Boise State out of Arizona Bowl due to COVID-19

Boise State became the latest team to back out of a bowl game due to COVID-19 cases.

The Broncos are unable to play in Friday’s Arizona Bowl against Central Michigan per Barstool Sports, the title sponsor of the game. Boise State’s inability to play the game may set up an opportunity for Central Michigan to play Washington State in the Sun Bowl.

The Cougars are looking for an opponent to play in El Paso on Friday after Miami had to back out of the Sun Bowl because of COVID-19 cases. 

There are many financial reasons for Central Michigan to head to El Paso to play Washington State. The Sun Bowl has a combined payout of over $4 million while the payout for teams in the Arizona Bowl is less than $500,000. That disparity sets up a potential scenario where the Arizona Bowl is canceled.

If the Arizona Bowl is canceled it will become the fourth bowl game to not be played because of the surge in COVID-19 cases. The Hawaii Bowl was the first bowl to be canceled after Hawaii didn’t have enough players and the Military Bowl and Fenway Bowl were canceled on Sunday as Virginia (Fenway Bowl) and Boston College (Military Bowl) couldn’t field teams. 

Texas A&M was the first school to back out of a game because of COVID-19 cases but the Gator Bowl was able to recruit Rutgers as a replacement. That game is also set to be played on Friday between the Scarlet Knights and Wake Forest.