Let’s enjoy bowl games while we still have them, huh?
Because of a COVID outbreak, Texas A&M is unable to play in the Gator Bowl, sources tell @SINow. Aggies don’t have enough available players.— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) December 22, 2021
Gator is searching for a replacement bowl team, sources say, but the only way that's possible is if another bowl is impacted.
Gator Bowl could have replaced Texas A&M w/a 5-7 team based on APR, sources told @ActionNetworkHQ. Rutgers had 1st option, but declined. Other not expected to accept. “How many 5-7 teams have been practicing or are still in school? None,” source said— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) December 22, 2021
Because of COVID last year, BYU was asked to play in 2 different bowls but declined, sources told @ActionNetworkHQ. One of Wake Forest’s - long shot - options to find a Gator Bowl opponent is getting a team to play in 2 bowls this season, sources said— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) December 22, 2021
As such, I have decided that Mizzou-Army is a play-in game for the Gator Bowl. WHO SAYS NO
Armed Forces Bowl
7pm | ESPN | Army -6.5 | O/U 54.5
Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, TX
Last year this game featured a big ol’ mean brawl between Mississippi State and Tulsa!
CONTENT WARNING: EXCESSIVE COWBELL
SEC leading rusher Tyler Badie is out of this one to prep for the NFL Draft, while QB Connor Bazelak is transferring. So that’s not ideal for Mizzou if “not losing to Army” is something they prioritize. Mizzou also gave up 229 rushing yards a game, which also seems bad if “not losing to Army” is something they prioritize.
You already know what Army’s good at, so I’m not going to waste your time by previewing it. Instead, I’ll take the B1G angle that Army is 6-3 all-time in bowl games, and a really special 2-0 against the Big Ten.
First, there’s the amazing football and even amazing-er intro graphics of the 1984 Cherry Bowl, where the Cadets saw off Michigan State in the Pontiac Silverdome! The Spartans force an Army punt on the first drive, then line up with two tight ends, a fullback, and a running back 8 yards deep in the backfield.
They run a bootleg and get sacked for a loss of 10 yards.
If you would like to hear an announcer losing his mind over a punt, please fast-forward to the 3:57 mark.
Did YOU know that Michigan State once had a kicker named Ralf Mojsiejenko?! I DID NOT! He misses a field goal at 7:25, likely encumbered by all those extra j’s in his name.
Michigan State lost that game, a typically quick Army affair, deciding to fumble the ball thrice (losing two) and having QB David Yarema do what I’m fairly sure all quarterbacks did in the 70s and 80s—throw 3 interceptions and for about 100 yards.
Army followed up its first-ever bowl win with a second in 1985—over the Mike White-coached Illinois Fighting Illini in the Peach Bowl! That sounds impressive, until you realize Illinois was 6-4-1 and Army won this game only by breaking up a potential game-tying 2-point conversion to win 31-29.
But you likely remember these Illini for QB Jack Trudeau—who threw for 401 yards in this game, completing 38 of 55 passes for 2 TDs, including an almost-game-tier to All-American and CFL legend David Williams—who, Big Ten fans will remember, did this in 2011 with new Indiana Hoosiers coach Kevin Wilson:
Trudeau has since had some tougher times, being busted for a second DUI in 2015 and suffering a massive stroke in 2021 that’s a byproduct of CTE.
So not all this was happy. Sorry.
You are welcome for the opportunity to pick this game:
This poll is closed