At 5-7, ULM Could Go Bowling
It may have seemed hard to imagine early in the season, but ULM could be on the cusp of a bowl game.
Those around the league have been impressed with the job Matt Viator and his coaching staff have done this season with a depleted team which lost its starting quarterback midway through the seasons.
But the Warhawks have persevered and, with a couple of breaks, could have come into Saturday's game with Louisiana with a 6-5 record rather than 4-7.
Two games, Idaho and Georgia Southern, came down to the last play with ULM coming up empty both times.
But even with that, there's a possibility the Warhawks could end up in a bowl game in Viator's first season.
It's a long shot and a lot of things have to happen, but here is the background and the scenario.
There are 80 bowl bids available. At the very most, 78 will be spoken for. The two additions will come from the 5-7 teams with the best Academic Progress Rating (APR) score.
Those two are North Texas and Mississippi State.
But there is also the possibility only 76 will be spoken for. Louisiana and South Alabama must win their games Saturday to become bowl eligible. And, that's how ULM could come into the picture.
If the Cajuns and Jaguars both lose, the next two 5-7 teams with the best APR scores are Texas and Northern Illinois.
But what if one of those 5-7 schools decline to play in a bowl? Texas just hired a new coach and they might decide to concentrate on recruiting rather than playing. Just a speculation.
If any school says thanks but no thanks, guess who is next in the pecking order?
That's right. Viator's bunch of Warhawks who have played above expectations all season.
So ULM will have an extra impetus on Saturday when they take the field at JPS Field at Malone Stadium.
They need a win, a South Alabama loss and for someone to decline a bowl bid.
My guess is, if given the opportunity, decline won't be a word in ULM's vocabulary.