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Cancelled because of Hurricane Irma, ULM-FSU officially rescheduled for Dec. 2

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Florida State’s long-shot postseason ambitions officially received a shot in the arm.

Because of Hurricane Irma, it was announced in early September that FSU’s Week 2 game against Louisiana-Monroe in Tallahassee had been outright canceled. However, there had been increasing talk of late, coinciding with FSU’s dwindling bowl hopes, that the game could be rescheduled and played this season; last week, it was reported that an official decision on that game would be made this week.

Tuesday, FSU announced that the game with ULM will be played Dec. 2 at Doak Campbell Stadium.  Kickoff for the game in Tallahassee is set for noon ET.

“I appreciate the efforts of our administration as well as the administration and Coach Viator at ULM to get this game rescheduled,” head coach Jimbo Fisher said in a statement. “It was unfortunate for both teams that we were not able to play this game in September, and both teams deserve the chance to play their 12th game of the season. Anytime we have the opportunity to play in Doak Campbell Stadium in front of our fans we are excited. However, this week our complete focus is on Clemson.”

Prior to rescheduling the ULM game, FSU needed to win its final three games to become bowl-eligible.  At 3-5, the Seminoles now need to win three of their last four games to avoid going bowl-less for the first time since 1981.  This weekend, they will travel to ACC rival Clemson before hosting FCS Delaware and then heading to Gainesville for what would’ve been the regular-season finale against in-state rival Florida.

At 35 in a row, the Seminoles currently have the nation’s longest bowl streak.

Decision on rescheduling FSU-ULM coming next week

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Florida State needs to catch a break any way it can in extending its bowl streak, and the path for one of those breaks could be paved next week.

Because of Hurricane Irma, it was announced in early September that Florida State’s Week 2 game against Louisiana-Monroe in Tallahassee had been outright canceled. However, there’s been increasing talk of late, coinciding with FSU’s dwindling bowl hopes, that the game could be rescheduled and played this season.

FSU athletic director Stan Wilcox confirmed Wednesday that a decision on whether or not to play the game will be made at some point next week, the Orlando Sentinel reported. If the game is played, it will take place on Dec. 2 at Doak Campbell Stadium.

There could be one sticking point, however. From the Sentinel:

But a local event — The Winter Festival, scheduled from 3-10 p.m. on the same day in downtown Tallahassee — has complicated logistical plans to have law enforcement in place for the football game.

“We have to work with a lot of folks to make sure everything will be in place to be able to do it,” Wilcox said. “That’s a part of all this.

At 2-5, FSU needs to win its last four currently-scheduled games in order to avoid missing out on a bowl game for the first time since 1981. Left on the schedule? Home games against much-improved Syracuse and FCS Delaware State, road trips to a pair of rivals — No. 7 Clemson and a Florida team that’s already fired its head coach.

Rescheduling the game against a 3-5 ULM team would mean that FSU would “only” need to win four of its last five to qualify for a bowl bid.

Florida State cancels Saturday’s game against Louisiana-Monroe

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There were a handful of FBS games heading into Week 2 scheduled to be played by teams hailing from the state of Florida.  With Hurricane Irma barreling toward the state and threatening historic destruction, there’s now just two.

Florida State announced late Thursday night that all athletic events, including the home football opener against Louisiana-Monroe scheduled for Saturday, have been canceled.  It had previously been announced that the start time of that game had been moved up to noon ET the same day.

“In the interest of safety of individuals throughout the state, and to allow our student-athletes, staff and fans to prepare for a storm of significant magnitude, we have decided to cancel all athletics events including the ULM football game on Saturday,” said FSU president John Thrasher in a statement. “The cancellations will help reduce the consumption of fuel and congestion on major travel arteries.”

“This is a wise decision made for the safety of all involved,” said athletic director Stan Wilcox.

“With Florida currently under a government state of emergency and the need to dedicate all resources to the evacuation effort we felt this was the best decision for everyone. All relocation and rescheduling possibilities were exhausted. Under these circumstances and on such short notice, the two teams will not be able to reschedule this year as there is no common open date.

