After a solid 9-2 season, Army football has been snubbed of the opportunity to play in a bowl game this year.
As a result of their contractual agreement with the Independence Bowl, the Black Knights were the first team in the NCAA to accept a bowl game invitation all the way back in October. But, the game was canceled due to a lack of available opponents on Sunday afternoon.
Independence Bowl officials released a statement saying, “the opting out of possible teams created a lack of teams available to play in bowl games.”
Army football released a statement of its own in response to the snub.
“These young men haven’t quit all year and we surely won’t quit now,” Army West Point athletic director Mike Buddie said. “They deserve better. Period.”
— Army Football (@ArmyWP_Football) December 21, 2020
A huge part of the Independence Bowl debacle comes as a result of contractual obligations and locked-in invitations for many of the NCAA’s other bowls.
Five SEC schools with losing records have accepted bowl invitations this year. 2-8 South Carolina, 4-6 Kentucky, 3-7 Arkansas and 3-6 Tennessee will all be bowling while the Black Knights sit at home. In a massive show of irony, 2-7 Mississippi State will play in the Armed Forces Bowl.
Of course we always knew this COVID-19 season was going to have some interesting bowl game selections, but this snub seemed crueler than usual.
While they could easily give up and opt out like countless other schools, it looks as though Army football will continue to fight for a bowl appearance.