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Gator Bowl Reportedly Finds Replacement For Texas A&M

a general view of Big Ten school rutgers' high point stadium

PISCATAWAY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 21: General view of High Point Solutions Stadium before the start of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Arkansas Razorbacks game on September 21, 2013 in Piscataway, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)

Earlier today, the 8-4 Texas A&M Aggies were forced to drop out of this year's Gator Bowl due to an outbreak of COVID-19 within the program. Now just a few hours later, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and the bowl have found a new opponent.

According to reports from NJ.com, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights are expected to receive and accept an unexpected Gator Bowl invitation.

This news comes despite conflicting reports that stated Rutgers had denied the invitation earlier today.

Rutgers was reportedly offered the bid because the program has the highest Academic Progress Rate (APR) score among all available 5-7 teams. If the bid goes through as planned, the Scarlet Knights will become the only 5-7 team in this year's bowl season.

The NCAA football oversight committee still has to sign off on Rutger's candidacy in a Thursday meeting, but that's reportedly expected to be just a formality.

With this unexpected entrance, Rutgers will snap the second longest bowl drought among Power Five programs dating back to 2014.

The Scarlet Knights will be heavy underdogs against ACC runner-up Wake Forest (10-3).

The Taxslayer Gator Bowl is scheduled to kickoff at 11 a.m. ET on Dec. 31.