MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Middle Tennessee State University's football team was not extended a bowl invitation Sunday night after compiling an 8-4 overall record.
The news came just one day after MTSU was routed 45-0 by Arkansas State in the Sun Belt Conference Championship, and three days after the university announced they would be leaving the Sun Belt for Conference USA in 2014.
The Blue Raiders tied for second in the Sun Belt Conference with a 6-2 record, joining Louisiana and Louisiana-Monroe. Louisiana accepted a bid to the New Orleans Bowl on November 24 and ULM agreed to play in the Independence Bowl on Saturday.
Middle Tennessee had the biggest win improvement in the country in 2012, and has more SBC wins than any team in league history.
"I am so proud of this football team and what they have accomplished this season and the turnaround they have made," said Director of Athletics Chris Massaro. "This incredibly frustrating turn of events won't define us or our season. I think it is clear that the bowl system needs improvement and should be better than this. I believe in this football team, the momentum we have built, and the future is bright."
"This is devastating for those seniors and our entire team," said Head Coach Rick Stockstill. "They did what they had to do on the football field and were not rewarded. It was very tough facing my team and telling them their season was over. We had a great year and we will not let the momentum of our 8-4 season be derailed by other people's decisions that I don't agree with."