Iowa's season over at 6-2 after Missouri withdraws from Music City Bowl
One of the most unusual Iowa football seasons has taken another unusual turn and reached an abrupt conclusion.
The 2020 Hawkeyes are finished at 6-2 after Missouri's withdrawal from the TransPerfect Music City Bowl was made official Sunday afternoon. Thus, the Music City Bowl was canceled, and Iowa will not seek an alternate opponent or makeup game.
Rising COVID-19 issues in Missouri’s program triggered the wipeout of the Iowa-Missouri matchup, which was scheduled for 3 p.m. CT Wednesday in Nashville’s Nissan Stadium. Missouri’s program was put on pause through Jan. 2 as a result, Tigers athletic director Jim Sterk said Sunday afternoon.
According to the Columbia Daily-Tribune, the Tigers have "more than a dozen" cases of COVID-19 that dated to the team's road trip to Mississippi State on Dec. 19.
Iowa, meanwhile, had successfully practiced Saturday and Sunday after returning from its own five-day pause after six coaches tested positive for COVID-19. The Hawkeyes were two-touchdown favorites against the Tigers and still hopeful to play despite knowing they, too, would be short-handed for the game.
The Hawkeyes entered the postseason at No. 15 in the College Football Playoff rankings and were riding a six-game winning streak. They had their final two games canceled over opponents' COVID-19 issues. Michigan had to pull out of the Dec. 19 matchup scheduled at Kinnick Stadium, making the Hawkeyes' 28-7 win against Wisconsin on Dec. 12 officially their last game of the pandemic-shortened 2020 calendar.
“We are extremely disappointed to have our season end today," Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said in a statement. "This is a remarkable group of players and men, and it has been an honor to coach them.
"This has been a very special team. We have overcome several challenges together during a season like no other. I am incredibly proud of this entire team and saddened that we will not have one more chance to get out and compete together.
"Finally, I want to thank everyone within our program, players and parents, coaching staff and medical staff, and our fans for their support throughout this season."
This is the Hawkeyes’ shortest season since an unconventional 3-3-2 campaign in 1963, when the final game against Notre Dame was canceled following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.