Hurricane Irma is a really big and really powerful storm. The most recent projection of Irma’s path has shifted further west, causing a direct impact to South Florida as a Category 4 storm before it moves north through Florida.
Hurricane Irma’s forecast track has shifted West! Continuing coverage @WFTV pic.twitter.com/srPeU5Rfy5— Ken Tyndall (@KenTyndallWFTV) September 7, 2017
It’s projected to make landfall in Florida early Sunday morning, and Monroe County (Florida Keys) is already ordering evacuation for visitors to the area.
This is the second week in a row that the college football schedule has been impacted by severe storms. Last week, Hurricane Harvey displaced Texas residents, forcing LSU and BYU to move the season opener from Houston to New Orleans in a matter of days. Rice had trouble getting back to Houston from Australia. Other games were postponed in the Houston area.
Part of the issue with holding football games in the state of Florida this weekend is that, especially in South Florida, resources needed to host an event with tens of thousands of people — like police and other emergency services — will be devoted elsewhere.
The state has not seen a storm anywhere close to this magnitude make direct landfall since 2005, and contingency plans are in place for how universities and college football programs will deal with the storm if it does indeed continue on its track.
The Gators home opener against Northern Colorado has been cancelled, Florida announced on Thursday afternoon.
#Gators coach Jim McElwain says team has given up hotel they typically stay in prior to home games for those who may need shelter.— Phillip Heilman (@phillip_heilman) September 6, 2017
The Noles were scheduled to play ULM in Tallahassee at noon Saturday, but that’s cancelled.
ALL FSU ATHLETICS EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR THIS WEEKEND ARE CANCELLED INCLUDING SATURDAY’S FOOTBALL GAME. Info: https://t.co/LxTBNwNzSa for— Florida State Univ. (@floridastate) September 8, 2017
The storm’s scheduled to hit South Florida early Sunday, and if it does, a Week 3 home date with Miami will have to be assessed.
Miami canceled its trip to play Arkansas State amid potential travel issues.
GABLES & MARINE CAMPUS CLASSES cancelled for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Check UM email or https://t.co/yBXwB98SY6 for additional info.— UMiami ENN Alerts (@UMiamiENN) September 5, 2017
USF’s game at UConn will not be played “as scheduled.”
USF at UConn will not be played due to Hurricane #Irma 's threat to state of Florida & safe travel.— USF Football (@USFFootball) September 7, 2017
➡️ https://t.co/ITmSlDrNvI pic.twitter.com/Wcllgr1VEh
UCF’s Friday night home game against Memphis is “called off” and looks unlikely to be made up.
#UCFAlert: Irma forces @UCFKnights & Memphis to call off game intended to be played at 6:30PM https://t.co/zfaRpxoT3W #HurricaneIrma pic.twitter.com/PJFpUWEpOb— UCF (@UCF) September 8, 2017
FAU’s game at Wisconsin is still scheduled to kickoff at noon.
FAU and Wisconsin currently are keeping the plan for this weekend as originally scheduled https://t.co/fxYXgkfENB— Bucky's 5th Quarter (@B5Q) September 6, 2017
The Panthers will now play Alcorn State in Birmingham, Alabama on Friday night.
"We have decided to relocate a number of our teams to Birmingham, Alabama," FIU athletics director Pete Garcia said. "I want to thank UAB director of athletics Mark Ingram, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Birmingham community for their tremendous help and assistance. The UAB family has gone above and beyond to make us feel welcome."
Classes are canceled as of 11 p.m. tonight and FIU will be closed starting on Thursday. https://t.co/gX3subgDY7 #HurricaneIrma pic.twitter.com/uj3DXnc2lC— FIU (@FIU) September 5, 2017
With UAB on the road Saturday and FIU playing Friday, Legion Field is open Saturday. Georgia Southern will move its game to Birmingham as well, the school announced.
The game was originally scheduled to be played in Statesboro, Georgia, which is about an hour away from the Atlantic coast and therefore pretty well in the path of the storm as currently projected.