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November 13, 2012
Tech Controls its Bowl Destiny
Louisiana Tech has had a little help, but winning will determine its fate so they must take care of business Saturday against Utah State for the following to even matter to the Bulldogs.
Louisiana Tech got a big boost in the bowl outlook when Louisville lost last week. All eyes for Bulldog fans have been on Nebraska the last two weeks and they have watched the Huskers come from behind and beat Michigan State and Penn State in dramatic fashion. Tech is now ranked six spots behind Nebraska and one spot behind Louisville in the BCS standings,
Louisiana Tech finished ranked no. 20 in the BCS for the second consecutive week. Louisville is ranked no. 19 and still has to finish the regular season against no. 22 Rutgers. Rutgers could possibly jump ahead of Tech in the standings with a win over Louisville, but they first must win on the road against Pitt and Cincinnati.
Michigan nearly jumped above Tech after beating a ranked Northwestern team. Michigan went from unranked to no. 21 in the latest poll, but the Wolverines still have to face Ohio State.
Speaking of daunting schedules, several teams ranked ahead of Louisiana Tech still have tough games to get through. As no. 18 USC still has to play UCLA and Notre Dame, no. 17 UCLA still has USC and Stanford on the schedule, no. 16 Oregon State has no. 2 Oregon, no. 15 Texas has no. 1 Kansas State, no. 14 Stanford also plays Oregon and UCLA, and no. 12 Oklahoma still has to travel to West Virginia and TCU and they host Oklahoma State.
South Carolina and Clemson play each other. Florida and Florida State still have to play. Nebraska still has Iowa and a Big 10 Championship game to get through. The SEC, Pac-12, and ACC championship games will cause some upheaval.
Needless to say, the standings will look a lot different in three weeks. However, Louisiana Tech has a very tough road in its own right. In the Sagarin rankings; Utah State is no. 24, San Jose State is no. 33, and Tech is no. 50. In the Massey ratings index, Utah State is no. 22, Louisiana Tech is no. 25, and San Jose State is no. 36.
Tech hosts Utah State this Saturday (available on ESPN3) and travels to San Jose State next Saturday for a game that will be broadcast on ESPN2, as reported first here on BleedTechBlue.com to our subscribers. Facing a couple of Top 40 teams are huge tests for the Bulldogs. However, if Tech can escape with wins, then you should see them climb a good bit up the polls.
The Liberty Bowl has been in Ruston to watch the Bulldogs. The Music City Bowl is likely to be in play, as are the Independence Bowl and the Heart of Dallas Bowl. The talk in Ruston is a berth in a BCS bowl. With Former WAC opponents Boise State and Hawaii participating in past BCS bowls, Louisiana Tech has eyes on being the last WAC team to accomplish the feat.
Louisiana Tech needs to climb four spots to 16th in the BCS standings and finish ahead of the conference champions of an AQ league. That makes Nebraska, Michigan, Louisville, and Rutgers very important to watch for Bulldog fans.
All the poll watching will be for naught if Tech stumbles. The defense had picked things up recently after holding Idaho to 28, NMSU to 14, and UTSA to 27. Texas State stayed with Tech step for step and the Bulldogs got away with a 62-55 win. The defense will have to clean up the pass coverage especially.
Texas State was balanced as they had over 250 yards each rushing and passing. Utah State will utilize the middle of the field in the passing attack. UTSA Tight Ends Jeremiah Moeller and Cole Hubble combined for 4 catches and 127 yards with 2 touchdowns. UTSA finished with 314 yards passing.
Everyone knows Tech can score. Utah State gave up 467 passing yards to SJSU, so they have been thrown on this year. The Spartans gave up 485 yards themselves in that game against Utah State and 484 yards against San Diego State.
Will Tech's last two games end up in 100 points or higher shootouts? They probably will. Tech has escaped each time this year except for their two point loss to Texas A&M. Sonny Dykes will have to work his magic two more times to keep his Bulldogs moving up the ladder. He will get help with seniors Kendrick James, Chip Hester, and Antonio Mitchum returning to the defense.
Meaningful games in November are what make college football special. This has been a special season for Louisiana Tech. Bulldog fans have a chance to see a great game in person this Saturday against Utah State and they got an early Christmas present when ESPN2 picked up the San Jose State game. WAC football is going out with a bang and Louisiana Tech has it's eyes on making a lot of noise.
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