Louisiana Tech, with a 9-3 record and the top-rated offense in the country, is not going to a bowl game.
Louisiana Tech Athletic Director Bruce Van De Velde told The Associated Press that Independence Bowl organizers offered a spot in their game 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 could not wait.
“Nobody turned a bowl bid down,” VanDe Velde 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.”
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.
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 Independence Bowl had already invited Louisiana-Monroe from the Sun Belt.
An Independence Bowl spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The bowl ended up selecting Ohio University from the Mid-American Conference.