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Texas A&M Football

Texas A&M unable to play in 2021 Gator Bowl due to COVID-19 issues

December 22, 2021
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No. 25 Texas A&M’s 2021 Taxslayer Gator Bowl matchup with No. 17 Wake Forest has been canceled due to COVID-19 issues within the A&M program. The Aggies will officially conclude the 2021 season with an 8-4 record.

The Gator Bowl is currently searching for a replacement and is officially the first bowl of the 2021-2022 bowl season to be affected by this wave of COVID-19. Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger was the first to report the news.

It is unclear exactly how many Aggies have been put into COVID-19 protocols, but combined with opt-outs and other injuries, the Maroon & White have apparently fallen below the threshold required to travel and participate in a bowl game.

The cancelation is a disappointing end to what was a somewhat disappointing 2021 campaign. Aside from an upset of No. 1 Alabama on October 9, the Aggies largely underachieved coming off a 9-1 season in 2020, a year that also featured a cancelation due to COVID-19. Texas A&M entered the season with national championship aspirations, but an injury to starting quarterback Haynes King and subsequent losses to Arkansas and Mississippi State derailed those hopes. Still, the Aggies appeared to be positioned for a second-consecutive New Year’s Six Bowl berth as late as November, but losses to Ole Miss and LSU ruined those chances.

The Aggies still were awarded a trip to a Florida bowl game, the program’s third in four years, with the opportunity to face ACC runner-up Wake Forest in Jacksonville on New Year’s Eve. However, that will no longer happen.

Since the conclusion of the regular season, quarterback Zach Calzada (who started A&M’s final 10 games) entered the transfer portal. Defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal, a projected first-round pick, declared for the NFL Draft. Tight end Jalen Wydermyer, running back Isaiah Spiller, defensive lineman Jayden Peevy, safety Leon O’Neal Jr. and tackle Kenyon Green have also followed suit and were expected to skip the postseason contest.

With the cancelation, the Aggies will not play in a bowl game for the first time since 2008 when they went 4-8 in Mike Sherman’s first year at the helm.

Discussion from...

Texas A&M unable to play in 2021 Gator Bowl due to COVID-19 issues

40,620 Views | 69 Replies | Last: 4 mo ago by AgBQ-00
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gocobra
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AG
Well this year of football has been real peachy.
Mr. AGSPRT04
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All participants have a higher risk traveling to the game than from COVID. Poor, emotional decision making.
ABATTBQ87
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unbelievably stupid decision.
barnyard1996
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Sorry son, your last march is cancelled.
larry culpepper
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Quote:

It is unclear exactly how many Aggies have been put into COVID-19 protocols, but combined with opt-outs and other injuries, the Maroon & White have apparently fallen below the threshold required to travel and participate in a bowl game.
Ok, but anyone who was positive last weekend will be negative by Christmas. Why couldn't we wait it out a little longer before making this decision?
SECTAMU#1
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Suit up a bunch of 12th man walkons and play the game anyway.
DuckySams
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I assume it's an ncaa decision, not ours? If it was ours, that's chicken *****
snowdog90
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Damn, this must be serious. How many of our players have died so far? T & P.
SA-AG72
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Let the sips take our place. Only fitting.
EagleAg
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Disappointing as a fan and player to say the least but understandable and a good decision.
sincereag
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Prayers to all our virus stricken players...I'm sure they are all in the hospital getting the best treatments available with 24 hour care. I hope they all survive this dreadful virus and can fully recover and be ready for Spring practices.
texag84
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Damn it - hotel is non-refundable.
Sterling82
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DuckySams said:

I assume it's an ncaa decision, not ours? If it was ours, that's chicken *****

I don't think it's the NCAA's call. Just chicken *****
Bottlehead90
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100 years removed from E. King Gill and we can't find enough players that want to play.
SECTAMU#1
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"It is heartbreaking for our players, coaches, staff and fans that we are not able to play in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl," Texas A&M Director of Athletics Ross Bjork said. "Post-season football is the pinnacle of the season and when the opportunity is lost, it hurts on many levels. As we have learned in the last 21 months of this health challenge, the well-being and safety of our student-athletes is paramount. Our players poured their heart and soul into this season and we appreciate their dedication as Aggies. Aggie football is on track for long-term success and we know that the best is yet to come."
JimAggie
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I'm so glad we aren't playing. Really didn't want an 8-5 season. Walk-on QB, best OL, RB, DL, and DE gone...and if you watched the South Carolina game, you saw how 'well' the backups play.
txagman1998
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AG


