It was revealed yesterday that Texas A&M had paused bowl preparation due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the team, and today, the unfortunate outcome of that outbreak was realized: The Aggies have backed out of the Gator Bowl against Wake Forest, which was slated to be played on Friday, Dec. 31 (the Aggies had been a three-point favorite*, according to DraftKings Sportsbook). A&M is reportedly is down to only 42 scholarship players (four of which are kickers), which is 13 below the SEC’s 2020 minimum to play a game.
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.
Texas A&M is the first college football team to back out of a bowl in 2021, but given the outbreaks that seem to be happening across the sports landscape, they likely won’t be the last. The Aggies roster problems also weren’t helped by a number of transfers and early opt outs for the 2022 NFL Draft.
So it seems the Aggies will finish the year at 8-4, and while that night in Baton Rouge is a sour way to unexpectedly end your season, there’s a lot to look forward to in 2022, with a ton of talent returning, as well as the much-discussed 2022 recruiting class.
And with that, the Aggie Football offseason has arrived.
*Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.