Nebraska did not play its scheduled opener against Akron on Saturday night, and the game was not played Sunday, either, after Nebraska offered to house the Zips across multiple dorm facilities on Saturday night.
Huskers AD Bill Moos told reporters Wednesday he would still like to get his team a 12th game, and is still working through the possibility of re-scheduling Akron for Dec. 1. Nebraska is off Oct. 27 and Akron isn’t. Akron is off Sept. 29 and Nebraska isn’t.
But neither team has a scheduled game for Dec. 1, and Moos said that remains the likeliest option at this point.
“I did leave with (Akron athletic director) Larry Williams the options of a 12th game. I thought we had very good dialogue. We kind of left it verbally that we’d like to play the game,” Moos said, via HuskerOnline. “We don’t have a common bye so it’d have to be at the end of the year. If both schools agreed to it, we could play on the Saturday after the end of the regular season barring if either team was in their conference championship game.
“That’s a loose end out there. That’s an option.”
Moos also said Nebraska could schedule an FCS opponent for Oct. 27, however, that would require lining up another team that happens to have a bye week and is willing to take a pummeling on short notice.
There is still the money factor to be worked out as well. For now, Nebraska is holding onto both the gate it made from selling 85,000 or so tickets and the $1.17 million it promised Akron. A no-refund policy is printed on each ticket, so Nebraska’s technically within its rights there, though Moos said it would honor the sold tickets should a 12th game be added. As for the guarantee, it’s not due until March. Moos said Nebraska will definitely cover Akron’s travel expenses, but it remains up in the air as to whether Nebraska would pay the rest for a game that didn’t happen. Akron, obviously, wants the money it was banking on. Nebraska, obviously, doesn’t want to pay for something that never happened.
That’s why the cleanest option for both sides seems to be to reschedule the game for Dec. 1, barring a surprise visit to the conference title game for either side.
Florida State did the same thing a year ago. Hurricane Irma forced the cancelation of the ‘Noles Sept. 9 home opener with ULM, and FSU rescheduled the game for Dec. 2. In one of the most awkward college football games of all time, Jimbo Fisher had already bounced for Texas A&M and it was incredibly obvious the 5-6 ‘Noles only played the game to keep their 36-year bowl streak alive. (And they did, winning 42-10.)
That game wasn’t officially rescheduled until November, so Moos and Nebraska have some time. What will be interesting to watch is both sides’ enthusiasm for a lame duck game if, say, a 7-4 Nebraska is contractually obligated to play a cold, meaningless game against a 4-7 Akron.