North Texas Daily

Mean Green are bowl bound, but where?

Mean Green are bowl bound, but where?

Mean Green are bowl bound, but where?
November 14
18:59 2018

As football’s regular season winds down, the NCAA bowl season is getting ready to heat up. The Mean Green football team have two games left in the season with no chance to play in the Conference USA championship. After dropping their last contest to Old Dominion 34-31, North Texas now has a record of 7-3 and 3-3 in conference play.

The history of bowl games in college athletics began with the granddaddy of them all: the “Rose Bowl” back in 1902, eventually becoming an annual game in 1916. It was the only game played post-season until 1935 when three bowl games were added. The Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl — and later the Sun Bowl — in 1937 composed the five major bowl games played for the majority of college football history.

The Peach Bowl was later added in 1968 and the Fiesta Bowl replaced the Sun Bowl in 1971 as a major bowl game. These six bowl games currently rotate as the hosts for College Football Semifinals and National Championships games.

As of 2017, 39 bowl games are played each year. Games typically begin in mid-December and end in the ultimate culmination — the College Football Playoff National Championship usually played in the first week of January.

In the current college football bowl era, the low requirements to be bowl eligible have increasingly diminished the quality of football teams allowed to play post season. According to the 2018-19 NCAA Postseason Bowl Handbook, a bowl-eligible team is defined as, “A team that has won a number of games against Football Bowl Subdivision [Division I] opponents that is equal to or greater than the number of its overall losses. Tie or forfeited games do not count in determining won-lost record.”

In other words, a team that is 6-6 can be bowl eligible, however, there is an exception to the eligibility rule. If a team that would have been bowl eligible lost its respective conference championship game, putting their win percentage under 50 percent, that team would still be bowl-eligible.

With the Mean Green’s seven wins under their belt, the remaining two games will play no role in their bowl eligibility. North Texas’ seven wins will place the team in contention for a more competitive and nationally televised game.

C-USA is affiliated with seven bowl sponsors and has a secondary agreement with two other sponsors, meaning C-USA must send teams to fill all seven spots. These teams are paired up to compete against other teams who belong to conferences that have an affiliation to each bowl game sponsor.

According to ESPN and SB Nation, the Mean Green are projected to play in the First Responder Bowl sponsored by Servpro against Brigham Young on Dec. 26. The bowl is formerly known as the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl and is played in the historic field of Cotton Bowl stadium at the fairgrounds in Dallas. Participating conferences are awarded $1.2 million for successfully sending teams to compete.

Head coach Seth Littrell and the Mean Green competed in the Heart of Dallas Bowl in 2016 where they fell to Army 31-38.

The Mean Green have a bowl record of 2-7. Littrell has a record of 0-2, losing consecutive bowl appearances in 2016 and 2017. In 2017, North Texas played in the New Orleans Bowl against Troy and lost 50-30.

Now looking to get his first bowl victory as a head coach, Littrell could get a chance this December. The First Responder Bowl is slated to have a Big Ten opponent which will be clearly identified in the coming weeks. If the Big Ten cannot fill the spot, it will be handed to a team waiting to fill the at-large position.

Whoever the opponent may be, the Mean Green have a lot to be proud of. With a quarterback in the national Davey O’Brian award watch list, another winning season and a new home attendance record, the Mean Green are headed in a positive direction.

With the school unveiling the master plan to do a massive upgrade of the athletic facilities, this shows the school’s commitment to growing its athletics presence on a national scale and to be able to compete at higher levels as they progress through the following seasons.

College football bowl season begins Dec. 15, but the Mean Green will know where they are slated to play on Dec. 4 following the College Football Playoff Selection Show.

Featured Image: North Texas junior Rico Bussey Jr. runs the ball in a game against Rice on Oct. 27 at Apogee Stadium. Sara Carpenter

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Josue Hernandez

Josue Hernandez

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