The 2020 Music City Bowl between No. 15 Iowa and Missouri has been canceled after Missouri announced Sunday that it was withdrawing from the game due to a "significant increase" in COVID-19 cases within the program. The game was scheduled for Wednesday at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, and finding a replacement team for the Tigers was not considered on such short notice.
"I want to thank the hard work of those involved in helping plan this year's bowl, which we were prepared to host this week," Music City Bowl president Scott Ramsey said in a statement. "Unfortunately, Missouri's high positive COVID-19 numbers have resulted in the cancelation of this game. We look forward to planning for 2021."
A cancellation means Iowa's season is over after the Hawkeyes posted a 6-2 record by winning their final six games following two losses by a combined four points to begin the season. Missouri finishes the season 5-5 after losing its final two games under first-year coach Elijah Drinkwitz.
"Since concluding our regular season and conducting four rounds of tests over the last eight days, we have seen a significant increase in positive COVID-19 tests among our student-athletes, coaches and staff, and after consulting with local health officials, our team physicians and MU Health's Dr. Steve Whitt, who is our representative on the SEC Medical Task Force, we unfortunately must pause all football team-related activities until at least January 2 to help contain the virus' spread and ensure the health and well-being of everyone within our program and the community," Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk said in a statement released by Missouri.
Missouri is the second SEC team to drop from a bowl game so far this postseason due to COVID-19 issues after Tennessee recently pulled out of the Liberty Bowl. However, the Liberty Bowl had enough time to snag Army as a replacement for the Volunteers, and that game is going on as scheduled.