COVID-19 chaos at Gator Bowl as Texas A&M cancels

Covid-19 surgical mask and an American style football on a chalkboard with a play diagramed.
Will an opponent be found for Wake Forest?

Multiple sources are reporting the anticipated Gator Bowl match up between Wake Forest and Texas A&M will not happen because the Aggies are dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak.

The Gator Bowl wants a replacement for the Texas team, and it appears that Rutgers University is on board. Rutgers won five games in 2021.

Texas A&M battled COVID-19 in its program for a number of days before the decision not to attend became public on Wednesday.

“It is unclear exactly how many Aggies have been put into COVID-19 protocols, but combined with opt-outs and other injuries, the Maroon & White have apparently fallen below the threshold required to travel and participate in a bowl game,” noted TexAgs.com, a publication devoted to Texas A&M athletics.

Opt outs already took a significant toll, the report notes.

“Since the conclusion of the regular season, quarterback Zach Calzada (who started A&M’s final 10 games) entered the transfer portal. Defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal, a projected first-round pick, declared for the NFL Draft. Tight end Jalen Wydermyer, running back Isaiah Spiller, defensive lineman Jayden Peevy, safety Leon O’Neal Jr. and tackle Kenyon Green have also followed suit and were expected to skip the postseason contest.”

The program had been shut down since at least Saturday, a fact confirmed Tuesday to the Florida Times-Union. Despite that irregularity, optimism officially reigned that the game could happen, despite the daunting circumstances.

As the omicron variant of COVID-19 rears its head, we may see more impacts on the gridiron as bowls and playoffs proceed. Though college football games have otherwise gone without the need to cancel, the National Football League rescheduled games this past week because of COVID-19 roster constraints.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


3 comments

  • Frankie M.

    December 22, 2021 at 4:11 pm

    “Though college football games have otherwise gone without the need to cancel, the National Football League rescheduled games this past week because of COVID-19 roster constraints.”

    How many college games were canceled last season? More than the NFL. NFL doesn’t cancel games because they want the TV revenue. Pretty soon they’ll stop testing altogether. As far as A&M missing out on a payday…a few boosters (Shad) can stroke a check for that amount. I’d be more upset if I were the demon deacons from Wake. Small school with limited alumni base that will not travel like A&M fanbase. This a cluster for gatabowl folks lookin fer heads n beds.

    tldr: Jimbo is opting out so he can declare for the NFL draft. Look for the Jags to take Jimbo #1 overall because that’s what we do.

  • Frankie M.

    December 23, 2021 at 8:38 am

    AG thinks you have to have a winning record to play in a bowl game. Bless his heart. It’s all about $$. Nobody goes to these games. (See ticket sales to gata bowl before jimbo pulled out early.) Even less people watch them but it’s all about sponsorships and tv revenue. Jimmy Kimmel bowl? Give me a break.

  • Frankie M.

    December 24, 2021 at 11:16 am

    Kudos to the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers for coming to the rescue! Now we have 2 teams whose living alumni would not be enough to fill up the tiaa stadium. Neither team is of any regional significance and won’t sell tix and/or put heads in beds. If I’m the gata bowl committee I’d have pushed for the gatas to play instead of rutgers. After all they do have/had a winning record & they barely showed up for the (gasp)arilla bowl in tampa so you know they’re well rested.

Comments are closed.


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