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BREAKING NEWS: Indiana-Purdue Old Oaken Bucket Game Gets Canceled Again

For the second week in a row, the Indiana rivalry game with Purdue had to be canceled because of COVID-19 concerns.
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – In coordination with the Big Ten Conference office, Indiana and Purdue jointly announce that their scheduled football game in Bloomington on Friday will be canceled due to COVID-19 testing results at both schools.

In a joint statement from Indiana Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Purdue Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Mike Bobinski, the game was canceled for the second week in a row.

"Upon the advice of our medical professionals and in following the guidelines and protocols established for this season, we are not able to play Friday. As we stated last week, we know the history and tradition of this great rivalry game and how much it means to our current students, alumni and fans. 

'Both universities worked extremely hard in an effort to play, but at this time it just isn't possible. We are certainly disappointed that we cannot play in 2020, but look forward to seeing each other on the field next season and competing once again for the Old Oaken Bucket." 

Both schools have dealt with COVID-19 concerns in the past two weeks, and it was bad enough that both schools agreed to pause activities last week and cancel the game. But it appears that both teams are still strugglng with the issue, so much so that the annual rivalry game won't be played. 

It will be interesting what these cancellations will do to Indiana's bowl status. They are now finishing the regular season with a 6-1 record, and left two opportunities for games on the table. Will it be enough to still get to a New Year's Six bowl for the first time in history?

Indiana is ranked No. 7 both the Associated Press and Coaches Polls, and it's likely that Ohio State beats Northwestern on Saturday to win the Big Ten and earn a spot in the College Football Playoff.

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Then the pecking order debate among Big Ten teams will begin for other bowl slots. Getting to a high-profile — and high-paying New Year's Six game would be a great reward for the Hoosiers' regular season, where they beat three ranked teams for the first time since 1945. Alabama is the only other school in the country this year to do that.

Some current bowl projections, like Jerry Palm at CBSSports.com, have Indiana facing USC in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., on Jan. 2. That would be a rematch of Indiana's only major bowl appearance, the Rose Bowl following the 1967 season.

But Iowa and Northwestern might have a say in who that second-best team is in the Big Ten now that Indiana is sidelined again for the second straight week.

Iowa is playing Michigan this weekend and could with its seventh straight game and finish 7-2, one more win that the Hoosiers. Northwestern is 6-1 right now too, and the Wildcats, if they played Ohio State tough, could argue that they belong ahead of Indiana now, too.

Next in the Big Ten bowl pecking order are the Citrus Bowl in Orlando and the Outback Bowl in Tampa. Both Florida bowl games are played on Jan. 1, and the Hoosiers, who have more than two dozen players from Florida on their roster, have never played in either one of those games.

There's a huge dropoff in Big Ten resumes after that, so it seems pretty obvious that those four teams will likely fill those high-profile spots.

This story will be updated.

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