Since there are no qualifiers from the SEC or the Big12....Look for La. Tech to play North Carolina St., Memphis or Southern Miss in the Indy Bowl.

There is talk of Notre Dame coming back to the Indy but I don't look for that to happen.

But since there is a thread about Dooley to MSU....I thought I would post this for State fans.

Jimmy Watson: Look for Tech in I-Bowl

RUSTON When the selection committee of the Independence Bowl meets at 4 o'clock on Monday, expect an invitation to Louisiana Tech to play in the postseason bowl game to be issued shortly afterward.

And you can expect the Bulldogs to accept.

A lot still needs to transpire for those two things to happen, but there were a lot of good vibes being thrown around here on Saturday evening, following Tech's 35-31 loss to Nevada in the season finale.

While Tech and I-Bowl officials danced merrily around getting nailed down on if and when the Bulldogs would get invited for the Shreveport-based bowl for the first time since 1990 when a then-record crowd of 48,325 saw Tech and Maryland play to a 34-all tie, it wasn't hard to feel it will happen.

"When we meet, we'll survey the landscape on the WAC side and hash things out," I-Bowl chairman Keith Bergeron said following the contest. "I came here expecting Nevada would roll over Tech, but I was highly impressed with the team I saw out there on the field. I think our fans would be happy to have Louisiana Tech playing in our bowl."

Tech's deputy athletic director Bruce Van De Velde, who has been handling most of the bowl contact duties for athletic director and head football coach Derek Dooley, said the final decision will probably rest in the hands of Dooley, his staff and his players.

"All options are still on the table for us. I've had conversations with the Poinsettia Bowl, the bowl, the New Mexico Bowl, the Texas Bowl and, of course, the Independence Bowl," Van De Velde said. "All of them are outstanding opportunities for us. The Humanitarian Bowl (in Boise) is the only WAC bowl I haven't heard from."

For Tech to end its season in Shreveport, the WAC-affiliated bowls must first release the Bulldogs. Since most of those bowls normally treat the Bulldogs like so much leftover Thanksgiving turkey, don't expect that to be a problem.

Some of the Tech players have recently indicated that they might like to go further away than Shreveport to play in a bowl. But that's not a move that makes a lot of sense. Northwest Louisiana is the hub of Tech's recruiting efforts with assistant coaches spreading out in roughly a 300-mile radius. So, playing in the I-Bowl would only enhance Dooley's efforts at a critical time.

The I-Bowl will feature a payout at least as good, if not better, than the other bowls competing for Tech's attention. And Tech would get a much better fan following the closer to Ruston it plays.

"I think our kids are excited about any opportunity, but playing closer to home is something we'd all enjoy," Van De Velde said. "By the same token, we wouldn't be unhappy in San Diego or Hawaii either. But we have a tremendous number of alumni who live within an hour of Shreveport and I'm sure they'd like to see us there."

One thing is for certain " Tech is in uncharted territory under the Dooley regime. And despite a disheartening loss to Nevada on Saturday, the future is bright.

Maybe five years from now, the Bulldogs will be attracting 30,000-plus to every home game " maybe even thinking BCS bowl at this time of year. Certainly stranger things have happened.

But at this point in the Dooley venture, playing in the postseason at the Independence Bowl is where the Bulldogs need to be