LSU's Ridley ruled ineligible for bowl

Unless LSU wins an appeal, the Tigers will be without leading rusher Stevan Ridley for the AT&T Cotton Bowl.

LSU coach Les Miles said Wednesday that the matter was academic-related, although Miles declined to be specific. He did say there was an appeal in the works.

Ridley was the centerpiece of the Tigers' offense this season -- and in many cases -- was their only offense. He was fourth in the SEC in rushing with 1,042 yards and scored 14 touchdowns.

LSU's passing game struggled for most of the season, which means a couple of freshman running backs could be counted on to step up against Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl. Redshirt freshman Michael Ford started in two games and rushed for 235 yards, averaging 5.7 yards per carry. True freshman Spencer Ware could also see his role increase after carrying the ball just 14 times this season. Senior Richard Murphy would also be in that backfield rotation.

The Tigers leaned heavily on Ridley down the stretch. He carried the ball 59 times in their last three SEC games and scored six touchdowns.