HD Roundtable: Importance of Bowl Game

Question: Quandre Diggs said that Texas not making a bowl game "just wouldn’t kill us, it would kill the program." So if UT doesn't make a bowl game this season, how big of a setback would this be for the Longhorns moving forward?

William’s Take

I completely understand why Quandre Diggs said on Monday that not making a bowl game “wouldn’t kill us, it would kill the program.” But I don’t necessarily agree with him.

For a senior, who has endured as much turmoil as he has, especially having grown up around this program when all it was doing was winning 10 games or more a season, not making a bowl game has to be an unimaginable thought.

But given everything that this program has gone through since Charlie Strong took over – from dismissals and suspensions to injuries – I don’t think it would be the end of the world if UT didn’t make a bowl.

Obviously getting those extra practices for younger players would be a huge boost. But the continued focus of this program moving forward has to be on the recruiting trail. And, as Shawn Watson mentioned on Tuesday, any offensive recruit who has watched Texas play this season should feel confident in their ability to see the field early in their careers should they choose UT. That’s a point Texas can sell whether it makes a bowl or not.

Defensively, I think Texas has done enough to give recruits an idea as to what type of defense UT will put on the field moving forward. The Longhorns should be fine defensively.

Public perception will be what it is. It will vary between the realists and those optimistic and understanding given all that Texas has endured this season. Whether or not UT makes a bowl game, it will survive.

Chip’s Take

I don't know what to make of Quandre these days. I know he's frustrated. But either he knows something we don't. Or he's just really pissed off and venting.

Obviously, with Steve Patterson saying this week he thinks everyone saw this year as a rebuilding year, Strong is getting a pass this season.

Not making a bowl won't kill the program. Not having depth at QB or on the offensive line for years will kill the program.

I understand Quandre's frustration. But a comment like that is not only not based in reality, it hurts the program.

Jason’s Take

The important thing for Texas and Charlie Strong is to rebuild the program.

While it would be important to make a bowl game for extra practices for the younger players on the team missing a bowl game is not the end of the world.

These guys need to concentrate and focus on recruiting just like they have been since the day they arrived. Any football program is built up through recruiting and it's the lifeline of every single program in America.

This team is going to turn around through recruiting and coaching not by making a bowl game, an insignificant bowl game at that.

Gabe’s Take

While missing a bowl game certainly is not what the new staff wanted in its first season in Austin, I don't think I would classify that situation as a program-killer.

There seems to be a reasonable amount of patience surrounding this program, from both people in charge and recruiting targets. Now, that won't remain forever, but it seems like the proper amount of tempered expectations are being applied to the start of the Charlie Strong era, which is one that began under circumstances that weren't the most ideal.

I can appreciate Diggs' sense of urgency, though, and it may be a good thing that a veteran leader is putting some public pressure on the rest of the roster. He may be using hyperbole to drive home his point. I don't necessarily blame him for that.

To qualify for a bowl bid, this team would have to win at least three of its final four contests. Obviously, if Texas did that, it would create a lot of momentum, not only on the field for whatever the bowl game would be, but in recruiting as signing day approaches.

Perhaps Diggs' words will inspire such a run. But even if they don't, and this team is sitting at home in bowl season, I don't think that will classify as a program-killer. That said, I can respect the pressure Diggs is putting on his teammates.

Nick’s Take

Quandre Diggs has been by far one of the best players to step foot on the Forty Acres. Not necessarily because of his skill but because he’s not afraid to speak his mind. But speaking his mind isn’t always a good thing – Monday he said that missing a bowl game “just wouldn’t kill us, it would kill the program.”

Many of the things Diggs says are true but this is one Diggs has gotten wrong. When you lose your starting center, two tackles and quarterback expectations lower.

Missing a bowl game will hurt the program in terms of outside perception but not from a recruiting stand point. The biggest thing Charlie Strong and the rest of the coaching staff will be able to do in recruiting is tell the players they will have an immediate opportunity to play and to build the program in Strong’s image.

So, no missing a bowl game will not be the end of the world.


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