If you want to talk bowl SNAFUs, look no further than Louisiana Tech. Sunday night when bowl announcements were coming out by the minute, LaTech announced on Twitter that it would not be going to a bowl game even with a 9-3 record.
But it wasn’t just that the Bulldogs, a one-time BCS buster contender, weren’t going bowling. It was that they weren’t selected. Or, so said Associate Media Relations Director Patrick Walsh.
“Louisiana Tech has not been selected for a postseason bowl game. Nation’s No. 1 offense ends year at 9-3,” Walsh tweeted.
Though Twitter is a great resource for athletic programs, its danger, obviously, is the 140-character limit since it can’t always tell the whole story. The Monroe-News Star had reported Saturday that LaTech had actually tabled an Independence Bowl invite to play Louisiana-Monroe (Ohio will play the Warhawks instead). Tech athletic director Bruce Van De Velde told the Associated Press Sunday evening that the decision wasn’t black and white.
“Nobody turned a bowl bid down,” Van De Velde said. “We asked for more time to vet two other opportunities that we had that we felt good about.”
Independence Bowl chairman Jack Andres said organizers set a deadline for Louisianan Tech to make a decision, but did not hear back from the university by the deadline.
“Before we made another deal we called them back,” Andres explained. “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.”
Regardless, Louisiana Tech won’t be going bowling and no one connected to the program is real happy about it. Head coach (for now) Sonny Dykes (pictured) expressed his disappointment Sunday night. ”Under no circumstances did I ever think there was any possibility at all that we would not play in a bowl game,” 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.”
However, according to Roy Lang of the Shreveport Times, “Louisiana Tech AD Bruce Van de Velde consulted with head coach Sonny Dykes and Tech president Dan Reneau on decision to turn [Independence] Bowl down [Saturday].”
Of course, just because Dykes was consulted doesn’t mean the decision was made or that he was involved in making one. Still, what a mess and generally unfortunate end for one of the more exciting teams in college football this season.