Despite the government shutdown, it appears as though the service academy football teams will be able to follow through with Saturday’s scheduled games as originally planned. According to a report, a senior defense official says Army, Air Force and Navy will all be able to play football on Saturday. Navy has since confirmed their game against Air Force will be played as scheduled.
According to a report by the Associated Press, the decisions to allow games to be played this weekend is just for this weekend. Future games will be evaluated over the next few days while everyone waits to see how long the government will be in shutdown mode. The hope, of course, is that the shutdown does not last too long and everything as far as football operations can resume to a normal routine without fear of having to cancel any games.
Air Force is scheduled to play at Navy on Saturday. Army is scheduled to play at Boston College. While the government is shut down to ease financial concerns, none of the service academies were in danger of canceling football this weekend for financial reasons, according to previous reports. The decisions to postpone any football games would have been more of a political move of solidarity for fear of offending any being frozen out of a paycheck. United Airlines offered to provide free transportation to Air Force’s football team and Boston College had explored to chip in for Army’s travel expenses.
Because the games for the service academies are funded through non-appropriated funds, Army and Air Force traveling is not a concern related to the shutdown. It also helped that the expenses for the traveling for the service academies had been planned in advance and is not a new cost in the budget. Here’s hoping that no matter how long the shutdown may last, that at least football will continue to be played as planned.
Now, if this shutdown reaches a worst-case scenario and for whatever reason extends through the end of the year, then bowl games perhaps become a victim for any bowl-eligible service academy. And I have not even gotten to the topic of the number of bowl eligible teams to available bowl spots. This seems extremely unlikely so I suggest we cross that bridge when we get there, or is that a bridge to nowhere?
UPDATE (9:53 p.m. ET): Navy has made the news for their home game against Air Force official, via Twitter.
It appears No. 14 Miami’s passing attack will be bolstered for its ACC opener this coming Saturday. Maybe.
On his radio show Monday, Mark Richt seemed cautiously optimistic that Ahmmon Richards will be available to play in the Week 5 game against Duke this Saturday. Richards hasn’t played at all yet this season as he’s been dealing with a hamstring injury that surfaced in the middle of summer camp.
The wide receiver did, though, practice Sunday, leading to Richt’s hope that the sophomore will see the field for the Hurricane against the Blue Devils.
“We didn’t do a lot on a Sunday, but he seems to be doing fine,” the head coach said by way of the Sun-Sentinel. “My guess is he’ll be ready to go.”
Last season, Richards’ 934 receiving yards and 19.1 yards per catch were tops on the Hurricanes. His 49 receptions were second on the team. Following that breakout season, he was named a consensus Freshman All-American.
With Richards sidelined, Braxton Barrios leads the ‘Canes in receiving yards (140) and yards per reception (17.5), while Christopher Herndon‘s nine catches through two games lead the way as well.
For the second time in as many days, it’s time to push the “Days Without an Arrest” ticker back to double-zeroes.
The latest to do the honor is Boise State’s Michael Young, with the Idaho Statesman reporting that the defensive back was arrested early Sunday morning on a charge of driving under the influence. KTVB-TV in Boise reported that Young failed a field sobriety test and blew a .142 on a breathalyzer test.
The arrest and charge came after Young was pulled over for allegedly running a red light.
“Boise State is aware of Michael Young’s arrest earlier this morning,” a statement on the incident from the university began. “As is always the case, the matter will be handled appropriately and internally.”
Young is a backup defensive back who has played in the last three games after missing the season opener for undisclosed reasons. He had a career-high four tackles in the 19-point loss to Virginia in Week 4.
Young is also the second Broncos football player arrested in a little over a week. Last weekend, defensive lineman David Moa was charged with disturbing the peace following an incident outside of a Boise nightclub. Moa, a starter who was first-team All-MWC last season, did not play at all in the first quarter in the first game after his arrest this past weekend.
Georgia Tech lost a game to Hurricane Irma, a Sept. 16 trip to Central Florida. Georgia State also had a game canceled due to Irma — Saturday’s scheduled game with Memphis, which was axed to makeup the Memphis-UCF game that was supposed to be played Sept. 8.
So if Georgia Tech lost a game, and Georgia State lost a game, and the Atlanta schools stadiums’ sit just 2.2 miles away from each other, wouldn’t it make sense to try to get them together?
The sides tried, but the effort isn’t going to work.
As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia Tech and Georgia State officials attempted to find a date that worked for both sides, but one simply is not available.
Georgia Tech attempted to arrange the game for Oct. 7, the Jackets’ original bye week, but Georgia State has a conference game against Coastal Carolina on Oct. 7. Georgia State is off on Nov. 18, but Georgia Tech visits Duke that day. The rare Championship Saturday makeup isn’t even possible (provided Georgia Tech doesn’t win the ACC Coastal) because Georgia State hosts Idaho on Dec. 2, in what is Idaho’s final game as a Sun Belt member.
Incidentally, Georgia Tech and Georgia State have never met on the field despite being two miles apart. Perhaps this episode will spur the Atlanta neighbors to invite the other over to play sometime down the line.
A clear cut sign when a coach is feeling the heat is when he scolds the media for focusing on negative stories instead of sharing the plethora of positive news happening all around the program.
In a purely unrelated note, Butch Jones is 3-1 this season with a tight win over Georgia Tech, a Hail Mary loss to Florida and a way-closer-than-it-should-have-been escape over Massachusetts on Saturday. The Vols host No. 7 Georgia on Saturday, and a loss there will almost certainly doom Tennessee to a 10th straight season without winning the SEC East, including all five seasons of the Jones era.
Jones was asked about an injury to defensive tackle Shy Tuttle, who suffered a broken orbital bone. Asked about a rumor that Tuttle was injured by a teammate, Jones launched into a rant that included chastising the media for “fake news.”
I think it’s safe to say Jones is wound just a little tightly these days.