JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Rutgers University is speculated to replace Texas A&M to play Wake Forest in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, according to New Jersey media outlet NJ.com.
Gator Bowl President Greg McGarity told First Coast News they have not heard back from the NCAA, who will make the ultimate decision.
The TaxSlayer Gator Bowl announced the Aggies withdrew from the bowl game held at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville due to an outbreak of COVID-19 on the team. The Aggies are the most notable team to withdraw from a bowl game due to COVID-19.
"We are disappointed that Texas A&M University and the Aggie fans will be unable to represent the Southeastern Conference in Jacksonville at this year's TaxSlayer Gator Bowl game. ... The TaxSlayler Gator Bowl team has begun to aggressively work with the NCAA, ESPN and conferences to seek a replacement team over the next twenty-four to forty-eight hours ...," a statement from Gator Bowl officials says.
At 5-7, Rutgers, who plays in the Big 10, was not among the bowl eligible teams entering bowl season. However, a rule allows for a non-bowl eligble team to play in a bowl game if there are not enough teams to fill that year's slots. If that becomes the case, the 5-7 team with highest Academic Progress Rate (APR) will be selected to partipate in post-season play.
The rule was passed in 2016.
According to NJ.com, Rutgers has the highest APR among the eligble 5-7 teams