How Hurricane Irma will affect college football's Week 2
Hurricane Irma is scheduled to reach to the Florida coast this weekend, forcing college athletic programs to make tough decisions. Some of the football games planned for the upcoming weekend have been canceled or postponed, while others have been moved to earlier kickoff times.
Here's which games will be affected by the hurricane in Week 2 of college football:
No. 16 Miami at Arkansas State — Canceled
Worried about traveling back to Miami this weekend after the game, Hurricanes' athletic director Blake James decided not to risk his players' safety. "We made the collective decision that we simply cannot put our student-athletes, coaches and staff in danger travelling to and from contests," James said. The game will not be made up in the 2017 season.
It was also announced Saturday night that Miami's game against Florida State, originally set for next Saturday, Sept. 16, has been moved to Oct. 14.
No. 9 Florida State vs. Louisiana-Monroe — Moved to Saturday at noon
The game was originally scheduled for a 7 pm kickoff, but now the game will be played in the afternoon.
“We have moved the game time after consulting with a number of state agencies and based on the information we have on the potential impact on the state,” said FSU President John Thrasher. “The earlier start will give ULM the opportunity to travel safely after the game, and provide many of our fans a chance to come to the game and return home in time to make any necessary preparations.”
On Saturday night, the ACC also announced that Florida State's game with rival Miami will be moved to Oct. 7.
No. 20 South Florida at Connecticut — Canceled
The game was originally scheduled for a noon kickoff.
No. 24 Florida vs. Northern Colorado — Moved to Saturday at noon
The game was originally scheduled for a 7:30 pm kickoff.
Central Florida vs. Memphis — Moved to Friday at 6:30 pm
The game was originally scheduled for Saturday at 8 pm, but now will take place on Friday night and air on ESPNU.
Florida International vs. Alcorn State — Moved to Friday at 7:30 p.m. at UAB
Florida International will still get to play on Friday night, but not in Miami. The team will travel to Birmingham, Alabama on Thursday and play Alcorn State University.
"We have decided to relocate a number of our teams to Birmingham, Alabama," said FIU Executive Director of Sports and Entertainment Pete Garcia. "I want to thank UAB Director of Athletics Mark Ingram, the University of Alabama Birmingham and the Birmingham community for their tremendous help and assistance. The UAB family has gone above-and-beyond to make us feel welcome."
Florida vs. Northern Colorado — Canceled
Since the schools do not share a common open date, the game will not be rescheduled, Florida announced on Thursday.
"We have been in constant communication this week with University and government officials," said Florida Athletics Director Scott Stricklin. "As the Hurricane's track has approached the state of Florida, it's become obvious that playing a football game is not the right thing to do. The focus of our state and region needs to be on evacuations and relief efforts. There is a tremendous amount of stress currently on the roads of this state, and the availability of gas, water and other supplies are at critical levels. Playing a college football game Saturday would only add to that stress.
"Gainesville is also close to some of Florida's heaviest traffic points this week, specifically Interstate 75, which is a key statewide evacuation route."
Georgia Tech vs. Jacksonville State — Continuing as scheduled, Tech offering free tickets
Georgia Tech's home opener against Jacksonville State will not be affected by the hurricane, but the Yellow Jacksets are offering free tickets to the game for all evacuees.
The Yellowjackets' road trip to Miami, originally set for Oct. 12 will now be played Oct. 14.