The most noteworthy storyline of this college football season has not been related to Ohio State or Urban Meyer, instead it’s been on the impact Mother Nature has had early on this season. In Week 1, the North Carolina A&T vs. East Carolina game was postponed one day due to a couple lightning delays on that Saturday. The Akron vs. Nebraska game was also canceled due to bad weather. The game was suspended at 7:15pm following the opening kickoff due to lightning. The game was continuously delayed due to additional lightning sightings. Any lightning strike within 8 miles initiates a 30-minute delay and the clock starts over with every lightning strike within that 8-mile radius. The players, fans, and officials waited 3 hours before the game was officially canceled. Misinformation circulated around on social media that the game would be postponed until the following day, however those reports proved to be false. It’s unclear whether or not this game will ever be rescheduled this season. Akron was set to make a guaranteed $1.17 million to play this game.
The Iowa State season opener against South Dakota State was the second game to get canceled due to lightning. The Jackrabbits and Cyclones fans waited 2 ½ hours before officials finally called the game. Fortunately for Cyclones fans the athletic department announced earlier in the week that Iowa State already found a makeup opponent to fill in for the canceled game against South Dakota State. The Cyclones football team will face Incarnate Word, an FCS team from the Southland Conference on December 1st at 1pm at Jack Trice Stadium. In a statement, Iowa State athletics director Jamie Pollard said, “We explored multiple options to give our student-athletes every opportunity to compete and, ultimately, be eligible to participate in a bowl game.” This game won’t be played if Iowa State qualifies for the Big 12 Conference Championship game, which will occur on December 1st in Arlington, Texas, or if Incarnate Word qualifies for the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. Iowa State agrees to pay its opponent $300,000 for the game and also cover aircraft charter to Des Moines.
This weekend, during week 3 of the college football season, the eastern coast of the United States braces for Hurricane Florence. The storm system was downgraded earlier in the week, but the threat is still very real. As of early Friday, the hurricane made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, N.C. and brought with it 90 mph winds and a major rain system. More than 1.7 million people have been told to evacuate from coastal areas in Virginia and the Carolinas. Many teams have already taken precautions earlier in the week to either move the start times or cancel their games:
Campbell vs Coastal Carolina – Moved to Wednesday at 2pm ET
Old Dominion vs Charlotte – Moved to Thursday at 4pm ET
Boston College vs Wake Forest – Moved to Thursday at 5:30pm ET
Ohio vs. Virginia – moved to Nashville
Georgia vs. Middle Tennessee – moved to 12pm ET
Clemson vs. Georgia Southern – moved from 3:30 to 12pm ET
Virginia Tech vs. East Carolina – Canceled
West Virginia vs. NC State – Canceled
UCF at North Carolina – Canceled
South Carolina vs. Marshall – Canceled
Southern Mississippi vs. Appalachian State – Canceled
Norfolk State at Liberty – Postponed until December 1
The safety and welfare of these individuals who are in the path of the storm is of utmost priority and concern. I applaud these schools for taking early precautions to reschedule, postpone, or cancel their games. As a sign of good gesture, some college football programs have offered free admission to evacuees displaced by Hurricane Florence. The University of Tennessee and University of Virginia have both announced that they will be offering free admission to this weekend’s games for those evacuees. Certainly a free admission to a football game won’t replace these individuals’ homes but it might help to take their minds away from the chaos that is taking place back home, if at least not momentarily. It still is unclear if this week’s canceled games will be rescheduled, but I would imagine some of these programs will want to set-up a replacement game in the event bowl eligibility becomes a factor as we head deeper into the season. From all of us here at CherryPickin we hope that those impacted by the storm are able to evacuate away from the storm safely.