As the state of Florida and its residents brace for impact of Hurricane Irma, the storm has already caused quite a distraction for athletic administrations statewide. With Fall in full swing, football games at all levels are preparing contingencies that will not only ensure the safety of its players and coaching staffs, but also to the countless number of volunteers, vendors and fans who also help make the games possible. As early as Wednesday, officials from all major colleges and professional leagues began rescheduling, canceling and postponing this weekends match ups.
Amongst the announced changes, the Central Florida Golden Knights are now set to take on the Memphis Tigers at Bright House Networks Stadium Friday at 6:30PM ET, a game that was originally scheduled for Saturday at 6:30PM ET. The game will be televised by ESPNU.
The Knights Week 1 opponent, the Florida International University Panthers, have moved the location of their home opening contest vs. Alcorn State to Birmingham, Alabama with kickoff scheduled for 7PM ET on Friday.
Mandatory evacuations in south Florida have caused the cancellation of the game between the #16 Miami Hurricanes and Arkansas State Red Wolves, despite the game being scheduled to take place in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
Game time for the home opening contest in Gainesville between the #22 Florida Gators and Northern Colorado Bears has moved up from 7:30PM ET to Noon ET on Saturday, a move that will cause the game to go from being broadcast on the SEC Network, to only being available exclusively online. The #10 Florida State Seminoles have also announced a Noon kickoff for their home opening contest versus the University of Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks, and will be televised on the ACC Network.
The much anticipated season opener for two in state NFL teams, the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who were scheduled to face-off in Miami on Sunday has also been cancelled. The two teams will now play Week 11 (November 19th), with neither team receiving a Bye week for the upcoming NFL season.