Miami RedHawks, left out of bowl picture, have unique plan to play 13th game
There were four bowl-eligible teams that were not chosen to make one of the 78 bowl slots available to FBS teams.
But two of them may be playing another game after all.
The Miami RedHawks and Louisiana-Monroe have discussed plans to play each other on ULM’s campus pending approval of a waiver from the NCAA. The other teams left out were Southern Miss and Wyoming. All of them were 6-6 except Southern Miss, which was 6-5.
Miami Athletics Director David Sayler explained the situation in a recent interview with Two Guys, One Emily.
“It’s kind of a mess. I wish I could give you a better answer,” Sayler said.
He outlined Miami’s case, which is that the six wins are all FBS wins, and that every other team that has six wins has an FCS win.
“So I feel like our wins are better,” he said. “The teams we’ve played, the four non-conference, those teams are going to a bowl. No one has that, that makes us better.”
In an interesting twist to persuade bowl representatives, Miami sold at least 1,300 tickets before they knew if a bowl would happen, the location or a date.
That obviously didn’t materialize.
“We are about to file a waiver with the NCAA that if we’re not chosen, we’re going to play a game anyway, and see what they tell us,” Sayler said. “The conference is willing to support us in that. It would be a game probably on Louisiana-Monroe’s campus, who’s another six-win team that might get left out. So we would just go play them at their place and not call it a bowl game, we would just play another game, but we would still practice and play and our kids want to do that.”
The game could potentially be played just after graduation and there are multiple connections with the New Orleans Saints and Miami. Sean Payton was a one-time graduate assistant there.
“You want to give the kids some benefit even though you can’t call it a bowl game, you want to make it feel like it kind of is, and we have donors to cover it,” he said.