TCU HC Gary Patterson against Louisiana Tech on Dec. 12, 2020.

There were only 28 bowls scheduled to be played this season, but three of those have now gone down. The Dec. 26 Gasparilla Bowl (South Carolina-UAB) was canceled on Dec. 22 following a COVID-19 outbreak at South Carolina, the Dec. 30 Music City Bowl (Missouri-Iowa) was canceled Sunday following an outbreak at Missouri, and the Dec. 31 Texas Bowl (TCU-Arkansas) has now been canceled two days ahead of when it was supposed to be played thanks to a combination of an outbreak and injuries at TCU. Here’s the Horned Frogs’ statement from athletic director Jeremiah Donati:

This means that the Horned Frogs and coach Gary Patterson (seen above Dec. 12 against Louisiana Tech) will end their season 6-4, while the Razorbacks will finish 3-7. It also means a significant loss for ESPN’s New Year’s Eve programming schedule; they had three bowls scheduled back-to-back-to-back on the main ESPN network, with the Armed Forces Bowl (Tulsa-Liberty) at noon ET, the Liberty Bowl (West Virginia-Army) at 4 p.m. ET, and the Texas Bowl at 8 p.m. ET. And while New Year’s Eve is not normally a great night for elite sports programming ratings (as the College Football Playoff committee found out a few years back), it’s certainly a good night to have some less-prominent sports events that people can throw on the TV, perhaps especially this year with less available to do outside the home. So this is an unfortunate loss for ESPN.

[ESPN; photo from Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.