More Overtime (cont.)
Despite boasting the nation's No. 1 scoring offense and a 9-3 record, and despite playing in a memorable shootout against Texas A&M on Oct. 13, Louisiana Tech will not play in a bowl this month. Depending on how you view the situation, either the bowl system did the Bulldogs wrong, or Louisiana Tech's administration took a Shreveport-style riverboat gamble and lost.
This much we know: At one point, Louisiana Tech had an invite to play in-state foe Louisiana-Monroe in the Independence Bowl. It's been reported that the school turned it down, perhaps thumbing its nose at the hated Warhawks, but AD Bruce Van De Velde swears that's not the case. Instead, it appears the school was holding out for better offers, either to face a Big Ten foe (Purdue) in the Heart of Dallas Bowl or Conference USA's champion (Tulsa) in the Liberty Bowl. Van De Velde says the Independence Bowl pressed him to make a decision on Saturday, but he wanted to wait, so the bowl moved on. (It took 8-4 Ohio.)
And then, much to Louisiana Tech's horror, both options fell through when the Big 12 did not get a second BCS at-large berth, sending Oklahoma State to Dallas and at-large Iowa State to Memphis. Apparently other bowls with openings had already selected other teams.
"It was not only a failure of the bowl system but it's also because our league, the WAC, has disintegrated," Van De Velde told CBS Sports. "... We thought we were in good position, but it didn't turn out that way when [the Orange Bowl] took Northern Illinois, and it just filtered all the way down."
Obviously, Bulldogs players were crushed, and if you're wondering who they blame for the snafu ... well, long snapper Josh Cuthbert tweeted: "Oh yeah and way to go athletic director #yousuck," and re-tweeted a fan who wrote: "can an AD be fired for turning down free money??? Should be!!!!"
Offensive coordinator Tony Franklin may have put it best, telling Yahoo! Sports: "When adults are involved, they tend to screw things up." The kids certainly deserved better.
The quarterback for Division III Mary Hardin-Baylor threw a touchdown pass unlike any you've ever seen in an NCAA quarterfinal playoff victory.
Nebraska's first trip to Indianapolis was mostly a debacle, but at least this happened.
Mini-previews for three BCS bowl games:
Florida State vs. Northern Illinois, Jan. 1: If new NIU coach Carey is looking for pointers on how to slow down the Seminoles, he ought to call old NIU coach Doeren, who should ask a few of his new NC State players. The Wolfpack did, after all, upset Florida State back on Oct. 6.
Oregon vs. Kansas State, Jan. 3: Oregon is synonymous with the shotgun zone-read and mobile quarterbacks, but it was actually Kansas State that first took the concept mainstream with Michael Bishop in 1997-98. Collin Klein will look to use that formation to confound the Ducks' defense in his final college game.
Notre Dame vs. Alabama, Jan. 7: The pressure is entirely on Alabama, which became the favorite to defend its title as soon as it dismantled Michigan back on Sept. 1. The Irish are looking to play the role of Ohio State against Miami in 2002, Texas against USC in 2005 -- or Alabama against Miami in 1992.