Jeff Reed: Why Are Louisiana Tech Fans Arrogant?


Jeff Reed Author PageThere are many great mysteries in this world. Obviously the meaning of life ranks up there; how we all got here; how all earth was made and manages to work so well.

And then there is this: How did a portion Louisiana Tech fans get to be so arrogant?

On Saturday, the Techsters face Arkansas State in the New Orleans Bowl in, where I guess you can figure out where it is played, on EPSN. Kickoff is 8 p.m.

From reading some message board gibberish, and some of those posts on Twitter, you would think the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs were in an ego-driven Power 5 conference and were having to play the lowest of the lows in their bowl games.

Somewhere along the way, these Louisiana Tech followers have forgotten they are in Conference USA, a league that not that long ago took a couple of the middle-of-the-pack and three cellar dwellers from the Sun Belt to bolster its ranks. That same league also added a couple of start-up programs. So while C-USA might be a little better known, it is just not that different from the Sun Belt and the top of the SBC would have no trouble competing in C-USA.

One such post claimed the Bulldogs shouldn’t even go to the Superdome to play the Red Wolves because there was nothing to gain. Nothing to gain from playing in the post-season on national TV? That’s some logic.

There was even a story this past week that the Bulldogs were having trouble getting motivated for this game until they worked out at the Saints’ practice facility and saw the Lombardi Trophy the WhoDats won in 2010? Interesting inspiration.

Arkansas State and Tech have not played in football since 1998. And while the current generation no doubt has no memory of such meetings. And since the last decade of that was in the 1990s, A-State folks have most likely erased it from their memories as well. (Some call the 1990s the Dark Ages, or The Black Hole for Arkansas State football.)

But this is not the same A-State that was run over by a danged ole train by just about everyone it played in the 1990s. The last five years have been the best five in school history and the Red Wolves are on the verge of playing in their fifth straight bowl game.

Tech could easily win this game. But it might not. Most predictions are running 50-50 and are calling for a close high-scoring game. Regardless, if it turns out to be the game is close, win or lose, it could crush some in the Louisiana Tech World.

Jeff Reed is editor of

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Comments from a Louisiana Tech press conference earlier this week

NEW ORLEANS (Dec. 17, 2015) – Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz and select student-athletes met with members of the media at the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl media luncheon and prior to the team’s practice at Yulman Stadium. A partial transcript is below.

LA Tech head coach Skip Holtz

Opening comments:

“As I have said since we got here, it is great to be in New Orleans. It is great to be here at the R+L Carriers Bowl. We are really excited about our opportunity here to play again. I think when we looked at the bowl situation and having the opportunity to play as early as possible in a great venue close to home where our fan base can get – this was a home run for us. We are really excited to have the opportunity to be here. We arrived yesterday, went and practiced at the Saints facility which was a great experience for our players with the weather to go indoors. Today, we will practice at Tulane. We will practice there to get some of the final things polished up, and then on Friday we will have an opportunity to come here in the Dome and be able to catch some punts and passes and kind of get acclimated to football in the dome. We don’t have a lot of players that have played here before and so we are really excited about the opportunity to get over here Friday and practice.

Overall, this has been a great couple days so far for us since we have been here. We had a fantastic function last night when you talk about if your players are having fun at the bowl game, we had the function last night at Shamrock where we had probably half our team on the stage rapping and everyone was competing in the video games all over the place. They had a really good time last night. We are really just starting to gear things down as the bowl game gets closer and closer.

On having a connection with the state of Arkansas:

“I have quite a connection. I grew up in Arkansas from the seventh grade all the way through high school and then went to college. I am very familiar with Arkansas State and any areas since coming back to north Louisiana and having the opportunity to recruit Arkansas and get into a lot of the southern towns in Arkansas. When I look at players like Kenneth Dixon, I know the quality athletes that are in the state of Arkansas. I am very familiar with Arkansas and have a lot of friends coming down for the bowl game.”

On the team handling bowl week:

“This team has really impressed me with their maturity. As much as we want to be here and have a good time, it is about the game. With the way we finished season and as disappointed as these players were with how we performed and finished the season, they are excited about the game. What they have really done a great job of with the leadership we have with the four captains and some of the upperclassmen and experience we have, they are on the practice field focused and dialed in. They walked in the Saints facility and there is the Lombardi Trophy and they were like, ‘Alright, let’s stretch.’ I think the same will happen for the dome. I think they will be excited to get in the dome and see it all on Friday and probably will be a little wide-eyed, but by the time we get to Saturday, this game is going to be about what goes on between the lines and not the circus that surrounds it. I think the players have done a really good job of keeping their heads. They are really focused and dialed in and really excited to play.” 

On the senior class:

“They have meant a lot to me with what they do off the field and the brotherhood and togetherness and closeness; it is a special team. It will be hard to say goodbye to a lot of them. I know when this game is over, there will be a lot of guys having a hard time taking off the uniform. They know this is going to be the last time they have a chance to put on a Louisiana Tech uniform. We talked about senior day and the last home game and how it is great for your parents and to say thank you to your fan base. At the same point in time, this is the last game they are going to play with each other. It is going to be a sentimental week for these seniors, but it is a really special group. They mean an awful lot to me because of the type of people they are and unselfish attitude and what they have brought to Louisiana Tech.”

On LA Tech and Arkansas State being former conference opponents: 

“The number of games we have played and where we are, it is a great geographical rivalry and we’re excited to have the opportunity to rekindle this. I think this is the second or third longest rivalry we have as a program. We are two programs that have both grown together starting from I-AA and working our way up. I applaud the success Arkansas State has had. They have had a number of different coaches that have gone through there over the last five or six years, but they continue to have success on the field, in the Sun Belt and with what they are doing as a defense and offense right now. They are a really good program.”

On playing a series with Arkansas State in the future: 

“I see a benefit to it. We used to be in the WAC which was very hard for our fan base to get excited about some of those rivalries when they are so far away and you cannot travel to them. I know it is something we are trying to do with playing Southern, Northwestern State, Lafayette, Monroe and Arkansas State. Now we are in Conference USA where we get to play bordering schools like Southern Miss and North Texas and UTSA, UTEP and Rice. It has been great for our fan base because they get a chance to create some of those geographical rivalries and travel and see it. I would applaud it. I think it would be great for both programs and both fan bases as well.”

CB Bryson Abraham

On bowl week:

“It has been a blessing. The New Orleans bowl has done a great job of welcoming us in. We have been having a great time together. It has just been great, especially for all of the seniors. We are looking forward to this bowl game and we are ready to compete and play to win.”

On Arkansas State quarterback Fredi Knighten:  

“He is a great quarterback and they have a great offense. What it will ultimately come down to is us doing our job. We have to stay focused on playing together. That is what we are going to do.” 

WR Paul Turner

On focusing on Saturday’s game vs. Arkansas State:

“We really focused in after we found out who we were playing. We stressed that we wanted to stay focused this week. We knew that we were going to have a lot of distractions. We were going to have some time for leisure, but we have to stay focused. Coach Holtz and the other coaches have done a great job of keeping us focused.”

Louisiana Tech Football


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