Southern Miss snubbed for bowl bid

Published 3:16 pm Monday, December 3, 2018

Southern Miss rallied for three wins late in the season to become bowl-eligible.
The problem was, no bowl wanted them.

The Golden Eagles, despite a 6-5 record, were left out of the 2018 bowl lineup when assignments were announced Sunday. Conference USA has six bowl tie-ins and seven bowl-eligible teams, and Southern Miss wound up as the odd man out.

Across the country, there were 82 bowl-eligible teams and 78 available spots. Most bowls have conference tie-ins, although there are some that take at-large teams if not enough teams from the affiliated conferences are eligible.

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Wyoming (6-6), Louisiana-Monroe (6-6) and Miami of Ohio (6-6) were also snubbed despite reaching the required six victories.

Southern Miss won three of its last four games, including its last two, to become bowl-eligible for the 22nd time in 25 seasons. This will be the first time since 2014 that it has not played a postseason game.

The Golden Eagles’ hopes were ultimately derailed by a string of closes losses. They lost three games by three points or less, including a 26-23 setback in overtime against UAB. Another game at Appalachian State in September was canceled because of Hurricane Florence.

Conference USA’s six bowl teams were UAB, Middle Tennessee, Florida International, Louisiana Tech, Marshall and North Texas.

C-USA champion UAB will play in the Boca Raton Bowl against Northern Illinois on Dec. 18. East Division champion Middle Tennessee will face Appalachian State in the New Orleans Bowl on Dec. 15.

Other C-USA bowl assignments are North Texas vs. Utah State in the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 15; Marshall vs. South Florida in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa on Dec. 20; FIU vs. Toledo in the Bahamas Bowl on Dec. 21; and Louisiana Tech vs. Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl on Dec. 22.