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Weather woes hit college football, stadiums cleared

Fans at Memorial Stadium dance to music during a lightning and rain delay in the first half of an NCAA college football game between Nebraska and Akron in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

As Hurricane Florence barrels down on the East Coast, lining up for a late-week landfall somewhere in the Carolinas, it's affecting millions. 

Far less important than the actual potential damage and harm the storm could cause, of course, is football. That's where the storm — more specifically, the litany of cancellations that have already been announced and will probably continue — could have an impact on Nebraska's football team. 

The Huskers, of course, had their Sept. 1 opener against Akron canceled due to a lightning storm that didn't relent until the early hours of Sept. 2. 

NU athletic director Bill Moos said the schools verbally left open the possibility of playing Dec. 1, calling that, "the most solid option."

The other key date is Nebraska's open date on Oct. 27. The Huskers could find an FCS team to play that day — Husker Extra explored the possibility of North Alabama giving up one of its two Division II games — but a slew of cancellations this week would potential widen Nebraska's options. 

NU has almost certainly already been in at least some level of conversation with teams about either Oct. 27 or Dec. 1, so it's unclear to what extent the school needs to find more options. 

The folks at FootballScoop.com have a running list of all the college games originally slated this weekend in the states that Florence might affect, and is updating the list as games are canceled or postponed. Some, like Norfolk State at Liberty (which shares an open date with NU) have been moved to the end of the season, seemingly ruling out that possibility. Others, like Ohio and Virginia, moved their game to Nashville. West Virginia and North Carolina State canceled and have no make-up date on the books, but both have games slated for Oct. 27. 

Others, though, hold some potential. 

Tennessee State and Hampton canceled a game scheduled to be played at Hampton and have not announced any intentions to reschedule. Tennessee State, an FCS school in the Ohio Valley Conference, is open Oct. 27. 

Elon and William & Mary don't have a makeup date, though they've said that they plan to try to reschedule, sort of like NU and Akron did. Elon, an FCS school in the Colonial, is open Oct. 27. 

Both Tennessee State and Elon have played Power Five opponents in recent years, and TSU visits Vanderbilt on Sept. 29.  

Of course, the idea is capturing imaginations among fans and media is No. 18 Central Florida, which had its game at North Carolina this weekend canceled with no makeup date and has an open date on Oct. 27. 

The prospect — Frost and his staff's former school coming to play his and his staff's new school — is fun to dream about, but seems exceedingly unlikely. It's hard to imagine Frost and NU's coaches would want to line up and try to beat their former players. Also, it's fair to consider that UCF would be a likely road favorite in Lincoln and part of the idea here is for NU to get bowl-eligible. Finally, the Knights would have to turn around and play Thursday night the following week. 

Never say never, but that seems maybe the most unlikely outcome in a situation that looks to have more options now than even a few days ago.

Options could keep opening, too. Marshall is slated to visit South Carolina, but if that game gets canceled, the Thundering Herd matches byes with NU. 

The Huskers could also try to get creative. In 2013, flooding in Boulder, Colorado, forced the cancellation of a game between the Buffaloes and Fresno State. The teams couldn't find a makeup date, but the NCAA granted Charleston Southern a waiver to play a 13th game so it could play CU during the originally scheduled open date. 

So, plenty still to sort out. 

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.

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Sports writer

Parker joined the Journal Star as the University of Nebraska football beat writer in August 2017. He previously covered Montana State athletics for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2012.

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