In a year where every college football team still standing is bowl eligible, the number of games for them to play in is shrinking daily.
Bowl cancellations started in earnest this week. The inflection point came on the West Coast, where COVID-19 cases are spiking to untenable highs and a shutdown looms. In some cases, individual counties are shutting down any activity that would gather teams or groups of people.
First Nine Bowl Games Called
Despite the pandemic, bowl organizers were cautiously optimistic this summer as 43 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) bowl games were scheduled before kickoff in late-August.
As of Friday, the number is down to 34 and shrinking. The first casualty on the calendar is the Frisco Bowl on Dec. 19.
No Vegas Baby
The Las Vegas Bowl, which was scheduled to match a Pac-12 team with an SEC opponent, was set to play for the first time at Allegiant Stadium, the Las Vegas Raiders’ new home.
The game was called off on Thursday.
“Unfortunately, we will have to wait another year to present the Las Vegas Bowl in its new home,” Las Vegas Bowl executive director John Saccenti said in a statement. “This was a difficult decision, but the right one.”
Including Vegas, the Pac-12 has lost a quintet of bowl games, the others being Redbox, Bahamas, the Holiday, and the Sun.
The only remaining Pac-12 option is the Alamo Bowl, which has not yet officially been called off.
“The Pac-12 is disappointed for our teams and fans,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement about the Las Vegas Bowl. “We look forward to next year’s game, which promises to be a fantastic national stage in one of the world’s best football stadiums.
The two College Football Playoff semifinal games are scheduled for Jan. 1, 2021. This season’s semifinal venues are the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. The College Football Playoff National Championship is scheduled for Jan. 11 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
2020-21 Bowl Games Cancellations
The following bowl games have already been taken off this year’s postseason schedule. It’s likely that other games will be added to this list in the coming weeks.
- Holiday Bowl (ACC vs. Pac-12)
- Las Vegas Bowl (Pac-12 vs. SEC)
- Bahamas Bowl (Big Ten vs. Pac-12)
- Redbox Bowl (Big Ten vs. Pac-12)
- Sun Bowl (ACC vs. Pac-12)
- Celebration Bowl (MEAC vs. SWAC)
- Fenway Bowl (AAC vs. ACC)
- Hawaii Bowl (AAC vs. Mountain West)
- Pinstripe Bowl (ACC vs. Big Ten)
- Quick Lane Bowl (ACC, Big Ten, MAC)