Why didn’t Army receive a bid to a bowl game? Pac-12 opt-outs deny Black Knights

Army football had one of its best seasons in recent years, beating both Air Force and Navy on its way to a 9-2 record. Yet the Black Knights were left out of Sunday’s bowl game announcements.

Back in January, Army was guaranteed a spot in the Independence Bowl to face a Pac-12 opponent, so long as it reached six wins. But the Independence Bowl’s selection committee announced Sunday that this year’s game, which was scheduled for Dec. 26, had been canceled.

The committee said it coudn’t find a team to fill the second slot.

USC (5-1), Stanford (4-2), Washington (3-1), Utah (3-2), Arizona State (2-2), UCLA (3-4) and Washington State (1-3) all opted out of playing postseason games, citing COVID-19 concerns.

According to Stadium’s Brett McMurphy, a number of FBS schools opted out when they received bids to bowls that they didn’t like.

That leaves the Black Knights without anyone to play. Meanwhile, five SEC teams with losing records will get to play in bowl games because of the conference’s bowl affiliations.

Army director of athletics Mike Buddie released a statement on the football team’s Twitter account in regard to the injustice.

“These young men haven’t quit all year and we surely won’t quit now. They deserve better. Period,” the statement read.

“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.” 

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