There are significant logistical issues as to whether the Holiday Bowl could even be played if Minnesota follows through with its planned boycott, sources told CBS Sports.

Northern Illinois, which is next in line in the bowl pecking order to play Washington State on Dec. 27 in San Diego if the Gophers' boycott continues through the bowl game -- hasn't played in three weeks. One official associated with the process pointed out that school at NIU has been out since early December and holiday plans have been made by players.

Minnesota players announced Thursday they would boycott all team activities until 10 suspended players are reinstated.

Any team replacing Minnesota would probably have to begin practicing by early next week. That's assuming that is not too late given student-athlete welfare concerns.

Northern Illinois, for example, concluded its season Nov. 26. Any team replacing the Gophers would likely be in the same situation.

"[The Holiday Bowl] has tickets to be sold, rooms to be sold, airline tickets to be sold," said Bob Bowlsby, chairman of the NCAA Football Oversight Committee. "They have lots of events to stage. Northern Illinois or anybody could say, 'We can't get ready.' Then what do you do?"

Northern Illinois officials aren't commenting, but school sources have made it clear that it would be difficult for the Huskies to play. The last day of exams was Dec. 9.

The Huskies finished 5-7. Thanks to their high Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 970, they are first line to play in place of Minnesota. Cal and Arizona State are next up, tied with APR scores of 960. That means it's a possible a tiebreaker may slot one of those programs in the Holiday Bowl.

That is, if either team desires to play. Both the Bears and Sun Devils played and lost to the Cougars during the regular season.

As of Friday afternoon, no official decision had been made on the NCAA-Big Ten level as to what will happen if Minnesota doesn't play. There hasn't even been an official decision on how to select a team to replace Minnesota, either.

"We are continuing to prepare for the National Funding Holiday Bowl on December 27, however, we are aware of the situation at the University of Minnesota and are monitoring it closely," said executive director Mark Neville in a statement.

There is no language in the Holiday Bowl contract that requires teams to notify the bowl by a certain date if they do not intend to play, according to a source.

There is a ticket guarantee clause in the bowl contract that requires both schools to purchase a minimum number of tickets. The schools would be on the hook for any unsold tickets.

Those tickets would have been delivered to the Minnesota and Washington State campuses shortly after the bowl matchups were announced on Dec 4.

It wasn't immediately clear what that ticket guarantee is or whether the Holiday Bowl has insurance to cover its losses in the event the game is not played.

"The ball is in Minnesota's court," said Wright Waters, executive director of the Football Bowl Association. "Until they say, 'Yea' or 'nay,' there's nothing to decide."

Bowlsby's oversight committee has been in constant contact with the Big Ten.

"We have to a find a team for the Holiday Bowl [if Minnesota follows through with the boycott]," said Bowlsby, who is also the Big 12 commissioner.

"We're actually talking with the Big Ten and all the parties involved to try to determine that. [Minnesota is] going to have decide if they're going."

The situation remained fluid Friday afternoon.

"We're monitoring the situation but to this point haven't any direct contact," a Northern Illinois spokesperson said. "We're going to keep our ear to the ground. Academically, we know we're in the conversation. No one has reached out to us."

In normal times, if there aren't enough bowl-eligible teams (with records of 6-6 or better) to fill the 80 bowl slots, the NCAA fills open spots from a group of 5-7 teams. Those teams are ranked in order based on their APR.

North Texas (984) and Mississippi State (971) have already placed in bowls. With Texas (971) turning down the opportunity for a bowl bid, Northern Illinois is currently first on that list with a 970 (out of 1,000) APR average.