Earlier in the day, Florida announced that its Saturday game against FCS Northern Colorado in Gainesville, which had also been moved up to a noon ET start time initially, had been canceled.  Additionally, Florida International’s home game against Alcorn State, originally scheduled to be played in Miami, has been moved to Birmingham, Ala.; Miami’s game against Arkansas State in Jonesboro was canceled; and South Florida’s game Syracuse was scrubbed as well.

Just two games involving an FBS team from Florida will be played this weekend — UCF, hosting Memphis, and Florida Atlantic at Wisconsin.  And even the former game was moved from Saturday to Friday in order to allow both teams to either vacate the state or brace itself for the most massive storm in recorded history to wreak havoc.

Of course, football doesn’t matter much in the here and now.  Be safe, Florida.  And, for those who are so inclined, say a prayer or two for those who are bracing for the worst and hoping — and praying — for the best.

Florida International completes CFB schedule changes by moving game to Birmingham as result of Hurricane Irma

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With Hurricane Irma rapidly approaching the Florida coast this week, the final piece of the puzzle in the state’s football scheduling conundrum fell into place on Wednesday afternoon when it was announced that Florida International’s game against Alcorn State is being moved to Birmingham, Alabama.

Kickoff is slated to be Friday at 7 p.m. ET, with the Panthers serving as the home team at UAB’s Legion Field.

“We have decided to relocate a number of our teams to Birmingham, Alabama,” said FIU AD Pete Garcia said in a statement. “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.”

With the announcement that FIU’s game is being moved, that just about completes the rash of rescheduled and cancelled games from the teams in the Sunshine state. To recap:

— Miami cancelled their game at Arkansas State on Saturday and will not make it up.

— Florida State announced their contest against Louisiana-Monroe will take place in Tallahassee on Saturday, but has been moved up to a noon ET start time.

— Florida is also moving up their home opener to noon ET, against Northern Colorado.

— South Florida will play at UConn on Saturday, but the game has been moved to a 10:30 a.m. ET kickoff.

— Florida Atlantic remains set to play at Wisconsin as scheduled, though getting home appears to be the biggest challenge for Lane Kiffin’s Owls.

— The NFL also announced Wednesday that Sunday’s regular season opener for the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Bucs will be moved to Nov. 19.

Miami-Arkansas State cancelled because of Hurricane Irma, won’t be rescheduled this season

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The threat posed by Hurricane Irma, a powerful Category 5 storm barreling toward Florida, prompted UCF to push its home game with Memphis up on the schedule, from Saturday to Friday.  Today brings word that another game has been pushed off the schedule completely.

Miami announced Wednesday that its game at Arkansas State, along with all other athletic events, has been canceled.  And, because there are no mutual bye weeks moving forward, the game will not be rescheduled, at least this season.

While the hurricane is expected to have minimal impact on the state of Arkansas, the concern for UM was getting back to South Florida from Jonesboro as Irma, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, is expected to make landfall in their area this weekend.

“The decision to cancel these athletic contests is difficult, especially as some are scheduled to take place away from Miami,” a statement from UM athletic director Blake James began. “However, we made the collective decision that we simply cannot put our student-athletes, coaches and staff in danger traveling to and from contests. As we have seen from the tragic impact of Hurricane Harvey—and from South Florida’s own experiences—the impacts of hurricanes can be devastating and long-lasting, and can make travel extremely difficult and dangerous.

“I want to thank all of our opponents for their cooperation and understanding. Our thoughts are with those in the path of Hurricane Irma both here in South Florida and afar. We are comforted in knowing that our community is strong and will come together, if needed, to recover from the storm.”

As for other Irma-related developments, it was reported overnight that Florida International’s game against Alcorn State will not be played at Miami’s Riccardo Silva Stadium.  To where the game will be moved, or if it’s even played, remains to be seen as the school has made no official announcement one way or the other.

There’s also the possibility that Florida State’s game against Louisiana-Monroe, scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff in Tallahassee Saturday night, could be moved to noon that day.

UPDATED 10:24 a.m. ET: Florida State did indeed announce Wednesday morning that its game against Louisiana-Monroe in Tallahassee Saturday has been moved from 7 ET to noon ET.

“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 in a statement. “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.”