Weekly Picks - Hurricane Florence Alters Schedule

September 13, 2018 by CFP Staff

Hurricane Florence continued its assault on the Outer Banks Thursday night. Around midnight, sustained winds were at 90 mph with gusts to 120 mph and were accompanied by a 10-foot storm surge that will surely rise with the tide - and it still hadn't made Landfall which is expected to occur on Friday. The effects of Florence began being felt Thursday morning. The slow moving system was crawling along at just 6 mph, making it possible to bring as much as 40 inches of rain, possibly even more.

The approaching hurricane - at times hitting CAT 4 status -  led several schools to cancel, postpone or move their weekend college football game.

Here are the games that have been affected by the storm:

Campbell at Coastal Carolina - switched to the Campbell campus and moved up from Saturday to Wednesday. (Coastal won 58-21).
Boston College at Wake Forest - moved up to 5:30pm Thursday (BC won 41-34).
Old Dominion at Charlotte - moved from Saturday to 4pm Thursday (Charlotte won 28-25).
Ohio at Virginia - relocated from Charlottesville to Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville at 4:30 on Saturday.
West Virginia at N.C. State - canceled.
UCF at North Carolina - canceled.
Marshall at South Carolina - canceled.
Norfolk State and Liberty postponed to December 1, unless Norfolk State makes the FCS playoffs.
Southern Miss at Appalachian State - postponed (reschedule to be attempted).
East Carolina at Virginia Tech - (see more below)

On their respective websites, Virginia Tech calls its home game with East Carolina 'cancelled' while the Pirates' website calls it 'postponed'.

If Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech would move their October 25 Thursday night clash up the October 18-20 window, the October 27 date would be open for both teams to reschedule. But that move doesn't appear to be favorable to the Hokies as the Yellow Jacket game is a Thursday night nationally broadcast contest. 

For UCF, it's the second year in-a-row that the Knights have had a non-conference clash with an ACC team get stricken from the schedule by a hurricane. Last year, UCF played its opener on August 31 and didn't play again until September 23. A planned September 8 conference game vs. Memphis was rescheduled for 9/30, taking the place of a game with Maine. The September 15 game vs. Georgia Tech was cancelled. UCF later added Austin Peay on 10/28 to avoid having its season get reduced to 10 games.

West Virginia fully agreed to the cancellation of its game with the Wolfpack. Athletic Director Shane Lyons said in a press conference that "I will not be scheduling a game during our bye week." He added, "Anybody who understands football knows I'm not going to play a game on Saturday and then turn around and play a game on Thursday night. That's not an option for me, especially when our opponent has a week-and-a-half to prepare."

As of now (11:35 a.m. ET Thursday), a 72-game schedule has been reduced to 66 contests, featuring 115 of the 130 FBS teams. The four schools which were already on break are Air Force, Louisiana Tech, Michigan State and Rice.

The best games on this week's slate are Ohio State vs. TCU (in Arlington), LSU at Auburn, Washington at Utah, and Boise State at Oklahoma State.

Even though both teams have already lost a game, the USC-Texas affair will still draw some attention outside of Los Angeles and Austin.

Other games that peak our interest are (in no particular order) Alabama at Ole Miss, Oklahoma at Iowa State, BYU at Wisconsin, Colorado State at Florida, Florida State at Syracuse, Fresno State at UCLA, Georgia Tech at Pitt, Louisiana-Monroe at Texas A&M, Miami (FL) at Toledo, Missouri at Purdue, and Troy at Nebraska.

See all of the Computer Picks.