NORFOLK, VA (WTKR)- Any suspense as to whether Old Dominion will play in a postseason bowl game was eliminated on Thursday, but not because the Monarchs accepted any sort of invitation.
The NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee approved a plan to add an additional bowl game, allowing spots for all 84 bowl-eligible teams.
The NCAA says that three leagues, Conference USA, the MAC and the Mountain West, requested that the two bowl spots vacated when the Redbox Bowl was cancelled in September be used to create a one-time postseason contest. The committee agreed to waive the April 1 bowl certification application deadline so the game could be created. The Action Network is reporting that the game will be played in Texas on a date to be determined.
"We are always looking for opportunities for student-athletes to participate and we felt this was one that fit within the construct," said Sandy Barbour, the chair of the oversight committee.
Old Dominion gained bowl eligibility by ending its regular season on a five game winning streak to finish 6-6. The Monarchs' lone bowl appearance to date was the 2016 Bahamas Bowl in which ODU topped Eastern Michigan, 24-20.
"If you're a human being who likes college football, and you go into that locker room, there is a zero percent chance you're not sending that team to a bowl game," Old Dominion head coach Ricky Rahne said after Saturday's win over Charlotte. "If somebody decides not to send us to a bowl game, then they probably take candy from babies and kick puppies because this team has earned it."
The Monarchs' have rebounded nicely in 2021. ODU finished 2019 with a 1-11 record and the program did not participate in the 2020 campaign. After a 1-6 start to the campaign, the Monarchs beat their first FBS opponent since November of 2018 when they defeated Louisiana Tech on October 30 and won out to secure bowl eligibility.