Red Wolves with seven wins thinking Bowls

Hugh Freeze doesn't want to talk about it. Arkansas State University Football fans can't do anything else but to think about it. I'm talking about the Red Wolves being bowl eligible with seven wins for the first time since joining the FBS. AStateNation.com goes one on one with Dr. Dean Lee, the athletic director of the Arkansas State Red Wolves to answer some bowl type questions.

Hugh Freeze doesn't want to talk about it.

Arkansas State University Football fans can't do anything else but to think about it.

I'm talking about the Red Wolves being bowl eligible with seven wins for the first time since joining the FBS.

There is no doubt more excitement and energy surrounding this Arkansas State Football Program this season than any in recent memory, AStateNation.com caught up with ASU Athletic Director Dr. Dean Lee to his thoughts on several subjects.

One of the biggest questions that Red Wolf fans are wanting to know is which bowl game will Arkansas State get an invitation to. Will it be the New Orleans Bowl or will it be the Go Daddy.Com Bowl?

"The New Orleans Bowl has the first choice in the selection process," Dr. Lee explained. "They have to take the Sun Belt Champion once every three years, they have done that already and can take whoever they choose to this year. They have the opportunity to take the champion or they can choose to take a different team as long as the Sun Belt Champion is taken care of by the other bowl tie-in."

While there is a lot of speculation from members of the New Orleans media, a decision has not been made at this point.

"Right now they can't extend any offers," Dr. Lee said. "Many feel that the New Orleans Bowl may take Louisiana Lafayette because of the proximity to the school from New Orleans. From a legal standpoint, they can't extend an offer until everything has played out."

Another thing Bowl officials from the New Orleans Bowl officials will look at is attendance figures of each team.

"It's very important that we continue to have big crowds especially this weekend against Lafayette," Dr. Lee said. "It definitely can play a role in their decision."

While at first it appeared that it was going to be a given that the New Orlean's Bowl would pick ULL, that sentiment has recently changed.

It appears that Bowl Officials are getting pressure from sponsors to take the Sun Belt Champion regardless.

"We want to be the Sun Belt Champion and the first on the docket in the selection process," Dr Lee stated. "Both Bowls are great Bowls."

Could being selected to the Go Daddy.Com Bowl be a positive for the Red Wolves?

"We won't be disappointed with either bowl," Dr. Lee said. "The Bowl in Mobile is the last Bowl played prior to the BCS Championship. It will give our coaching staff and our team the maximum opportunity for practice and exposure on a national basis. It will also give our school more time to sell tickets and to market our product."

One drawback of the New Orleans Bowl this season is the fact that Arkansas State ends the regular Sun Belt season on Dec 3 against Troy State. The New Orleans Bowl would be just a two weekend turn around after the Red Wolves regular season finale.

"From an injury standpoint, getting players back from injuries and bruises it makes the Mobile Bowl a little more attractive this year," Dr. Lee confirmed. "Mobile just like New Orleans puts on a great Bowl for the teams, their fans and everyone involved."

Many Arkansas State Fans have been wondering if the Red Wolves win out and go 10-2 could ASU end up in a bigger bowl?

"No," Dr. Lee said. "The only way that could happen is if we finished No. 8 or better in the BCS Standings. With our league tie-ins we have to go to one of those two bowls. Other bowls would be out of the question."

Another question many fans in the Sun Belt Conference is having right now is about the possibility of a three way tie in the conference.

Arkansas State currently sits atop the Sun Belt Standings with a 5-0 record, Louisiana Lafayette and Western Kentucky only have one loss each. A Louisiana victory over ASU Saturday would put three teams in the conference with one loss a piece. We asked Dr. Lee about the tie breaking system in the Sun Belt.

"You typically go to head to head competition in case of a tie," Dr. Lee said. "In this case all three team would be even from the regards of ASU beating WKU, ULL beating ASU and WKU beating ULL. Then you would have tri-champs of the conference and this is where it could get interesting in the bowl selections."

According to Dr. Lee this is where the scenario of another bowl coming into play could be an option.

"The New Orleans Bowl would get first choice, The Go Daddy Bowl.Com Bowl would get second choice and they could take whichever team that they liked at that point. The most marketable team, the team that has the better attendance, etc. Another Bowl could take a bowl eligible Sun Belt team as an at large bid."

One of those bowls could be the one in Birmingham, Alabama, last season FIU played in Detroit.

"I feel very good about our chances of going to a bowl game this year," Dr. Lee said. "There are still a lot of games to still be played. There are 55 teams currently bowl eligible for 70 Bowl spots. We aren't satisfied with seven wins, I know our coaching staff, our players and our fans want more."