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LSU vs. Florida postponed and potentially canceled due to Hurricane Matthew

The game was scheduled to be played in Gainesville at noon on Saturday.

Saturday's scheduled game between LSU and Florida in Gainesville has been "postponed," according to the SEC, making it one of several games to be altered by Hurricane Matthew. The conference adds that it will attempt to reschedule the game for later in the year, but seeing as it notes the two do not have a common open date, a rescheduling appears to be an uncertainty.

Per official SEC announcement:

The LSU-Florida football game scheduled for Saturday in Gainesville has been postponed due to Hurricane Matthew, it was announced Thursday. The universities and the SEC Office will work to reschedule the game later in the 2016 season if possible.

"We had a very productive phone call today with a great spirit of cooperation between the universities' presidents and athletics directors and it became clear that the University of Florida could neither host nor travel to a game this weekend considering the circumstances," said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey.  "The developments of the hurricane in the last 24 hours, the projected magnitude of its impact and the unknown aftermath of this storm have resulted in this decision to seek another date to play the LSU-Florida game. We have to be sensitive to the possible imminent disruption to the state of Florida and in particular the Gainesville and surrounding area."

At this time the schools do not have a common open date on which to reschedule the game, so the schools and SEC Office will make every effort to find a scheduling solution with the possible movement of other games on the schools' schedules.

Before deciding to postpone the game, the schools and SEC explored other date and location options, and LSU offered to either travel or host the game over the course of the weekend.  Ultimately it was determined that the likelihood of damage from the storm, lack of available emergency personnel and the uncertainty of the impact of the storm on people, facilities and travel necessitated a postponement.

"The timing of this storm on a Friday and the uncertainly of its aftermath in the ensuing days make it particularly difficult to project the conditions for the remainder of the weekend as well as the opportunity for travel of teams and fans to or from Gainesville and other cities in Florida," Sankey said.  "I am appreciative of the cooperation of our universities on this matter."

Mid-November presents seemingly the only option for playing this game, which would still require some major adjustments and contract buyouts. Steven Godfrey and Alex Kirshner on the rescheduling difficulties:

A source confirmed to SB Nation that LSU offered to hold the game in Baton Rouge, but Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said at a press conference Thursday that his program decided earlier in the day that wouldn't be possible.

Foley suggested it wasn't practical for Florida to move an entire football team to Louisiana on a day and a half's notice. He noted that Florida players and staff have families who are bracing for the hurricane.

"At the end of the day it boils down to, ‘What are we trying to do here?'" he said.

Foley also said the teams and the league didn't discuss alternate options beyond Gainesville and LSU. A source told SB Nation that LSU proposed New Orleans, Mobile and Nashville as potential sites, however.

To reschedule, LSU and Florida might need to get out of other games.

The teams don't share a bye week for the rest of the year. They do, however, both have non-conference home games on the schedule for Saturday, Nov. 19: LSU against South Alabama, Florida against Presbyterian.

We haven't yet gotten a look at the game contracts for those dates, but it stands to reason that the SEC, Florida and LSU could come up with a way to simply not play those games and pay contractually obligated sums to Presbyterian and South Alabama. Foley said Florida's buyout for the Presbyterian game would be a bit less than $500,000, while LSU would have to pay more than that, coming to something around a $2 million total cost.

There is a precedent for teams only playing 11 regular season games when others play 12; in fact, both Florida and LSU have done so in recent years.

If this game can't be played, but eventually factors into deciding which teams advance to the SEC Championship, the conference would have a decision on its hands.

For what it's worth, in 2001, a delayed game between Florida and Tennessee that decided the SEC East was moved to the date of the SEC Championship, which itself moved back. This time, however, the College Football Playoff committee's announcement schedule would likely need to be adjusted as well.