Nine wins and nowhere to play. That’s the unfortunate spot Army finds itself in after the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., was canceled on Sunday.
The Black Knights of the Hudson (9-2) were supposed to play a Pac-12 team on Dec. 26, until the bowl was called off because there isn’t a team from the conference willing to play. USC, Stanford, Washington, Utah, Arizona State, UCLA and Washington State all opted out of the postseason because of COVID-19 concerns and players wanting to be home for the holidays. Twenty-two teams in all have passed on playing in bowls.
Part of the problem for Army, which is coming off wins over Navy and Air Force to win the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy, is most bowls have contracts with certain teams and conferences. As a result, there is a lack of flexibility. For this reason, there are several teams with fewer wins than Army that have bowl games lined up.
Army, though, is still determined to find an opponent.
“These young men haven’t quit all year, and we surely won’t quit now,” athletic director Mike Buddie said in a statement released Sunday night. “They deserve better. Period. They have earned an opportunity to get 10 wins and, as we have all year, we will continue to fight to get them that opportunity.
“We want to thank all the constituents at the Independence Bowl for their invitation and hospitality as we were looking forward to our trip to the city of Shreveport.”