Middle Tennessee had the biggest win improvement in the country in 2012, compiled an 8-4 overall record, and played for its conference championship.
On Sunday night, the Blue Raiders found out that wasn't enough as a bowl invitation was never extended to a program that owns more SBC wins than any team in league history.
"I am so proud of this football team and what they have accomplished this season and the turnaround they have made," said Director of Athletics Chris Massaro. "This incredibly frustrating turn of events won't define us or our season. I think it is clear that the bowl system needs improvement and should be better than this. I believe in this football team, the momentum we have built, and the future is bright."
The Blue Raiders tied for second in the Sun Belt Conference with a 6-2 record, joining Louisiana and Louisiana-Monroe. Louisiana accepted a bid to the New Orleans Bowl on November 24 and ULM agreed to play in the Independence Bowl on Saturday.
"This is devastating for those seniors and our entire team," said Head Coach Rick Stockstill. "They did what they had to do on the football field and were not rewarded. It was very tough facing my team and telling them their season was over. We had a great year and we will not let the momentum of our 8-4 season be derailed by other people's decisions that I don't agree with."