In 2012, Louisiana Tech averaged 51.5 points per game, the best in the country. Although they finished the season with two straight losses to Utah State and San Jose State, the Bulldogs still finished the year with a 9-3 record overall. Bowl games being something of a cottage industry of late, one would think at least one bowl—the Quaker Steak And Lube Shootout or something—would be out there for La. tech. Alas, there is no such bowl—because La. tech turned down the only invite it got, from the AdvoCare Independence Bowl. Bruce Feldman at CBS spoke with athletic director Bruce Van De Velde to see how it all went down.
"We asked the Independence Bowl to let the games play out because we were told by the Heart of Dallas Bowl and the Liberty Bowls that they were very interested in us," Van De Velde said Sunday night. "They [the Independence Bowl reps] called us on Saturday and put a deadline on us. We thought there would be a spot open us in one of those other bowls. We asked them to wait so we could vet out these other options, but they wouldn't."
Van De Velde said the Bulldogs got squeezed by a trickle-down factor because Northern Illinois was going to the Orange Bowl, meaning Oklahoma got knocked out of a BCS bowl and then the Big 12 was going to be able to fill more bowl slots. And, in the end, the Liberty Bowl selected 6-6 Iowa State over 9-3 Louisiana Tech, he said.
There was also a report that La. Tech turned down the invite because they did not want to play intra-state rival University of Louisiana-Monroe, but Van De Velde denied that report, noting "that was not a factor at all. We would've like to be in a bowl."
Whether through pettiness or sheer stupidity, the Bulldogs will not be playing another game this year and Coach Sonny Dykes, players, students and alums are all devastated. Perhaps none more so than Karl Malone who is now openly campaigning for Van De Velde's job.
I am Bulldog to the core, I am heart broken and embarrassed that our university would do this to Tech Nation. To our football and staff this— Karl Malone (@TheDeliverer_32) December 3, 2012
is exactly what is wrong with our university. Now it's time to get former athletes to run our program. I'm 6"9 and not hard to find.— Karl Malone (@TheDeliverer_32) December 3, 2012
Whoever made this desicision have the balls to tell the guys why. As one alumni of LaTech I want to know why.— Karl Malone (@TheDeliverer_32) December 3, 2012
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?— Karl Malone (@TheDeliverer_32) December 3, 2012
To Bleed tech Blue, you got to be Tech.— Karl Malone (@TheDeliverer_32) December 3, 2012
Go get your man, La. Tech. There's like a whole list of shit he would endure before letting the school down like this.