Boise State out of Arizona Bowl, potentially freeing up Central Michigan for Sun Bowl vs. Washington State
The Boise State Broncos are backing out of the Arizona Bowl to be played on Friday due to COVID issues within the program, the bowl game’s sponsor announced on Monday, leaving Central Michigan to search for a new opponent.
Or, perhaps, a new bowl game.
Washington State is in El Paso, Texas, ahead of Friday’s Sun Bowl but its opponent pulled out late Sunday evening due to its own COVID-related issues. The Cougars released a statement saying they’d work with the Pac-12 and the organizing committee of the Sun Bowl to try and find a new partner in time for the game, and WSU head coach Jake Dickert took to Twitter to express he and his team want to be able to finish their season.
The MAC, according to SI’s Ross Dellenger, would have to release Central Michigan from it’s bowl obligation for the school to pivot to the Sun Bowl, but the expectation is that’s exactly what’ll happen.
As expected, Washington State is committed to the Sun Bowl & would not play in the Arizona Bowl, sources confirm.
If the Arizona Bowl cannot find a replacement for Boise in the next ~24 hrs & MAC lifts Central Michigan’s obligation, CMU is expected to be bound for the Sun Bowl.
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) December 27, 2021
The Sun Bowl has a combined payout of over $4 million for its participants. The payout for teams in the Arizona Bowl, hosted by Barstool Sports, is $350,000. It’s also a situation where Central Michigan, and the MAC by extension, could significantly increase visibility by flipping bowls. The Sun Bowl is set to be the only bowl game broadcast on CBS this postseason. The Arizona Bowl will be streamed on YouTube and the Barstool website.
Should Central Michigan duck out for the Sun Bowl, the Arizona Bowl would be canceled altogether. It is in its seventh season but the first under the current title sponsor.