offered to sell tickets at more than face value without offering them as part of a package. If investigators find evidence of scalping, the companies could be fined.