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.