Hurricane Matthew could have impact on Saturday's college football schedule

Hurricane Matthew could hit the east coast this weekend, and schools are preparing for possible contingencies should there be an impact on Saturday's college football schedule.

Matthew, currently a Category 4 hurricane, could bring extensive winds and rain and possible property damage to the area that would make playing difficult at stadiums near the storm's path.

The annual showdown between No. 10 Miami (Fla.) and No. 21 Florida State is one of several games possibly affected. It is scheduled for South Florida at 8 p.m.

Florida State's athletic department released this statement to the Tallahassee Democrat acknowledging the concern for the weather.

"We are in constant communication with the University of Miami and the ACC, and all parties are monitoring the situation."

South Carolina is also staying updated on the weather situation with its game against Georgia scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

“The University of South Carolina and the athletics department are currently monitoring the movements of Hurricane Matthew,” a statement from the school said. “We are in communication with the National Weather Service, local authorities and the SEC regarding potential weather issues. The safety of everyone that could be impacted by this storm is paramount. Once forecasts call for action, we will use all means necessary to inform the public.”

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has already declared a state of emergency and ordered an evacuation of coastal communities. She expressed doubt the game would be played.

“It’s a complete decision based on the schools,” Haley said at a press conference Tuesday. “As of now I can’t imagine that happening but certainly we’re going to continue to watch this. I would love nothing more than to see this take a right-hand turn and go out to sea. As it looks right now, we’re looking at Friday afternoon into Saturday being pretty brutal.”

Dealing with the logistics of inclement weather is something the Gamecocks have experience with. Last year's game against LSU was moved from Columbia to Baton Rouge due to flooding that caused classes at the school to be canceled for a week.

Notre Dame is visiting North Carolina State at noon. Irish coach Brian Kelly said Tuesday there will be discussions about how to react to the weather developments, which could include moving the game to South Bend or another location.

“Everything is on the table right now,” Kelly said Tuesday. “We’ve kind of given them a window that we’re available to play this game from 12 o’clock (Saturday) until noon on Sunday. We feel that anything after noon on Sunday starts to encroach upon our ability to prepare for Stanford.”

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh didn't seem concerned about Matthew when asked about the storm possibly causing issues when the Wolverines face Rutgers on Saturday night. He only said that equipment manager Gary Hazelitt will "have them in the right shoes and the right gloves and the right equipment."

Other major games Saturday that may be influenced by the weather:

East Carolina at South Florida, noon

LSU at Florida, noon

Army at Duke, 3:30 p.m.

Houston at Navy, 3 p.m.

Charlotte at Florida Atlantic, 3:30 p.m.

Texas State at Georgia State, 3:30 p.m.

Virginia Tech at North Carolina, 3:30 p.m.

Massachusetts at Old Dominion, 6 p.m.

Syracuse at Wake Forest, 7 p.m.

Tulane at Central Florida, 8 p.m.

USA Today


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