Hurricane Irma has come and gone after wreaking havoc across the state of Florida. All of the state’s major programs cancelled their games that were scheduled this past weekend.
Could the Hurricane aftermath cause a major SEC game to be tinkered with, too?
Tennessee and Florida are scheduled to play their traditional third Saturday in September rivalry game this Saturday in Gainesville, but Irma’s cleanup could put a halt to that.
Both schools, the conference, and CBS all want this game to be played, and not nixed, entirely. And, it’s a game with huge SEC East implications, as both schools could be in the mix to win it, or it could break a tiebreaker for either school or another East member to go to Atlanta.
CBS would like the game to be played at 3:30 p.m. eastern for the sake of the viewers/huge revenue, as the network hosts only one SEC game each week and doesn’t have a backup.
All of the other league games for Saturday belong to ESPN or the SEC Network.
First, if you are wondering, the SEC didn’t catch the break that the ACC did with being able to move the FSU-Miami game to October 7th, because both have that same bye week.
In this case, both teams have conflicting bye weeks. The Gators is on October 21st and the Vols on October 7th.
The game could be moved back to Sunday or Monday night. Last season we saw Georgia and South Carolina move their Saturday match up due to Hurricane Matthew to a Sunday afternoon affair that worked out well for everyone involved.
In 2005 we also saw Tennessee and LSU game get moved from Saturday to Monday night due to a Hurricane, even though it caused a short week the move was made and worked out.
Another scenario could be for the game to be moved to a neutral site. A possible location could end up becoming Atlanta. The city home to the SEC Title game could host this big SEC East battle, but not in the venue you would think.
The Lavish Mercedes- Benz Stadium will be host to an MLS Match with Atlanta hosting Orlando Saturday. So, where do you turn?
Turner Field could be an option with it now being a football only facility that Georgia Sate calls home and it could be a great host for the game. With the Panthers playing on the road, Turner field would be open for business and would probably take the Volunteers and Gators with open arms.
Obviously, after last year’s Hurricane Matthew mess with Florida’s home game ending up in Baton Rouge against LSU, the Gators want to wait as long as they can to play in Gainesville.
Therefore, expect all involved to try to come up with the conclusion of this game being played at some point at the Swamp, somewhere between Saturday and Monday.