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Lineman for Aggies reneges on retirement

Texas A&M offensive lineman Michael Mahan had a change of heart regarding his heart condition. Instead of quitting football, like he decided two weeks ago, Mahan will play today in the Independence Bowl.

Mahan was diagnosed with Wolfe Parkinson-White Syndrome, a non-fatal condition that leads to an irregular heartbeat, before the season began. The problem was treated using surgical probes inserted into veins in his legs, but it recurred late in the season.

But after meeting with his doctors again, and being given a 95 percent chance of not having another relapse, he changed his mind.

"I think I jumped to that decision faster than I should have," Mahan said.

CITRUS BOWL: It's difficult to make history at Michigan. But the No. 17 Wolverines and star running back Anthony Thomas have a chance to set a pair of school records against No. 20 Auburn. Michigan is looking to win a bowl game for the fourth straight season for the first time in school history. Michigan won its first four bowl games, but they were spread out between the 1902 and the 1965 Rose Bowls. Thomas needs 106 yards to break the Wolverines' career rushing record held by Jamie Morris. Morris had 4,393 yards from 1984 to 1987.

COTTON BOWL: Before Kansas State coach Bill Snyder accepted an invitation, he wanted to make sure his players wanted to go. Snyder expected that answer, but he had to make sure. His point was to get the team looking forward to the New Year's Day game against Tennessee and not back at what might've been _ which is what happened last time. In 1998, the Wildcats lost the Big 12 championship to Texas A&M in double overtime. A victory would've put them in the national championship game, coincidentally against the same Volunteers. The loss, however, dropped them into the Alamo Bowl. Not really wanting to be there, K-State lost to Purdue and finished the season ranked No. 10, by far its lowest of the season.

GATOR BOWL: With the dazzling Michael Vick at quarterback and Lee Suggs and his nation-best 28 touchdowns at tailback, Andre Davis has been the missing weapon on Virginia Tech's offense. Hampered by a high ankle sprain and bursitis since late October, Davis struggled against double and triple teams for much of the season, but appears ready to get back into the offensive mix. A 20-point loss at Virginia Tech last season left Clemson coach Tommy Bowden lamenting how far his team had to go to be ready to challenge the best. The matchup with the No. 6 Hokies will be a chance for Bowden and the No. 16 Tigers to see how far they've come. "They are where we want to be," Clemson quarterback Woody Dantzler said of the Hokies, who played Florida State for the national championship last season. "We're, what, 16th, 13th in the nation? They're No. 5 or 6."

ROSE BOWL: Unfinished business brought Drew Brees back to Purdue for his senior year, and everything has fallen into place _ so far. One task remains. "We still have to win the Rose Bowl, but this has been everything I came back for," Brees said. "It's something we'd like to win, it's something I'd like to be a part of."

_ TIMES WIRES

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