Photo by Mike Schumann / The Daily Hoosier

Sounds familiar: IU and Purdue football mutually agree to cancel Old Oaken Bucket game…again

It just wasn’t meant to be.

For the second time in as many weeks, Indiana and Purdue have jointly agreed to cancel the 2020 battle for the Old Oaken Bucket.

The athletic directors for the schools issued the following joint statement:

“Upon the advice of our medical professionals and in following the guidelines and protocols established for this season, we are not able to play Friday. As we stated last week, we know the history and tradition of this great rivalry game and how much it means to our current students, alumni and fans. Both universities worked extremely hard in an effort to play, but at this time it just isn’t possible. We are certainly disappointed that we cannot play in 2020, but look forward to seeing each other on the field next season and competing once again for the Old Oaken Bucket.” – Joint statement from Indiana Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Scott Dolson and Purdue Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Mike Bobinski

The regular season version of the game was canceled last week as both teams dealt with COVID-19 outbreaks.

On Sunday the Big Ten paired the schools for its week nine “Champions Week” in large part due to the fact that both teams were on pause dealing with COVID-19.  Neither IU or Purdue had resumed normal football activities as of yesterday.  The game was scheduled for Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET.

This is the first time the annual rivalry contest will not be played since 1919.

Indiana (6-1) will now await an invitation to a bowl game.  The Hoosiers are on the cusp of a prestigious New Year’s Six contest and still a possibility for the College Football Playoff.

Indiana ends the regular season 6-1 and ranked No. 7 in the country in both the media poll and the coaches poll.

Although it only played seven games, Indiana reached several historic milestones.

The Hoosiers compiled three wins over top-25 teams (Penn State, Michigan, and Wisconsin), an accomplishment only matched by the 1945 Big Ten title squad.  IU has won 11 of its last 14 Big Ten games, which is the best stretch in program history.  With six wins, Indiana matched its best-ever win total for a season in league contests.

The Hoosiers are currently No. 12 in the College Football Playoff rankings.  The new playoff rankings are announced tonight at 7 p.m., and the final rankings come out on Sunday.

Indiana played in a January bowl game for just the third time in school history in 2019, and the Hoosiers appear destined for a January bowl once again. It would be the first time in school history IU has played in a January bowl in consecutive seasons.

Purdue finished its season 2-4.  Indiana has won 5 out of the last 7 games in the series.

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