Miami also having Covid issues. Why not just swap Wake Forest and Miami? The Gator Bowl and Sun Bowl were scheduled for 11a/12p kickoffs on Friday, Dec 31st. Send Wake Forest to El Paso to play Washington State in the Sun Bowl on the regularly scheduled date/time. Have A&M play Miami in Gator Bowl and push the game to the evening of Wednesday, Jan 5th.

That would be enough time for both programs to complete their Covid protocols and would be enough time to get the stadium ready for the Jags game on Sunday, January 9th. If the Jags balk and won't make the stadium available that week, move the game to Orlando. Easy solve.
TAMU74
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We can't be the only team that is facing this dilemma regarding a bowl game.
What other bowls are going to be canceled?
“Social media is the damnation of this world.” Jimbo Fisher. Amen.
V8Aggie
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You can't be serious…
Old Animal
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Play the non starters & walk ons… they worked just as hard as the scholarship players. How many chose not to play & go to the NFL instead….They really love A & M…. but not enough to play their last game….
aTm2004
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Charlie 31
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Beat The Hell Outta everybody in 2022!!!!!
SociallyConditionedAg
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Testing positive and being sick are two different things. I bet all of them would be fine to play without these insane rules.
W
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JimAggie said:

I'm so glad we aren't playing. Really didn't want an 8-5 season. Walk-on QB, best OL, RB, DL, and DE gone...and if you watched the South Carolina game, you saw how 'well' the backups play.
and 2 other factors...

1. Wake does not have any opt outs. They would be at full strength.

2. The Florida disaster in the Cotton Bowl last year. That game has terrified programs
EagleAg
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Yes, but as this is a discussiom forum it is my opinion and had no bearing on the decision by our athletic department.
alamogeorge
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They could've taken the proper precautions to not catch the virus. They do have science classes and rational thinking exercises at A&M still, right? Another case of not thinking about the consequences whether you agree with the policies or not.
"You may all go to hell, and I will go to Aggieland!" -Davy Crockett
Ugly
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W said:

JimAggie said:

I'm so glad we aren't playing. Really didn't want an 8-5 season. Walk-on QB, best OL, RB, DL, and DE gone...and if you watched the South Carolina game, you saw how 'well' the backups play.
and 2 other factors...

1. Wake does not have any opt outs. They would be at full strength.

2. The Florida disaster in the Cotton Bowl last year. That game has terrified programs
I'm okay with being in a blowout if we get to field an all-12th man team.
Cojack
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Bout sums up the entire season, total disappointment from the start
sharpdressedman
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Stuff happens, and this is a very unfortunate ending to a disappointing season that was greatly impacted by adversity. Congratulations to all who admirably dealt with all the distractions and hardships.

Best wishes to the players and coaches for good health, a Merry Christmas, and a wonderful New Year.
Rocagnante
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sincereag said:

Prayers to all our virus stricken players...I'm sure they are all in the hospital getting the best treatments available with 24 hour care. I hope they all survive this dreadful virus and can fully recover and be ready for Spring practices.


Username does not checkout.
realag76
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You are kidding about them being able to avoid the virus, right? They are face to face in close proximity on the field. Did you want them to wear a mask 24/7? And have you seen that the mask is not as effective against omicron?
Hornbeck
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"Home of the 12th Man"*


* just kidding… not really….
kheincho
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texag84 said:

Damn it - hotel is non-refundable.


Go anyway. Show up in maroon.
kheincho
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Hornbeck said:

"Home of the 12th Man"*


* just kidding… not really….


So does A&M have to relinquish their claims to the 12th man after this?
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