A Sun Belt Record Four Teams Selected For Bowls

December 3, 2012 · By · Filed Under Football, Sun Belt Conference 

The Sun Belt conference made history on Sunday as four teams were selected to represent the conference in bowl games.

Sun Belt champion Arkansas State will return to Mobile to play #25 ranked Kent State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl. The University of Louisiana-Lafayette was selected by the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl to play East Carolina. Louisiana-Monroe was selected to play in the Advocare V100 Independence Bowl against Ohio University. Western Kentucky was selected to play Central Michigan in the Little Ceasers Pizza Bowl.

Overall, five Sun Belt schools were bowl eligible. Middle Tennessee State, who played Arkansas State on Saturday in a defacto championship game in Jonesboro, AK., was the only bowl eligible Sun Belt team to not receive a bowl berth.

MTSU finshed the season with an 8-4 record overall, which tied with ULL and ULM with second-best in the conference. Arkansas State finished with a 9-3 record and each of the second place schools finished with a 6-2 conference record. Western Kentucky finished with a 7-5 record and 4-4 in the Sun Belt and lost to Middle Tennessee during the regular season.

However the Pizza Bowl was more interested in Western Kentucky since it will be the schools first-ever bowl game instead of Middle Tennessee. Earlier this week, Middle Tennessee announced it was leaving the Sun Belt Conference for Conference USA.

Arkansas State’s head coach Gus Malzahn is being mentioned for several coaching vacancies including Arkansas and Auburn. Senior quarterback Ryan Aplin will lead the Red Wolf offense into Ladd-Peebles stadium for the second season in a row. The GoDaddy.com bowl will kickoff on Sunday, January 6 at 8pm and is the only bowl game on that day, the day before the BCS national championship game.

ULL finished the season strong with three consecutive victories once it’s offense solidified. The Ragin’ Cajuns’ are coached by second-year head coach Mark Hudspeth who has also been mentioned for a few coaching positions. The New Orleans Bowl will kick off in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome at 11am on December 22.

ULM is led by quarterback Kolton Browning who helped them upset Arkansas in overtime in the season-opening game in Arkansas. Head coach Todd Berry lead the team to Auburn and a near-win in overtime. They also played tough at Baylor but lost by five points. The Independence Bowl will kick off in Shreveport, LA at 1pm on December 28.

Western Kentucky is coached by third-year head coach Willie Taggart. His first season the Hilltoppers finished 2-10 but now has back-to-back bowl eligible seasons of 7-5, but will go to only their first bowl game this year. WKU is led by running back Antoine Andrews who is the conference’s leading rusher averaging 134.1 yards per game. The Hilltoppers started the season with a pair of wins over Austin Peay and Kentucky with a loss at Alabama between them. They ended a three game losing streak with a win over North Texas in the season finale. The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl will kick off at Ford Field in Detroit, MI at 6:30pm on December 26.

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