Since the 2020 Music City Bowl was announced a week ago we had concerns about whether or not the game would happen or not, mainly due to Kirk Ferentz and several other members of the Iowa coaching staff testing positive for COVID-19. That necessitated the shutdown of Iowa's practice activities last week, though they resumed some on-field work yesterday. Turns out we were worrying about the wrong team in the Music City Bowl.
Iowa reportedly was unaware of the looming COVID-19 problems within the Missouri program.
Iowa was unaware of Missouri's COVID-19 plight until it came out publicly. The Hawkeyes practiced this morning and wrapped up around noon.— Scott Dochterman (@ScottDochterman) December 27, 2020
Officials for Iowa and Missouri were discussing the situation at around 1:30 p.m.
Iowa's coaches and players stayed in Iowa City for the Christmas holiday. Missouri... did not do that.
Drinkwitz said #Mizzou had a positive test before it went to Mississippi State, had several positives following the road trip. allowed team to travel home for the holidays, had several positives in first test, several more in next test— Power Mizzou (@PowerMizzoucom) December 27, 2020
Apparently The Music City Bowl briefly examined the possibility of locating a replacement team for Missouri, but that effort was never going to go anywhere for a game scheduled to be played in just three days. Teams not already slated for other bowl games are unlikely to still be practicing at this point. And given Kirk Ferentz's lack of enthusiasm in finding a replacement for Michigan for Iowa's "Championship Week" opponent, it's even less likely he would be thrilled about playing a new opponent on such short notice.
So, yeah, Iowa's season is officially over.
#Iowa's season is over.— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) December 27, 2020
Kirk Ferentz: "We are extremely disappointed to have our season end today. This is a remarkable group of players and men, and it has been an honor to coach them."
It's certainly a weird, fairly anticlimactic way to wrap things up, but perhaps a weird ending like this is the most fitting way to conclude the weirdest season most (all?) of us have ever lived through. Iowa ends the season on a six-game winning streak and at 6-2 overall, with wins over all three rivalry trophy opponents (Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin) for the first time since 2015. We'll have more final thoughts on the 2020 season over the next few weeks.