Troy’s bowl outlook

Published 12:15 am Friday, December 5, 2008

The Troy Trojans destination if they win this weekend’s game with the Arkansas State Red Wolves has been determined.

“The winner of this one goes to New Orleans,” Troy athletic director Steve Dennis said. “We are worrying about Arkansas State now and trying to win this one.”

There has been talk of the Trojans possibly not making the trip to the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl if they are victorious, but Dennis said if the Trojans win they will square off with the University of Southern Mississippi Dec. 21 at 7:15 p.m. in the Louisiana Superdome.

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“We are locked into New Orleans if we win and Arkansas State is locked if they win,” Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said. “And certainly we want to be the champions and the outright champions, so that means we want to go to New Orleans.”

If the Trojans lose the game Saturday they will have to sit and wait to see if they are picked up for a bowl. They would be thrown into the winning at-large bid pool with a 7-5 record.

What that means is that they would get precedence over 6-6 bowl eligible teams, but they are on a level playing field with other 7-5 teams and 8-4 teams.

Last year the Trojans were 8-4 and left out of the postseason, but this year, at Media Days, the Sun Belt tried to fix that by entering into an agreement with the St. Petersburg Bowl, the Bowl and the PetroSun Independence Bowl.

The Bowl is the only one of the three played in the state of Alabama and if the Trojans were to lose that could be the bowl that would select Troy.

“Birmingham is a great football city,” Blakeney said. “It has been called the football capital of the South. It would be a great honor to play in the Bowl.”

Blakeney said either the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl or the Bowl would be a challenge for the Trojans.

“Both bowls are great bowls,” Blakeney said. “We are waiting and hoping we can win the game (on Saturday) and if we don’t win the game we will see what happens.”

But even with the extra bowls Blakeney said the Trojans could still be on the outside looking in at the end of the year.

“No question we could be left out,” he said. “I don’t think we will because I think there will be enough non-furnishing leagues to where we will be sitting here as an at-large 7-5 that we will get in somewhere. But who knows. Because if you get the ‘winning’ bowl qualified before the 6-6 bowl qualified certainly we would be fine. But it is not for me to say.”

With all the bowl craziness, one thing is important to Blakeney for tomorrow’s game.

“We need to win and the rest will take care of itself,” he said.