No biggie when it happened.
Canceling a list of September cupcake games in the approach of a hurricane that ended up tracking through our state from bottom to top? That was just common sense for the athletic directors at Florida State and Florida, and for all kinds of legitimate reasons.
Now, however, the Seminoles and Gators would love to have those games back, the better to inch toward the bowl-eligible requirement of six wins in a season.
FSU has a 35-year streak of bowl participation on the line, but with a 2-4 record Jimbo Fisher has little room for error. Things would feel so much safer if that early game with Louisiana-Monroe had been played and another victory was in the bank.
Louisiana-Monroe of the Sun Belt Conference is 3-4 and just last week gave up 670 yards of total offense in a loss to South Alabama.
The Gators, meanwhile, are 3-3 and headed to Jacksonville for a game with the unbeaten Georgia Bulldogs, No. 3 in the AP poll. The game Florida lost to Hurricane Irma was Northern Colorado, a Big Sky team bumping along right now at 2-4.
Can’t easily reschedule this stuff without common open dates on the schedule, and all the schools announced long ago that they wouldn’t bother trying.
Were other state schools involved in the spate of hurricane-related cancellations? Of course, but the Miami Hurricanes, a Top-10 team, doesn’t need any other wins to get where they want to go. Same goes for South Florida and Central Florida, both of them undefeated and bound for the bowls.
Matter of fact, UCF may have gotten a break because their canceled game was Georgia Tech, a real pain to play.
Would they still be unbeaten if that game was played as originally scheduled? Would a
victory over Georgia Tech have gotten the Knights a better ranking in the upcoming release of the first College Football Playoff committee rankings? These are questions without answers.
South Florida, meanwhile, was able to wrangle the schedule around to play Connecticut, a fellow member of the American Athletic Conference, in November rather than September. In the process the Bulls canceled a game with Massachusetts, a 1-6 independent, but no harm there.
Bottom line, the Florida-FSU game at the Swamp on Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend may put one team in a bowl and knock the other one out.
And in case anybody is wondering, the last time both the Seminoles and Gators failed to qualify for a bowl was 1978, when Bobby Bowden was in his third FSU season and Doug Dickey was about to get the boot at Florida.