When is a bowl game worse than no bowl at all? Ask Louisiana Tech.
The announcement of the Bulldogs’ fate, courtesy of La. Tech associate media relations director:
Louisiana Tech has not been selected for a postseason bowl game. Nation's No. 1 offense ends year at 9-3. #WeAreLATech— Patrick Walsh (@LATechPWalsh) December 2, 2012
That’s a nice little plug for the Bulldogs’ offensive prowess, as well as an interesting spin on the story surrounding the team’s postseason, or lack thereof.
In reality, the Independence Bowl in nearby Shreveport actually did select Tech. Tech athletic director Bruce Van De Velde told Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com that Independence administrators set a deadline of Saturday for a commitment. The Bulldogs thought they had better options, so the Independence moved on, according to Van De Velde.
But the juicier scuttlebutt in circulation: Tech refused to be matched up with in-state rival Louisiana-Monroe, which will instead square off against Ohio in the game on Dec. 29.
Bulldogs coach (for now) Sonny Dykes was under the impression earlier today that Tech was bowl-bound, which kinda lends credence to Van De Velde’s version of events:
We are very excited about our bowl game possibilities. Looking forward to finishing the season with a win. Go Bulldogs!— Sonny Dykes (@SonnyDykes) December 2, 2012
On the other hand, Van De Velde is asking us to believe that the Independence administrators were really so hot to trot over getting a match-up set on Saturday that they jumped all over Ohio rather than let Tech have a look around? They’d rather have a Bobcat in the hand than two local teams in the bush?
Whatever the case may be, this represent an awful gaffe on the part of Tech’s administration. The bowls get plenty of deserved criticism as money grabs, but they do signify a reward for the players. A 9-3 team that puts up points o’plenty shouldn’t have had much trouble finding a bowl home. The Bulldogs deserve better.