Conference championship choice sparks confusion
Published: Monday, December 2, 2013
Updated: Monday, December 2, 2013 22:12
The campus of Marshall University was still feeling the aftermath of the Herd’s trouncing of East Carolina, solidifying its spot in the Conference USA Championship football game for the first time since joining the conference in 2005, as they awaited the announcement of who would host the championship football game. Sunday morning, both the Coaches and Harris Polls had Marshall at just under the top 25, while Rice was nowhere to be found.
Come 8:30 p.m., most Marshall fans were convinced that Marshall would host the championship game. Some football players from Marshall even tweeted confirming that Marshall was host. Those dreams were quickly dashed when the official announcement came from C-USA around 9 p.m., that due to placing higher in the BCS rankings, Rice would host Marshall in the championship game.
This announcement caused a bit of outrage for Marshall fans everywhere. The C-USA Facebook and Twitter pages were flooded with negative comments from Marshall fans, and some fans also put comments on Rice related pages as well.
Theories arose as to why Marshall was not the host. The most prevalent theory was that with Rice being in Houston, and the C-USA offices being in Texas as well, that meant that Rice got the hosting position due to same-state bias.
Senior Tyler Rice said he felt that Marshall was almost certain to host the game.
“It’s just so disappointing, because almost all of the polls had us ahead of Rice, but the deciding factor was from a bunch of computers,” Rice said.
Another theory was that all the games that Marshall lost were games that the Herd should have won. Some felt the Herd should have beaten the Ohio Bobcats, especially after it finished the season at 7-5, but the Herd simply couldn’t get it done. While it can be argued that both the Virginia Tech Hokies and Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders are decent teams, Marshall should have picked up the W both of those times as well.
The C-USA Championship game is at noon Saturday on ESPN2.
Colton Jeffries can be contacted at Jeffries17@marshall.edu.