I've had a lot of time to sit in the corner and with my box of red wine as I try to figure out what happened the last 2 games. We had the tiger by the tail and we were in total control of our own destiny except we lost our grip. The offense was not the same the defense was not the same. Did our coaching staff forget about playing one game at a time? Did we look past Utah State and San Jose State? Were we trying to figure out what New Year's Day bowl we were going to? Something was going on with this coaching staff and I just didn't understand. When you go from a College Football Orgasm to Erectile Dysfunction it is time to take your box of red wine for a walk. I will get this thing figured out. The team had a few days off before they had to be back for a senior's only walk through/practice. Matt, RP, Ray & David were heading down to Austin to hang out at RP's dads house. Since Tyler lives in Austin as well he will get to hang out with them as well. My understanding was that golf, checking out UT's stadium, floating the river and checking out the night life on 6th street was a given.
I am sure they will eat some good food as well. I think it is always a good thing to get your mind clear and come back and get ready for your next opponent. They made their way back to Ruston Saturday morning. A late afternoon senior only gathering had occurred on the field as they got some stretching and such in. Coach Liken had called all of the senior's in and what they thought was to find out who they were playing in a bowl game but instead they found out they were not going to a bowl game! When Matt called and told us I was numb. I wanted to hit something but I did not know what. What had just happened? The #1 offense in the nation was not going to a bowl game. Please pinch me and wake me up. Matt said there were tears, anger and every kind of emotion across all of this senior class. He was still in shock. Our AD and head coach should be hung by their nuts. They need to feel the pain as this senior class deserved so much more and to show the college football world what they were all about.
Where was Dykes? Why did Coach Liken have to deliver this mind blowing message? Come to find out Dyke's was in New York for and award ceremony for his dad. Come on Sunshine! You have just shown us that you just did not care. As the real reason why came out the more frustrated I became. Quoted from ESPN. "Louisiana Tech will not play in a bowl game this season after finishing 9-3 and turning down an invitation to play in the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl, a source told ESPN. "Louisiana Tech was offered a bid Saturday to play Louisiana-Monroe," an Independence Bowl official told ESPN. "They turned it down." Athletic director Bruce Van De Velde told The Associated Press that Independence Bowl organizers offered a spot in their game on 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," he 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 had to set a deadline for Louisiana Tech. They were concerned if they waited they would be stuck with a team that was barely bowl eligible and too far away from Shreveport to bring many fans to the game." 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," he 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."
The Independence Bowl ended up selecting Ohio University from the Mid-American Conference. This is very sad and who would have ever thought that this senior class would not be playing in a bowl game. I spoke with Matt the following day and even though he was pissed there was not much that could be done at this point. Now with no bowl game the seniors would be heading home in a few days for the holidays. Matt happened to be walking by Coach Jackson's office and Karl Malone was in there. Matt and the guys were having a big cook out at their house and Matt asked Karl if he would like to stop by. Karl said Matt let me tell you what. You get every senior and you have them at my house tomorrow night. I am going to cook for all of you. Matt said Karl was on the phone with people getting grills, steaks and everything that went with them.
Karl told Matt that he wanted to give them something back for what they were losing out on for not going to a bowl game and for what they have given to the Ruston community. I was blown away when Matt told me what Karl was going to do for them. They all showed up at Karl's and he made this incredible steak dinner for them. Matt said he opened up his home and it was really cool how giving Karl is. Karl Malone you are a hero in my book and thank you so much for being you and giving behind the scenes to this amazing group of seniors. I am sure this will be something that they will not forget. I know that I will not. I am still in shock. Why Why Why? They deserved much better than this. I saw a quote from Karl Malone and it hits the nail on the head for me. "I am Bulldog to the core, I am heart broken and embarrassed that our university would do this to Tech Nation.
To our football program and staff this ... is exactly what is wrong with our university. Now it's time to get former athletes to run our program. I'm (6-foot-9) and not hard to find," Malone wrote. Malone demanded to know the reason behind turning down the Independence Bowl and called for a change in leadership" Wouldn't it be nice to hire a person doing it for university, and not somebody doing it for a bigger and better job in their mind?" Thanks Karl I needed someone to say that. "Under no circumstances did I ever think there was any possibility at all that we would not play in a bowl game," coach Sonny 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." Louisiana Tech said it was in line to play in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, but when Oklahoma missed out on the BCS, it caused a chain reaction that pushed Iowa State out of the Heart of Dallas Bowl and into the Liberty Bowl in the Bulldogs' place.
"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." On top of being left out of the postseason, Louisiana Tech is facing the prospect of losing Dykes. Van De Velde said the coach had interviewed with California and that Louisiana Tech was waiting to find out if Dykes would be staying with the Bulldogs. Now we know the truth. It is not about not wanting to play our neighbors to the east. It is all about sunshine checking out before the Utah State game and Free Willy our ignorant AD want to be for not understanding that you take what you are given and go play the game on the field. I am so disappointed and heartbroken that this is very difficult to write about. It is time for me to move on but Sunshine and Free Willy I hope you fail in your career paths as you have failed these football players, fans and the community of Ruston. I never thought this would be my last blog on college football as I followed Matt through his eyes. What an amazing ride he has given me along with all of his family in tow. We are truly blessed to have been part of this story.
Get yourself ready for your next adventure. We are waiting to see what is going to happen next. My College Football Dad story will have a final chapter but I am not sure when that will be. Until then I wanted to thank all of you who have followed my College Football Journey. We have met so many incredible people and have made so many new friends. Even though we did not go to Tech my wife and I will be Dawgs for life. I write for the bottom of my heart and what my feelings are at that time. I am very passionate about La Tech Football. I am just a College Football Fan and I Love College Football! Until our paths cross again have a blessed Football Season! College Football Dad!