A lot of bowl possibilities for ASU

A lot of bowl possibilities for ASU

It's pretty obvious. If Arkansas State continues to win, the Red Wolves will have several Bowl Options, even including the possibility of playing in near by Memphis. Go "Inside" as AStateNation.com breaks down several scenarios.

Arkansas State become Bowl Eligible last week with a win over North Texas.

The Red Wolves improved their Bowl position here Thursday night by beating a six win Louisiana Monroe team, a team that had defeated one SEC team and played very well against another and a Big 12 school.

ASU picked up their seventh win of the season on Thursday night before a National Television audience on their home field at Liberty Bank Stadium.

"It's our goal to go to a Bowl game every year in this program," Gus Malzahn said after the big win. "We are taking one game at a time, our first priority is to win a conference championship, everything else will take care of itself."

Bowl Representatives from both the Liberty Bowl in Memphis and the New Orleans Bowl were in attendance.

AStateNation.com got the opportunity to talk with some league officials to get a better understanding of the Sun Belt tie breaking guidelines and who is required to go to the Sun Belt Bowl tie-ins.

We learned that beyond popular belief, the league champions this season does not have to attend the New Orleans Bowl on December 22.

According to officials, the New Orleans Bowl has a four year contract with the Sun Belt league and has to take the champion two out of four years, they chose not to take the champion last year and has the option to or not to this year.

This leaves the door open for this year's league champion to be able to take another Bowl Invite instead of the New Orleans Bowl.

One scenario that appears to have a legitimate shot of happening is if Arkansas State runs the table and goes 9-3 for the season, the Red Wolves would not be obligated to take a New Orleans invitation.

Liberty Bowl officials from Memphis attended Thursday night's game and its rumored that the Bluff City would really love to have Arkansas State to play in Memphis, especially if the Red Wolves win out.

"The league champion doesn't have to play in New Orleans this season," one Sun Belt official confirmed. "There are a couple of Bowls interested in some of our league teams."

The Liberty Bowl normally pits the SEC against the Conference USA Champion. This may not be the case this Bowl Season.

Both Conference USA and the SEC may come up short on having enough teams that will end up being Bowl Eligible.

So it appears that the Liberty Bowl would love to have a 9-3 Arkansas State team led by Coach Gus Malzahn as one of the two teams playing in the New Year's Eve Bowl. Imagine how many ASU fans would show up for that game.

So who would the opponent be, this is where it gets tricky.

If the Conference USA Champion opts out of playing in the Liberty Bowl for say perhaps a spot in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, a new Bowl that is now owned by Conference USA.

Then it opens the door for an Arkansas State team to play a SEC team.

How crazy would story lines be for an Arkansas State game vs say perhaps Ole Miss.

There is no doubt that a matchup between Malzahn and former ASU Head Coach and now Rebel Head Coach Hugh Freeze would create a lot of buzz among the local Bluff City media. With Freeze being a high school coach in the Memphis area before becoming the head coach at Ole Miss. The Rebels must win at least one out of their next three games to be bowl eligible.

Not saying that this will happen, but wow if it did.

Another option for Arkansas State if they lose one game out of their next two would perhaps be the Independence Bowl in Shreveport against a SEC opponent. Too bad another in-state team probably won't get Bowl Eligible.

There is no doubt that the New Orleans Bowl would love to have an instate team be one of the two teams in their Bowl, don't get me wrong, they would love to have a 9-3 ASU team as well.

After the way that ASU fans turned out in Mobile, Go Daddy.com officials would love to have Arkansas State also, but could the Red Wolves get a better bowl offer?

Gus Malzahn said in his press conference that he and his team definitely wanted to go to a Bowl game and hopes it will be a great bowl game.

Last season Western Kentucky didn't make a bowl with seven wins, it pretty obvious that ASU probably would make one with seven wins, but this team doesn't really care about seven wins.

"We want to win a conference championship," several of the ASU players and coaches said after the game. "The Bowl game will take care of itself if we continue to win our games and win our conference."

According to Sun Belt officials, there is no tie-breaking rules in the Sun Belt Conference so if there was a three way tie or even a four way tie for the conference championship then the league would have a tri-champion or even a quad champion.

It's pretty obvious Arkansas State wants win the conference outright, for the second consecutive season.

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