Cumberland Times-News

Local Sports

December 2, 2012

9-3 Louisiana Tech left out of bowl picture

Louisiana Tech, with a 9-3 record and the highest scoring team in the country, isn't going to a bowl game.

La Tech athletic director Bruce Van De Velde told The Associated Press that Independence Bowl organizers offered a spot in their game on Saturday afternoon, but the Bulldogs had other possible options still available to them. Van De Velde said he asked the Independence Bowl for more time to make a decision, but was told by game organizers that they couldn't wait.

"Nobody turned a bowl bid down," he said. "We asked for more time to vet two other opportunities that we had that we felt good about."

Van De Velde said he told the Independence Bowl organizers: "Anybody you are going to get to replace us will be there on Sunday. Just give us time to evaluate these opportunities."

The Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., had already invited Louisiana-Monroe from the Sun Belt Conference.

Independence Bowl chairman Jack Andres said organizers had to set a deadline for Louisiana Tech. They were concerned if they waited they would be stuck with a team that was barely bowl eligible and too far away from Shreveport to bring many fans to the game.

"We had to make some decisions to get somebody in there. We've got sponsors, hotels. There's a lot of money riding on this," he said.

"Before we made another deal we called them back. We said, 'We're still willing to have you at the bowl, but need to know fairly quickly.' So we gave them a deadline and they didn't call us back until way later than that. If you don't call us back, that's a 'No.' And we made another deal so we'd have a quality bowl team."

The bowl ended up selecting Ohio University from the Mid-American Conference.

Louisiana Tech plays in the Western Athletic Conference, which is going away as a football conference next season and has only one bowl tie-in, with the Idaho Potato Bowl. The spot went to league champion Utah State.

La Tech is moving to Conference USA next season.

Van De Velde said he was working with C-USA commissioner Britton Banowsky on possibly getting the Bulldogs into the Heart of Dallas Bowl or the Liberty Bowl. When Oklahoma and Kansas State both won, it looked as if the Big 12 would have two teams in the BCS and that could create room in either of those games for La Tech.

But, Van De Velde said, when Northern Illinois slipped into the Bowl Championship Series, taking a possible BCS bid away from Oklahoma, it started a domino effect that filled those spots with Big 12 teams.

"I think we're just shocked Northern Illinois jumped that high," Van De Velde said. "I'm happy for them, but I'm disappointed for us."

The Big 12 had nine bowl-eligible nine teams.

Iowa State (6-6) landed in the Liberty Bowl to play C-USA champion Tulsa as an at-large pick. Oklahoma State (7-5) ended up filling Big 12's final spot in the Heart of Dallas Bowl against Purdue.

"I think we're all disappointed," Van De Velde said. "But when you're in a non-AQ conference and you're in the at-large pool, this is what can happen. Especially when bowls are electing to take teams that are 6-6 over teams that are 9-3."

Louisiana Tech spent five weeks in the AP Top 25 this season, reaching as high as 19. The Bulldogs badly beat Virginia and Illinois, two teams from automatic qualifying conferences, on the road early in the season, and lost 59-57 to Texas A&M in Shreveport.

They finished on a two-game losing streak, falling to WAC champion Utah State and San Jose State, which accepted a bid to the Military Bowl in Washington against Bowling Green, by a combined 16 points.

Behind quarterback Colby Cameron and running back Kenneth Davis, La Tech averaged 51 points and 578 yards per game.

"Under no circumstances did I ever think there was any possibility at all that we would not play in a bowl game," coach Sonny Dykes said in a statement. "It is a shame that our nationally recognized team and its 31 seniors have to end the season this way."

And on top of being left out of the postseason, Louisiana Tech is facing the prospect of losing Dykes.

Van De Velde said the coach had interviewed with California and that Louisiana Tech was waiting to find out if Dykes would be staying with the Bulldogs.

 

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • SPTS-GLF-RBCHeritage.jpg Donald shoots 66, takes lead at RBC Heritage

    Luke Donald had an eagle and six birdies to shoot 66 on Saturday and take a two-stroke lead over John Huh after three rounds at Harbour Town Golf Links.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPTS-FBC-Alabama-SpringGame.jpg Alabama defense dominates spring game

    Blake Sims’ bid to replace AJ McCarron as Alabama’s starting quarterback hit a snag Saturday afternoon

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Allegany wins two as pitchers take control

    Allegany pitchers held two teams to eight base hits while defeating Smithsburg and Preston as part of the Mountain Ridge Easter Classic Friday afternoon at the Hot Stove Complex.

    April 18, 2014

  • Salisbury overpowers FSU

    Paige Knussman hit a grand slam during a seven-run third inning to lead Salisbury University to an 11-6 victory over Frostburg State, eliminating the Bobcats from the Capital Athletic Conference tournament Friday at Christopher Newport.

    April 18, 2014

  • Frostburg bounced from CAC

    Elliott Mortimer fired a four-hitter and Brad Wenzel and Colbe Herr had three hits as top-seeded York eliminated fourth-seeded Frostburg State from the Capital Athletic Conference tournament with a 5-1 victory Friday afternoon.

    April 18, 2014

  • Sellers’ five RBIs powers Alco’s rout

    Kyleigh Sellers tripled, singled twice and drove in five runs to lead a 17-hit attack that carried Allegany to an 18-6 win over Hope for Hyndman Charter on Thursday.

    April 18, 2014

  • Sports Calendar - 04/19/2014

    April 18, 2014

  • Miners win 57 in a row

    Mountain Ridge made it 57 wins in a row, scoring multiple runs in four of the five innings Thursday afternoon in defeating Keyser, 14-4, in an Appalachian Mountain Athletic Conference game at Mountain Ridge.

    April 17, 2014

  • Allegany hammers Hawks

    The bats have begun to click for the Allegany College of Maryland Trojans as a two-run first-inning home run by Tanner Klein got the ball, and the runs, rolling as the Trojans pounded out 14 hits in defeating Hagerstown Community College, 10-7, in a Maryland JUCO game Thursday at The Rock.

    April 17, 2014

  • Duncan helps ACM split two with Cecil

    Parris Duncan doubled home two runs in the top of the fourth to help Allegany College to a 2-1 victory over Cecil College in the first game of a doubleheader split Thursday afternoon.

    April 17, 2014