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December 9, 2013
FREE - Monday Mailbag
The 2013 football season officially came to a close on Sunday afternoon for the Warhawks. ULM's hopes of extending their season by another game came up just short as the Advocare Bowl turned away the regional draw for an Arizona and Boston College match-up.
With that, here's this week's mailbag questions:
Q. Why was ULM not selected for a bowl?
A. No exact answer was ever really give for this, but for several reasons, some of which have nothing to do with ULM, the administration, or the fan base. The former Independence Bowl will be looking for a new sponsor for the 2014 game. This comes after Advocare dropped sponsorship due to not getting enough quality match-ups. The bowl officials are trying to make themselves look attractive to get a new sponsor moving forward. On a national scene, ULM just doesn't pass that test....yet. Last year, the Warhawks did have tons more appeal from the season opening and receiving votes in the top 25, etc. None of that happened this season.
Additionally, ULM fans didn't show up for home games, finishing the season fifth in the Sun Belt in attendance with a home average of 17,035. If the Warhawk fans will not fill Malone, the bowl has to assume they will not fill Independence Stadium. Also throw into the mix that fewer than 200 made the trip to Lafayette for the season finale. Again, the bowl has to assume that if a game against your in-state rival three and a half hours away is too much for fans to accommodate, the closer hour and half from Monroe may be too much.
Q. Who are players to watch for when spring football comes around?
A. Without a doubt, the quarterback battle will be the biggest battle in the spring and could carry over into the fall. Beyond that, I think when fans see redshirted back Tevin Horton take the field, they will see the future back of the Warhawk program and just how powerful the one-two punch of Centarius Donald and Horton will be in 2014.
Q. ULM is hyping the upcoming basketball game with Louisiana Tech. Will it be everything it's being marketed to be?
A. I think it will be the first competitive game between the school since the first game of the six year series. In that game, the Bulldogs hit the game winning shot at the final horn to steal the win inside Fant-Ewing. The match-ups since that opener have been pretty bad, as the full brunt of ULM's APR sanctions really made the match-up lopsided. The alumni center has been dishing out "Wreck Tech" shirts for students and tickets have been selling well, with last report of over 3,300 sold. I do hate that this game comes at a time when the students are not in session and will not get to enjoy the rivalry, but hopefully it's renewed for years to come.
That's all for this week. Be sure to fire your questions off to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in next week's Monday Mailbag.