The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs finished the 2012 college football season with a 9-3 record. They ranked No. 1 in the country in points scored per game, averaging 51.5 points per contest on their way to playing some of the more exciting games of the season, including a 59-57 loss to Johnny Manziel and the Texas A&M Aggies. The Bulldogs ranked 4th in passing yards and 18th in rushing yards, but despite a 9-3 record in a year where many teams were either bowl ineligible or banned from postseason play, Louisiana Tech is not going to play in a college football bowl game this season.
So, what exactly happened?
That all depends on who you listen to, or who you are more apt to believe.
“Louisiana Tech was offered a bid Saturday to play Louisiana-Monroe,” an Independence Bowl official told ESPN. “They turned it down.” That would have been an interesting matchup, as the Warhawks of ULM also played some great games this season, including two overtime contests against the Arkansas Razorbacks and Auburn Tigers of the SEC in 2012.
Of course, according to Louisiana Tech, it is not quite that simple.
Bulldogs A.D. Bruce Van De Velde told The Associated Press that Independence Bowl organizers did offer them a spot in their game on Saturday afternoon, but the Bulldogs had other options still available to them. Van De Velde said he asked the Independence Bowl for more time to make a decision, but was told they would not wait. The bid ended up going to the Ohio Bobcats.
“Nobody turned a bowl bid down,” he said. “We asked for more time to vet two other opportunities that we had that we felt good about.”
Turns out that those who wait too long turn out to be wrong. This decision will be a costly one for Louisiana Tech.
If you look even further into the story, Jack Andres, who serves as chairman of the Independence Bowl, said that he gave the Bulldogs more than enough time to make up their minds.
“We had to make some decisions to get somebody in there. We’ve got sponsors, hotels. There’s a lot of money riding on this,” Andres said. ”Before we made another deal we called them back. 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.”
Depending on which side is telling the truth, it is hard to fault Andres and the Independence Bowl. When two sides tell two different stories, the truth often lies somewhere in the middle. But this one seems to fall squarely on the shoulders of Van De Velde and Louisiana Tech. They snoozed, so they lose.