The UTSA football program was served a bitter dish of rejection this afternoon after being left out to dry by the bowl selection committees. After their season opener was washed out by Hurricane Harvey, the Roadrunners went on to finish their 11 game season with a 6-5 record, including the program’s first ever win over a Power Five opponent.
In a twisted sense of fortune, the bowl exclusion guarantees UTSA its first winning season since 2013 when the Roadrunners finished the year 7-5 but were ineligible for a bowl game due to FBS transition procedures.
Nearly every bowl projection available had the Roadrunners traveling to either the Armed Forces, New Mexico, or Frisco bowls however some late additions to the roster of bowl eligible teams provided a jolt to the anticipated selections.
In an unexpected move, Conference USA appears to have traded their spot in the Armed Forces Bowl for a slot in the Camellia Bowl which selected a 6-6 Middle Tennessee squad. Western Kentucky was also selected for a bowl game over UTSA despite having one more loss than the Roadrunners, both with six wins.
Despite an underwhelming season on the field, UTSA fans still showed up to support their program as the Roadrunners finished ranked second in attendance for C-USA programs as they averaged 22,821 fans per game.
Attendance, geography, and winning percentage aside, it’s painfully obvious that UTSA was snubbed due to their miserable product on offense. The second half of UTSA’s season was awfully dull and hard to watch due to an inability to cross the goal line on offense. UTSA notched seven points against FIU, nine points against Marshall, and six points against Louisiana Tech. Casual fans simply have no interest in taking in games like those despite UTSA’s defensive and special teams excellence. Defense may win championships but offense draws eyeballs to ESPN.
Besides the players who sacrificed so much this season and deserved to be rewarded with a bowl game, interim Offensive Coordinator Jeff Kastl will miss out on a huge opportunity as he was set to call plays for UTSA during the Roadrunners’ bowl game. You really hate to see a young guy miss out on what could have been a big stepping stone in his career like that through no fault of his own.
With the season concluded Head Coach Frank Wilson will continue to rack up the miles out on the road recruiting his 2018 class ahead of the early signing period that begins on December 20th. Wilson will also begin interviewing candidates for UTSA’s next offensive coordinator in the “very near future” per JJ Perez of Inside Runner Sports.