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Central Michigan to face Washington State in Sun Bowl

The Chippewas and Cougars were left without opponents, and will now face off in El Paso.

Washington State Cougars quarterback Jayden de Laura passes against the Washington Huskies during the first quarter at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium. Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Central Michigan Chippewas will now face the Washington State Cougars in the Sun Bowl on December 31st after both teams lost their originally-intended bowl season opponent.

Central Michigan was to take on the Boise State Broncos in the Arizona Bowl, but too many failed Covid-19 tests kept the Mountain West school from making the trip to Tucson. That matched nicely for Wazzu, who lost their opponent in the Miami Hurricanes for the same reason.

With El Paso being just four hours east on I-10, the Chips will get on a bus and head to the second-oldest continuously played bowl game in America right behind the Rose Bowl. The Sun Bowl is a tradition in West Texas, and had been played every year since 1935 until Covid-19 also took away the game last year.

As for why El Paso and not Tucson, it’s pretty simple: The Sun Bowl pays out a heckuva lot more dollars, and will much more easily fill the stadium (and the hillside nearby where you’ll see plenty of fans looking in for free).

This is quite the upgrade for the MAC school, who has to be loving the payday and the new location.