Despite the Sun Belt Conference offering big money to bowl selection committees the conference was generally left in the cold during picking time. Several smaller programs were left out of the post season bowl season and the conference that felt it the most was the Sunbelt. Not every college is an Alabama, Auburn or FSU this season. Some teams with bowl eligible records will be sitting at home this post season.
And yes sports fans, I did say that money was offered by the schools / conferences in order to be part of the bowl picture. Don't stress out, that's part of mid-major post season bowl season life. The Sun Belt had seven bowl-eligible teams this season and only two made the postseason. The Sunbelt teams heading to a bowl gamer are the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and
Arkansas State. In my opinion Western Kentucky should have been part of the post season picture.
commissioner Karl Benson had this to say in a statement.
"During the past several weeks, I have been in discussions and
negotiations with all the bowls that might be open," Benson stated. "Specifically, the
Sun Belt targeted the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl and Little
Caesar's Pizza Bowl and was in negotiations with both up until final
decisions were made. The Sun Belt Conference Presidents and Chancellors authorized me two
weeks ago to use Sun Belt funds at my discretion to entice both bowls to
take a Sun Belt team. As a result, the Sun Belt made very significant
financial offers to both bowls that clearly exceeded anything the Sun
Belt has done in previous years."
So, is it a case of Karma for the Sun Belt screwing MTSU out of a bowl game last season when they found out Middle was leaving the Sun Belt and heading to Conference USA? Or, is it simply a case that sometimes an 8 win small conference school is not as big as a draw as a 6 and 6 larger school with a traveling fan base? I think it just boils down to numbers and business. The bowl selection people have to look at what pays the bills. Here are the numbers:
There are 35 bowl games in 2013
80 schools were eligible in 2013
70 teams would go bowling. (35 x 2)
10 too many.
2013 Teams left out - Central Michigan, FAU, San Jose State, South Alabama, Texas State, Toledo, Troy, ULM, UTSA, Western Kentucky
I hate that any team, and it's players who worked hard for a winning season, is left out in the cold during Bowl season. It's especially true for Seniors. The question is should a six win season be enough for a bowl game? If they lose, then they had a losing season and a team with better record is left sitting on the sidelines. Don't get me started on the question of if there are too many bowl games in the first place.