By Jason Harris and Warren Schorr
Updated: 12/4 11:30 a.m.
No new news today on the bowl front for the Bobcats. It looks like the earliest a decision will be made is Saturday night.
A couple more at-large bids could open up if Boise State wins the Mountain West Conference Championship game against Fresno State Saturday night. Boise State is currently ranked number 23 in the College Football Playoff. Under the new system the highest ranking non-Power 5 conference team will get an invite to one of the committee bowls. The Mountain West Conference has seven bowl tie-ins and has seven teams bowl eligible, including Boise State. So with the Broncos going to a committee bowl that would open up one of the Mountain West bowls.
The Mountain West bowls that could select an at-large team are the New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque and the famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise.
It doesn’t look like the Cactus Bowl is still an option for Texas State as most experts have Utah State taking that at-large spot.
Nothing has changed on the Armed Forces Bowl front as Texas State is still in contact with their bowl committee.
Updated: 12/3 7:30 a.m.
According to A-StateNation.com, Arkansas State will be offered and will accept an invitation from the GoDaddy.com Bowl. This will be the fourth year in a row that the Red Wolves will be in this bowl.
The invitation is expected to be made official either today or tomorrow.
With Arkansas State accepting the GoDaddy.com Bowl that means all of the Sun Belt Bowls are filled. The Bobcats are going to have to look elsewhere to find a landing spot. As mentioned yesterday, they have been in contact with the Cactus Bowl and the Armed Forces Bowl.
Don’t be expecting any news for the Bobcats until Sunday when bowls have to make it official. There’s still games to be played this weekend. Oklahoma State and Temple both have five wins and play this weekend. If these teams win it would be a huge blow to the Bobcats’ bowl chances.
Updated 12/2 8:45 p.m.
According to AL.com, South Alabama has accepted a Camellia Bowl invitation. USA has called a press conference for 1 p.m. tomorrow to make it official.
With South Alabama accepting this bid that leaves only one Sun Belt Conference bid left: the GoDaddy.com Bowl. Louisiana-Laffeyette will be going to the New Orleans Bowl for the fourth consecutive year. The GoDaddy.com Bowl committee has to decide if they want Arkansas State, who has played in that bowl the past three years, or a new team, which would be the Bobcats. If the GoDaddy.com Bowl does select Arkansas State that would mean that Texas State would have to look for an at-large bid for a bowl.
With the Georgia Southern appeal, the Sun Belt Bowl bid should be announced within the next couple of days.
Texas State has been in contact with the Armed Forces Bowl and the Cactus Bowl, options if they are left out of the Sun Belt bowls.
“Six wins doesn’t mean much but seven does.”
A quote from Head Coach Dennis Franchione before Texas State’s match up against Arkansas State. A passing statement at the end of a press conference, yet one that would hold so much significance to Bobcat players and fans alike. How could it not? After becoming bowl eligible last season with six wins, the Texas State Bobcats were overlooked as bowl bids were passed out to 72 other teams.
The Bobcat players would spend the bowl season like the rest of us, watching it from a couch.
Then came last week’s 54-31 trouncing of Georgia State, a game in which the Bobcats put up more than 600 totals yards of offense. Lead by a masterful performance by sophomore quarterback Tyler Jones, the Bobcats made an emphatic statement to the bowl committees: we will not be ignored this year.
Frankly, it will be a hard choice for those tasked with selecting teams to play in their respective bowl games. There are still a few things that need to shake out, but it’s thought that there will be around 80 teams that will finish bowl eligible with 76 spots available for said teams, a position all too familiar to Bobcat fans who remember what happened last year.
But with an offense now averaging more than 33 points a game (10 more than last season) and a defense lead by the NCAA leader in total tackles, the Bobcats have positioned themselves to potentially receive invites to a couple of bowl games this year. Let’s take a look at some possible destinations for Texas State.
All eyes, of course, are on the three bowls tied into the Sun Belt Conference: the New Orleans Bowl, the GoDaddy.com Bowl and the Camellia Bowl. Though Georgia Southern won the Sun Belt outright and are bowl eligible they can’t receive a bowl invite due to NCAA conference transition rules. Georgia Southern did appeal the NCAA rule but it was denied today. Seven-win Appalachian State is also ineligible for a bowl bid due to transition rules.
This has left most experts placing the eight-win ULL Ragin’ Cajuns in the New Orleans Bowl and the seven-win Arkansas State Red Wolves in the GoDaddy.com Bowl. If that happens the only bowl bid with Sun Belt ties left is the Camellia Bowl and Texas State would be fighting with South Alabama for that. Rumors have been swirling that the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth is interested in Texas State if they don’t receive a bid from one for the three bowls previously mentioned. This shouldn’t come as a surprise because last year there were rumors that if the Bobcats would have beat Troy in the season finale they would have gone to the Armed Forces Bowl.
If the Bobcats were to be left out of a bowl game for the second consecutive year Coach Fran said it would be one of the worst moments in his coaching career: “It would be really disappointing. I’ve had two tough meetings with teams before and this would be the second toughest, to tell them we got left out.” It looks like 80 teams are going to be bowl-eligible with 72 spots available. If a seven- win Texas State team doesn’t make a bowl that would be a crushing blow for the program looking to take the next step.
Bowl announcements don’t need to be official until Sunday, but an announcement could come at any time.
Bowl projections from the national media:
Sports Illustrated – Cactus Bowl facing Washington
SBNation – Cactus Bowl facing Stanford
Sporting News – GoDaddy.com Bowl facing Northern Illinois
CBS Sports – GoDaddy.com Bowl facing Northern Illinois