This past season has been one of the best for Tech football since the ’60s, from a 10-3 record to Louisiana Tech seeing its name in the Top 25 AP polls for the first time since 1999. However, the football world, especially Louisiana Tech, was left in shock and disappointment when the Bulldogs weren’t announced to attend a bowl game this year.
Tech was once hoping to go to the Orange Bowl in Miami but lost the Western Athletic Conference championship game to Utah State plus the following game against San Jose State. Even with a sour ending, the overall season’s accomplishments were still seen good enough to end up playing for a bowl title.
Despite not winning the WAC title, some thought the team would go to the Liberty Bowl in Memphis and others assumed it would head back to the all too familiar Independence Bowl in Shreveport. Dec. 2 was the day that brought players, alumni and students to tears as they would find out their season would be cut short with no bowl game.
Junior kinesiology major K’Darious Cash said he was highly upset when he heard the news.
“The first thing that crossed my mind when I heard was disappointment,” Cash said.
Freshman chemical engineering major Logan Corley, an avid Tech football fan, said he couldn’t believe it.
“I was mad, like ‘What the heck? This can’t be right,’” Corley said. “I couldn’t believe it.”
Twitter rants and angry alumni spoke out in rage and disappointment about the abrupt ending to one of the greatest football seasons in Bulldog history. Some blame President Dan Reneau, some blame former head coach Sonny Dykes and others blame athletics director Bruce Van De Velde, but at the end of the day the elite football players of LA Tech are now just regular students heading to class and then back to their rooms with an emptiness inside of them.
“It’s got to be the coaches,” Cash said. “But what did we have to lose?”
Corley, along with Cash, are just two of several students who seem to feel that the coaches were responsible.
“He’s the coach, so he had to be the one who said no to the bowl game,” Corley said.
The disappointment does not just stop with the fans and supporters of Tech, but spreads as far as the “could’ve-been” opponents that felt they were overlooked as the elite force of north Louisiana football.
After Tech lost the bid to the Independence Bowl, the University of Louisiana-Monroe had several fans speak out saying that Tech turned down the Independence Bowl to save face against a possible upset.
Senior marketing major at ULM Taylor Jamison said he believes the ULM-Tech match up has been long awaited and Tech is running scared.
“I feel like they’ve been running for awhile,” Jamison said. “An ULM-Tech game would’ve been a good one, but we definitely would’ve won.”
Jamison said he feels like it’s not the players’ or coaches’ fault that the north Louisiana face-off never happened, but was more in the hands of the administrators.
“I’m assuming the athletic director (Van De Velde) didn’t want to play us, but it looks bad for the whole (Tech) program,” Jamison said. “First no bowl, then the coach leaves. That will probably hurt the recruiting in the future.”
There is still confusion as to why Tech’s big year ended so small or who’s to blame, but what is sure is Tech football is in need of an intervention and faith that next year will ease the woes of the red and blue.
Email comments to rjk...@latech.edu.