By Arnie Leshin
It was back on Dec. 17, the night before bowling, all 44 college football games, but it wouldn’t be that many after the coronavirus pandemic zeroed in on some of these games, with five cancelled and three bringing in replacement schools.
As for picking them, it’s all for fun so I’m not overly upset over how poorly I’ve done so far. Presently, I’ve gotten 18 right and 15 wrong, but when the initial cancellation rolled in, I was at 8-7, and that came when host Hawaii had to cancel its Hawaii Bowl in Honolulu against Memphis when it had too many positive virus issues.
That was Dec. 23, and I had picked Hawaii because it almost never loses at its island home, so we will never know the outcome of this one.
Four days later came the second cancellation, the Military Bowl in Annapolis, Md. It was Boston College versus East Carolina, I picked BC but that’s who cancelled out due to too many virus positives.
The next day, it was the Guaranteed Bowl in Phoenix, Ariz, where UCLA was paired with North Carolina State, who I picked, but the Bruins had to cancel out when virus issues appeared within its players and staff.
That same day, the anticipated initial Fenway Bowl at the Boston Red Sox ballpark was cancelled with Virginia and SMU scheduled to take the field. I picked SMU, but that’s another one that we won’t know about.C
On the last day of 2021, 17th-ranked Wake Forest had been scheduled to take on No. 23 Texas A & M in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., but when the Aggies had virus issues and cancelled out, the NCAA committee allowed Rutgers, at 5-7, to be the replacement and the Demon Deacons had no problem disposing of the Scarlet Knights.
Also on the 31st of December, Washington State and Miami of Florida were matched-up in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Tx, only to have the Hurricanes have to cancel because of too many positive virus players. and staff.
And around the same time the Arizona Bowl in Tucson, scheduled for the same day between Central Michigan and Boise State, was cancelled by Boise State, which left Central Michigan and Washington State then agreeing to meet up in the Sun Bowl.
So from Tucson, Ariz., Central Michigan made the trip to El Paso and then led 24-0 before Washington State made a late rush and lost 24-21.
So let’s see who plays today and who doesn’t, and currently there’s no word of cancellations, with the schedule having the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla, between No. 22 Arkansas and Penn State, the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla. between No. 17 Iowa and No. 25 Kentucky, and the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., between No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 8 Oklahoma State.
Later that day, there’s the bowl of bowls, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. between No. 7 Ohio State and No. 10 Utah, as well as the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, La., matching No. 6 Baylor with No. 8 Mississippi.
On Tuesday, there’s the Texas Bowl in Houston lining up LSU versus Kansas State.
The following Monday, it’s the College Playoff championship between No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia after the Crimson Tide rolled over No. 4 Cincinnati, 27-6, and the Bulldogs outplayed No. 2 Michigan, 24-10.