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COVID Concerns Continue as Fourth College Football Bowl Game Canceled

COVID has already impacted eight teams, and with the College Football Playoffs quickly approaching this week, will any other bowl games be impacted by the virus?

After a regular season that went fairly smoothly in terms of handling COVID-19, the world of college football has seen a rapid increase in the virus' impact on the sport. 

On Monday, Action Network insider Brett McMurphy reported the Arizona Bowl, set to host Central Michigan and Boise State on Friday, Dec. 31 in Tucson became the fourth game since bowl season began on Dec. 17 to be canceled. 

Central Michigan will now play Washington State in the Sun Bowl, thanks to Miami pulling out of that game thanks to its COVID issues, although they may not be complaining about the upgrade in pay.

The Hawaii Bowl was the first bowl to be canceled following Hawaii's decision to step out after not having enough players to field against Memphis. 

The Military Bowl and Fenway Bowls experienced similar fates. 

Virginia (Fenway Bowl) and Boston College (Military Bowl) both weren't able to field full teams thanks to COVID impacting their squads. 

As Yahoo! points out, other bowl games have been impacted despite not being canceled. 

Texas A&M was actually the first school to back out of a game (Gator Bowl) because of COVID-19 cases.

However, the Gator Bowl eventually recruited Rutgers as a replacement to take on Wake Forest. 

Last year, 18 bowl games were canceled due to COVID-19. Are we set to see a similar number in 2021 with nearly 30 bowls remaining? 

The most notable games, the College Football Playoff semifinals taking place at the Cotton and Orange Bowls, have all eyes on them following recent updates to the CFP's COVID policies

However, all four playoff teams are now at their respective sites and are isolated fairly well.

COVID has even impacted the Las Vegas Bowl between Arizona State and Wisconsin, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

"Multiple sources close to the program told the Journal Sentinel Saturday both players and staffers tested positive in recent days and that the Badgers would be short-handed when they face Arizona State Thursday in the Las Vegas Bowl. 'A lot of them are sick,' a source shared."

The author, Jeff Potrykus, also pointed out Wisconsin's men’s and women’s basketball programs had to recently cancel games because of COVID-19 issues in both programs.

This came on Monday:

While no positive cases for Arizona State are known at this time, the potential for an outbreak between either team in the upcoming bowl game does give some hesitation to both fan bases if the game will successfully be played. 

The current climate and track record of COVID certainly isn't encouraging, but it will take major developments for the Las Vegas Bowl not to be played at this point. 

As for the rest of the landscape of college football, teams are doing their best to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help participate in some sort of normalcy where all anybody wants is a clean slate of bowl games to enjoy.