Central Michigan will travel about 300 miles from Tucson to El Paso to play Washington State in the Sun Bowl after Miami was forced to pull out due to COVID-19 problems. The new matchup marks the first game between these two programs and CMU’s first appearance in the historic Sun Bowl. 

The Chippewas were originally scheduled to play in the Arizona Bowl, but the game was postponed after Boise State was forced to pull out due to similar Covid issues. Washington State stayed committed to the Sun Bowl and publicly campaigned to find an opponent, especially after the team landed in El Paso. 

While financial terms have not been disclosed at this time, the Sun Bowl is broadcast on CBS and is scheduled to distribute more than $4.5 million to each school. For comparison, the Arizona Bowl was set to pay $350,000 to each participating school. 

Miami was forced to withdraw from the Sun Bowl because of major Covid issues within the program. The Hurricanes also would have been playing with an interim coach after former coach Manny Diaz was fired. 

“We are extremely disappointed that our football team will be unable to participate in the 2021 Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl,” Miami deputy athletic director Jennifer Strawley said in a statement. “But due to the number of COVID-19 cases impacting our roster we do not have enough student-athletes to safely compete, and the health and safety of our student-athletes will always be our top priority. This team worked hard all season to earn a bowl invitation and my heart goes out to our student-athletes, especially our seniors. I also want to thank interim head coach Jess Simpson and our football staff for all of their efforts in preparation for this bowl game.”

Washington State arrived in El Paso earlier this…

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