Hurricane Matthew has had a drastic effect on the statuses of college football games this weekend, with major ramifications for a game within the SEC.
The University of Florida has announced Thursday that their home game against SEC West rival LSU has been postponed due to the incoming hurricane.
“We had a very productive phone call today with a great spirit of cooperation between the universities’ presidents and athletics directors and it became clear that the University of Florida could neither host nor travel to a game this weekend considering the circumstances,” said Greg Sankey, the SEC commissioner said in the statement. “The developments of the hurricane in the last 24 hours, the projected magnitude of its impact and the unknown aftermath of this storm have resulted in this decision to seek another date to play the LSU-Florida game. We have to be sensitive to the possible imminent disruption to the state of Florida and in particular the Gainesville and surrounding area.”
Per the SEC release, they will attempt to reschedule the game. However, Florida and LSU do not have a common open date.
“At this time the schools do not have a common open date on which to reschedule the game,” the statement read. “So the schools and SEC Office will make every effort to find a scheduling solution with the possible movement of other games on the schools’ schedules.”
The statement continues by stating that LSU offered to host the game or travel elsewhere in order for the game to be played, however the University of Florida said that “…it was determined that the likelihood of damage from the storm, lack of available emergency personnel and the uncertainty of the impact of the storm on people, facilities and travel necessitated a postponement.”
With the status of one potentially impacted SEC game determined, the status of the Georgia-South Carolina game in Columbia remains in doubt.
The statement issued by the University of South Carolina on Wednesday stated that the game would remain in Columbia and an announcement on the game time would be made by Thursday afternoon.
As far as a make-up date for Florida at LSU, that looks unlikely. Since the two schools don’t share an open date, they could play on Dec. 3 if neither makes the SEC Championship Game, or on Dec. 10 around the Army-Navy Game (if allowed by the NCAA).
A third option, which is also unlikely, would involve the cancellation of two games. LSU is scheduled to host South Alabama on Nov. 19, while Florida hosts Presbyterian.
However, if LSU and Florida played on Nov. 19, that would mean LSU would have three straight SEC road games because the Tigers are at Arkansas on Nov. 12 and at Texas A&M on Thursday, Nov. 24 (Thanksgiving).
From the looks of it, LSU won’t be playing Florida in the regular-season in 2016.
The Florida-LSU game has been rescheduled for Nov. 19 in Baton Rouge.
Also, Presbyterian will now play at South Alabama on Nov. 19.