The games will also feel different, and not just because fan participation is either banned or severely restricted.

Steve Beck, President and Executive Director of the Military Bowl Foundation, said there will be fewer pregame events for this year’s game, scheduled for December 28th in Annapolis. Teams won’t arrive until roughly two days before the game, unlike previous years when they’ve been on site for almost a week to get a full schedule of tourist activities, dinners, and other events. He reckons both teams will likely decide to lock themselves up in their hotels for most of the time in the area at this year’s game, which is another problem for Beck: one of the hotel bowl officials hosting a team The Washington Hilton was scheduled to be closed due to the pandemic.

Beck and Scott Ramsey, president and general manager of the Music City Bowl in Nashville, said organizers of this year’s bowl games would focus on teams that don’t have to travel far.

“You will see projections from teams that will stay in their region as much as possible,” Ramsey told the Tennessean. “And for us, of course, that would make you look at Tennessee or Kentucky. You could also have Missouri or Ole Miss or Auburn. It would be teams that need some kind of half-day drive or short flight to get their teams on and off in a short amount of time at a lower cost. “

Due to the pandemic, the NCAA has waived the requirement that teams must win six games in order to qualify for a bowl, meaning all 127 FBS teams are eligible. However, at least six teams have announced that they will not be participating in a bowl game for various reasons.

Beck said the Military Bowl may focus on “bus-ready” teams. In the case of the Music City Bowl, Tennessee can finish at 4-6 at best on its current schedule, but is eligible to play in Nashville, which is less than a three-hour drive from the volunteer campus. Kentucky, which ended 4-6, is just over three hours from Nashville.

Long distance travel, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention During the Pandemic does not recommend, is inevitable for some bowl games. The Guaranteed Rate Bowl has arrangements with the Big Ten and Big 12 to play in Phoenix on December 26th, but the closest school to any of these conferences is Texas Tech, approximately 735 miles away. Army has already qualified for a berth in the Independence Bowl against a team from the Pac-12. The Black Knights campus in New York is 1,450 miles from Shreveport, La., The location of the Bowl, while the closest Pac-12 campus is in Colorado, approximately 1,000 miles away.

Bowl schedule

Appalachian State versus North Texas

Louisiana Tech versus Georgia Southern

Florida Atlantic versus Memphis

Texas San Antonio versus Big 12 / ACC

Georgia State versus Western Kentucky

4 p.m., CBS Sports Network

Rose Bowl (College Football Playoffs Semi-Finals)

Sugar Bowl (College Football Playoffs Semi-Finals)

ACC / Notre Dame v SEC / Big Ten

College Football Playoff Championship Game

Aborted games

Frisco Bowl, Frisco, Texas (Americans versus Conference USA): The SMU was due to play Texas San Antonio in the first game of the bowl schedule on Saturday, but had to withdraw due to the coronavirus situation. The game was canceled on Tuesday, and the Roadrunners went to the First Responder Bowl instead on December 26th.

LA Bowl, Inglewood, Calif. (Pac-12 v Mountain West): The first edition of the game was scheduled to play on December 30th.

Las Vegas Bowl, Las Vegas (Pac-12 v SEC): ESPN, which owns and operates the bowl, announced its cancellation.

Redbox Bowl, Santa Clara, California (Big Ten vs. Pac-12): The first game that was canceled in July. The organizers cited the pandemic, but also the fact that the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers hadn’t renewed the game’s contract for the game at Levi’s Stadium. With no stadium amid a pandemic, the game was canceled.

Celebration Bowl, New Orleans (MEAC vs SWAC): The bowl game between champions historically black colleges and university conferences was canceled in July after MEAC announced it would cancel its football season.

Hawaii Bowl, Honolulu (Mountain West v AAC): ESPN has canceled the Hawaii Bowl, for most years the only sporting event held on October 2nd on Christmas Eve citing pandemic travel restrictions.

Holiday Bowl, San Diego (Pac-12 v ACC): Bowl organizers canceled the game on October 22nd because fans weren’t allowed to attend, negating the game’s tourist impact on the San Diego area.

Quick Lane Bowl, Detroit (Big Ten vs ACC / MAC): The NFL’s Detroit Lions who operate the bowl announced their cancellation on October 30th. No reason was given.

Pinstripe Bowl, the Bronx (ACC vs. Big Ten): The bowl organizers announced on November 27th that the game was canceled “out of caution”.

Sun Bowl, El Paso (ACC v Pac-12): The country’s second oldest bowl game, played every year since 1935, was canceled on December 1 due to exploding coronavirus cases in the El Paso area.

Moved bowl games

Fenway Bowl, Boston (AAC vs. ACC): The bowl game at Fenway Park was scheduled to start this year, but has been canceled. A game in Montgomery, Ala., Is planned as a replacement for 2020. The Montgomery Bowl will be played on December 23rd.

New Mexico Bowl, Albuquerque (American, Conference USA, Mountain West): This year’s New Mexico Bowl will be played on December 24th at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Tex.

Teams that won’t bowl

Boston College: Earlier this month, the Eagles became the first team to announce that they would be without a bowl game in 2020. Sports director Patrick Kraft named the “emotional, mental and physical stress” of playing in the midst of a pandemic as the reason. Boston College finished season 6-5 and was likely headed to either the Gasparilla Bowl or the Military Bowl.

Pittsburgh: One day after beating Georgia Tech in the season finale, the Panthers withdrew from the bowl test.

SMU: The Mustangs said goodbye to the team from the Frisco Bowl against Texas-San Antonio on Saturday because of the coronavirus situation. The status of the game stays in the air.

Stanford: The Cardinal announced that his season would end after Saturday’s game against UCLA.

Virginia: The Cavaliers announced on Sunday that they would move away from bowl deliberation.


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