PORTALES — Eastern New Mexico University’s football season is officially over.
The Greyhounds, who went 7-3, shared the Lone Star Conference championship with Tarleton State at 5-1 and ended the year on a six-game winning streak, were not chosen for either the Heart of Texas Bowl in Copperas Cove, Texas, or the Texarkana Bowl, both scheduled for Dec. 7.
Tarleton will face Ouachita Baptist (Ark.) in the Heart of Texas Bowl, while Texas A&M-Commerce (7-4, 2-4 LSC) was chosen for the Texarkana Bowl against a foe to be determined.
Second-year coach Josh Lynn was philosophical on Tuesday about the turn of events.
“The bottom line is if we beat Tarleton we’re in a bowl game or the playoffs and if we beat (New Mexico) Highlands (in the season opener), we’re in a bowl game,” he said.
The Hounds, picked for sixth in the seven-team league just ahead of Commerce in preseason, had two comeback wins from more than 20 points down during their season-ending streak. That served as the catalyst to their stunning finish, which was capped by impressive wins at home over then-No. 12 Midwestern State and at Commerce.
ENMU played seven road games this season, including an exhibition against the Air Force junior varsity, and won six of them.
“We weren’t playing that good early,” Lynn said. “We finally got it going, but it was too late.”
West Texas A&M, the only LSC team with fewer than three losses, earned the conference’s only playoff berth. The Buffaloes (9-2, 4-2), who reached the national semifinals last year, are seeded No. 6 in Division II’s “Super Region Four” and travel to third-seeded Indianapolis (10-1) in a first-round game on Saturday.