When college football programs finalize their bowl destinations at the end of each year, some deserving teams often find themselves slighted. In an especially wacky 2020 season, many fans thought that would be the case.
But no team looks to have been snubbed more than Army.
The Black Knights went 9-2 in 2020, rolling over a fairly easy schedule. The group’s only two losses came against No. 8 Cincinnati and Tulane.
However, Army normally gets a guaranteed bid to the Independence Bowl. Stadium’s Brett McMurphy reported earlier this afternoon that this year’s game would be canceled.
The rest of the bowls quickly got scooped up due to conference contractual agreements. Even teams with losing records were able to get into the postseason games because of the deals.
As a result, the nine-win Army Black Knights won’t get to play in a bowl this year, according to McMurphy.
Army, despite 9-2 record & a guaranteed bid to Independence Bowl, will not be allowed to play in bowl game, sources told @Stadium. Army was snubbed because other bowls had contractual agreements w/teams & locked into taking teams w/ losing records over a 9-win team
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) December 20, 2020
To further paint a picture, no conference benefitted from the automatic bids more than the SEC. Five different teams that went under .500 from the Power Five group will make bowls due to contractual agreements.
The five schools are South Carolina (2-8), Kentucky (4-6), Arkansas (3-7), Tennessee (3-6) and Mississippi State (2-7).
Certainly not the best look from the FBS.
SEC teams below .500 going bowling:
— 2-8 South Carolina (Gasparilla)
— 4-6 Kentucky (Gator)
— 3-7 Arkansas (Texas)
— 3-6 Tennessee (Liberty)
— 2-7 MissState (Armed Forces)
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) December 20, 2020
Although Army won’t be going bowling, there’s plenty to celebrate about the 2020 season. The Black Knights knocked off both Navy and Air Force to win both rivalry games. The group still uses the triple option, showing that the run-heavy offense can get the job done if executed well.
Over the last five years, under head coach Jeff Monken, Army has had four winning seasons. The seventh-year program leader of the Black Knights turned the group around after a disappointing start to the decade.
But Army will still be left wondering what could’ve been this bowl season.